The 7 Irrefutable Steps to Completing Your New Year’s Resolution


One year ago, I set a goal to start a blog and write 50 posts in 2013.

I’ve never been a “writer,” I have two young kids and I already work 50+ hours a week. But after reading Platform by Michael Hyatt during Christmas break, I was convinced it was worth a try. Several friends and family members questioned the value of doing it. My colleagues expressed modest interest. I was mostly alone on this one and the number 50 loomed large.

steps

In fact, this has turned into a journey of numbers, starting with these seven steps:

1. I declared the goal out loud to a handful of people who see me on a regular basis.

2. I invested in a website domain and hosting services.

3. I allowed people to receive the posts via an email, which my blog will automatically send every Wednesday at 11 am.

4. I blocked a 90-minute window each week during which I would write the post. If someone scheduled over that window, I committed to proactively rescheduling the time.

5. I recruited a partner to review the post each week before it went live.

6. I learned from others who were already successful at it by subscribing to well-respected blogs.

7. I told people about the benefits of blogging—which affirmed the value to me.

Three hundred sixty-five days into this resolution, I can now see some clear patterns:

  • 25% of the posts were easy to write. I had energy, time and clarity. They were done inside the 90-minute mark and required little to no editing. These were like the relief you feel when you catch an express train.
  • 25% were a slog. I was tired, cloudy-minded and unfocused. These felt like the mediocre sophomore release by a band pressured by their label to crank out more hits.
  • 25% were a battle. I was overloaded with work, on vacation or constantly interrupted. I wrote on my iPad while my kids climbed trees, in the car on road trips and late on Saturday nights.
  • 25% were an emotional stretch. I was filled with grief, joy or shame. I was broken or triumphant. These were the posts requiring a sanity check from a trusted source and left me with a vulnerability hangover.

Do you suppose anyone pursuing a worthwhile goal will experience similar categories?

Beyond the seven steps I took to maximize my chances of hitting the goal, I needed just one thing that I couldn’t provide to myself:

Encouragement.

Every week my wife, mom and dad (and many others over time) told me something positive they saw in what I was doing. That’s the magic eighth step—for those fortunate enough to have people love them for who they are regardless of what they do.

Today is number 50.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

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3 Comments

  • Susan Arico
    January 8, 2014 at 12:07 am

    I love this post. Valuable insights, excellent perseverance in following through on a hard goal, and awesome (real) categories/personal writing “statistics” that speak to me as a writer. Thank you.

    • normanblogger
      January 10, 2014 at 2:54 am

      Thank you Susan. Your comments are super meaningful – especially because you are such a strong thinker and writer.

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