Blogging is something I’ve known I ought to do since I first heard the term 20-something years ago. Knowing I ought to do something and actually beginning to do something are two different things, it turns out. My list of things that I know I ought to do and fully intend to start doing (again) include:
- Working out
- Getting an annual physical
- Shopping prices at renewal time for auto insurance and mobile phone service
- Cleaning the gutters
Sounds like fun, huh? No wonder I’ve been putting off getting started! But blogging – blogging ought to be fun and fulfilling. It’s an opportunity to share my story. The excitement, heartache, stellar wins, dismal losses, leaps forward, painful setbacks, and the adventure and pure joy of starting and running a successful business. These are things that ought to be shared with other active and aspiring entrepreneurs. These are the reasons I must begin to blog. Again.
Beginning something new can be hard. Here are several things I’ve done to get over the initial hump in the past:
- Imagine failure.
There’s always a good reason we think we ought to start something new. If I’m having a tough time getting started, it’s sometimes helpful to imagine myself several months or years down the road if I don’t move forward. Tony Robbins wrote about this idea in his popular book, Awaken the Giant Within. He asserted that people are more motivated by pain than pleasure. According to him, most of us would be better off imagining the pain of failure than the sweet taste of victory when working towards a goal. In the many years since I read the book, I’ve found pain to be a very effective motivational tool for change.
- Make it a game.
Gamification is a great way to get started at a new routine or habit. Let’s say I want to start running regularly again (we’re just pretending here, ok?). One way to make running a game is to set a goal to hit an 8-minute mile within a month. Or to be able to run a 10K by Thanksgiving. Either way, having a time-bound goal is a great way to get back out there and start running again.
- Go public.
Most of us feel a sense of duty and responsibility to do what we say we will do. We don’t want to be seen as people that say one thing, but do another. It makes sense, then, that a public proclamation can be a powerful tool to help us get started doing something new. Let’s say that you want to add a new service offering to your business this year, but you know that it will take a lot of careful planning and hard work to achieve that goal. What would happen if you went public with your plans? How hard would you work to ensure that your new service launched on time if your employees and customers were expecting it to happen? (You don’t have to go public to the world, you know. If it makes more sense, share the goal with your team, or perhaps with several of your closest clients. The point is to get the commitment out there and get started!)
- Participate with friends.
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than the rallying cry of a group of friends to motivate us towards starting something new. In this sense, peer pressure can be a very good thing! I’ve lost count of all the crazy group runs and adventure races I’ve done with friends, all in the name of fitness and comradery. When we’re in it together, there’s no way around it – we’re going and I’d better get started!
So here I am. Beginning to blog. Again. Want to know which of the above methods I employed this time? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s all four, but it began with a recent email from my friend and fellow blogger, Jason Montoya. He challenged me to join a group of his friends (see #4 above) aiming to blog every weekday for a month (see #2). I told Jason that I’d participate, then I confirmed with the group last week, and now I’m posting it on the Internet for all to see (#3). Leading up to this post, I came up with lots of good reasons this is not a good time for me to start blogging. I’m awfully busy, you see. Lots of important things to do, and all that. But I kept thinking about what Jason and his friends might think of me if I never even started. How embarrassed and ashamed I’d be that I didn’t follow through on my commitment (#1). That would never do, so here I am, blogging my little heart out.
Here’s a list of the other bloggers participating in the Weekday Blogging Challenge this month:
- Jason Montoya| Freelancer, Storyteller, and Marketing Wiz | Visit his blog…
- Craig Haynie| Founder Of CablesandKits.com | Visit his blog…
- Len Wikberg| Freelance Strategic & Creative Designer | Visit his blog…
- Allison Miller| Founder of 828 Women | Visit her blog…
- Sherra Bell| Teambuilder, Consultant, & Coach | Visit her blog…
- Bran Peacock| Voiceover Artist & Comedian | Visit his blog…
- Jim Karwisch| Improv Coach & Speaker | Visit his blog…
What about you? What methods do you use to begin to start something new? Comment below and share your best ideas with us!