What I learned from a month of blogging everyday

Today is November 30th and I've successfully blogged for 30 days! Before I pop the champagne I want to reflect on what this commitment has meant to me.

I've been thinking about the number –30–. It has been traditionally used by journalists to indicate the end of a story. While I don't think my blogging story ends today, I don't anticipate blogging every day any time soon. Still, it was worthwhile and I learned a few things.

1.  Quality suffers when quantity increases.  It's not easy to write a post, proofread it, publish it and promote it well everyday. I'm sure there is a sweet spot in the quantity/quality frequency rate. It's not daily for me. I found myself hitting the publish button before things were polished. I was fortunate that most evenings my daughter would proofread for me and send the edits to me and I would fix it in the morning. It's very difficult to edit your own work, especially when you don't have time to step away from it for a day or two and come back with fresh eyes. I've had enough experience writing to know that 'good writers' are not the same as 'good editors'. I consider myself to be a pretty decent writer but I've always depended on editors for that last step before I publish anything of significance.

(I don't think this just applies to writing. I think it applies to a lot of things. If you know me, you know I feel this way about fast fashion. Cheap clothes are not good quality.) 

2. Writing every day prompts creativity. I'm aware that putting parameters on people when it comes to creativity pushes them to go further faster. If you give someone a blank piece of paper and say ask them to draw anything and to take as long as they need, chances are they will get stuck. But give them a blank piece of paper and instruct them to draw a picture of a tree in 30 minutes and they will get it done. I found that as the days went on I found it easier to come up with topics and ideas.

3. Creating a content plan is a very helpful. I printed a blank calendar and started writing out ideas as they came to me. It made it very helpful to at least have a topic to explore when I sat down to write each day. The easiest days were the days I chose to write about books. It was actually a break knowing what I was going to write about. It's counterintuitive. We often think we should wait for inspiration but I don't think it always works that way. Plan your content and go for it. Your inspiration will follow.

4. Blogging daily is a great way to get clear on what matters to you. It takes courage to put yourself out 'there' the way I did.  I wrote about a lot of things that I wouldn't normally tackle from the dark side of pedicures to sexual abuse in religious organizations. I wrote about books and I wrote about Pinterest algorithms. At the end of the month I can look back and see my values reflected back at me in the topics I chose to write about. 

5. Declaring your intention is a good way to keep it. Someone asked me yesterday why I didn't just write every day for 30 days. I told them that I knew the minute I said publicly I was going to commit to this journey, that my chances of being successful increased. I don't know if that is pride or commitment but I do know that acheiving a goal is more likely when you make it public. 

Speaking of goals, now that I am not blogging every day I am going to focus on a new format for a goals course I published earlier this year. Sign up for my newsletter and you'll get the details when I'm ready to launch it.

If you read most of these posts of the past 30 days, I want to thank you. I got some great feedback and I can see what topics are of most interest to the people who follow me. I've learned a lot in this process.


The Freedom of Routine

It's Sunday. And for me Sunday is the day that I prepare for the coming week. It has been for most of my adult life although the way I spend the day has dramatically changed.  My typical Sunday morning now starts with breakfast in bed. I get up whenever I want, make tea and go back to bed with a good book. It's my favourite way to ease into any day and one I reserve almost exclusively for days of rest. 

At some point I get up and get organized for the week. It varies from week to week but it always  includes:

  • taking care of anything hanging on from the last week 
  • going through my email and dealing with anything unresolved
  • reviewing any goals for the upcoming week
  • transfering everything for the week into my Passion Planner.*  I manage these things electronically in a calendar but on Sunday everything gets written out for the week
  • scheduling breathing space and fun in my week (walks, family and friends, Happy Hour, etc.)
  • reviewing my calendar for the next few weeks to know what is coming
  • creating and scheduling my to do list for the upcoming week

And then once it is all done, I relax. If there isn't anything on socially then I read, journal, watch a movie or listen to podcasts. Most Sundays are a very restful day for me. Guilt free. I usually get to bed at a decent time and I'm ready for the week.

I know a lot of people resist planning. They feel like they are boxed in and trapped. I find it completely freeing. When I'm relaxing I am not avoiding what needs to be done. When I'm doing stuff I don't love doing, I know I've got some fun built into my schedule. And - I've got flexibility. A lot of what I do can be moved around if needed to create space for something sponatenous.  

It's one of the ways I live in integrity with myself. Honoring who I am and the people in my life by creating space for what is important to me. Later this month I will be relaunching my program on Achieving Your Goals in a new format. If you are interested in knowing more about how to establish routines that support achieving your goals email me and I'll send you the details when they are ready. 

*If you order a passion planner add my email sandy@sandyreynolds.com when you check out as a referral.  After 3 orders I get one free and I'll give it away. 

5 things you can do to make tomorrow a better day

Yesterday was a bad day. It reminded me of Alexander. Remember him?

I just couldn’t get traction on any of my projects. I was unfocused. I was in a bit of a mood. I was so out of sorts that I started looking for an explanation. And I landed on the day before.

The day before yesterday I had been really busy. I did not eat well (there may have been potato chips involved). I had not had enough water. I had been out in the evening (there may have been cocktails involved). I didn’t get to bed until way past my bedtime resulting in a couple of hours of less sleep than I normally get.

When I reflected on my choices the day before it was no surprise that I was out of sorts. I decided the only thing I could do was to make sure that I used what energy I did have to make good choices for today.

Learn from me!

Here are 5 things you can do today to make tomorrow a good day:

1. Make sure you get enough sleep. Last night I went to bed early. I did all the things I know to make sure I sleep well. Studies have shown how vital sleep is to our well being.

2. Drink lots of water. Being dehydrated can make you feel tired. It can also cause headaches and other disturbances. Keep hydrated.

3. Eat healthy foods. When you are tired and unmotivated it is easy to reach for junk food. It won’t make you feel better today or tomorrow.

4. Reflect on the choices you made yesterday. Did you eat poorly? Are you sleep deprived? Dehydrated? Hung over? Associating your physical and emotional state today with choices you made the day before is a great motivator for making better choices.

5. Give yourself a break. If today isn’t a great day and you are feeling unproductive and uninspired - take it easy. Do things that will help you feel better tomorrow. Drink lots of water. Eat healthy. Go to bed early. Journal. Feeling guilty or telling yourself you are a failure does not help. Trust me on this one.

I recently taught a course on goal setting. In it I talk about rituals and habits. Making choices today that will make your tomorrow better is essential to achieving your goals. If you want to access the course you can find it here. Get started creating a better tomorrow.