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5 lessons from 100 days of blogging

100 not outExactly 100 days ago I wrote a blog. I had no intention of doing anything crazy with it, but by the end, I found I’d committed myself to blogging every day, with no end date. Not only that, but I’d somehow committed to running at least a mile every day too. (It's all Seth Godin's fault...)

So here we are, 100 blogs and about 165 miles later. Still going.

What have I discovered? Here are 5 lessons, so that’s one for every 20 days. Obviously I’m a slow learner…

  1. Small is good, big is better
    I definitely wouldn’t have come so far if I’d required 500-word blogs and 5km runs every day. Some days it’s been all I can do to squeeze in a brief observation and a 10-minute shuffle on the treadmill before falling into bed. But when I do take time to write a longer blog and/or take a longer run, I get more out of them. Words and muscles take a bit of time to warm up. For the next 100 days, I’m going to try to go a bit longer where I can. (But fall back on short and sweet where I can’t, without making a drama of it.)

  2. First thing is first choice
    On the days when I get my run done and my blog written before I even get the kids up for school, there’s a sense of achievement that stays with me all day. I say achievement, you might call it smugness. On those days I am invincible. I can tackle anything else the day throws at me. Contrariwise, as Tweedledum might say, when I put them off until evening, there’s a nagging sense of incompleteness all day.

  3. Habit trumps willpower
    I knew this before I started, but it’s been spectacularly vindicated. The question is not ‘will I blog/run today’, it’s ‘when will I blog/run today’. The first takes willpower to answer positively, and that can’t be relied upon :the second is simply a question of logistics.

  4. It only feels good after you start
    It’s still something of a daily surprise that that weird resistance that seems to be hardwired into me when I contemplate doing something gives way so quickly to enjoyment and flow once I’m doing it. It’s like there’s a forcefield of reasons, excuses and inertia that can look like a brick wall from one side, but once you’re through it simply evaporates. Every day that wall looks a bit flimsier.

  5. Habits are more than the sum of the parts
    Not every day, but most days I try to run then blog. While I run I set my brain the challenge of coming up with something, turning the day’s preoccupations and experiences into something blog-worthy. As Thoreau, a great walker, put it: ‘Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.’ So the running fuels the blogging, and the blogging gives purpose and shape to the running. And I have no evidence, obviously, but I suspect I might have given up  by now if it wasn’t for that synergy. 

So what now? Well, more of the same, and then more again. I’ve gained confidence in the process, and in myself, so I plan to go longer and more purposeful in 2017. I’ve also just attached a daily ‘quiet time’ habit – I’m not good at meditating, but even I can do quiet.

And I’m so grateful to all of those who’ve cheered me along the way with this experiment – thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I hope it’s given you ideas or inspiration for your own daily practice.

As Aristotle put it: ‘We are what we repeatedly do.’

What will you choose to do habitually, and therefore to be, in 2017?





This entry was posted on 19 December 2016 at 10:42 and is filed under writing | habits | self-development. You can leave a response here.

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2 responses to '5 lessons from 100 days of blogging'

Esther nagle says

Amazing. I hadn't seen the first post, but this and that have totally inspired me. One of my proudest moments recently was when I appeared on Sky News's 'The Point' feature, with the word 'writer' underneath my name. I haven't written anywhere near enough since then to justify that title, but, as I start my new blog to launch in January, I know that I must write every day if I want to be able to call myself that. I was planning to return to Sarah's 30 day blogging challenge, so I have just resolved to start today, and write a post tonight after Marcus has gone to bed. And make sure I get at least 15 minutes of yoga done everyday, more when possible

Added on 19 December 2016 at 11:50

Helen Collier says

This is inspiring Alison - 100 days! I love all your points. I am going to go for a speed walk tomorrow morning, write my blog and be off to the community cafe for my shift by 9.30. :)

Added on 19 December 2016 at 18:14

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