My theme this year is system, but I’m learning that I have to commit to using a system for it to work for me.
If I don’t check off my little check boxes, I don’t get that little “attagirl” feeling of accomplishment. On a long term goal, such as being a professional writer, it takes a lot of little “attagirls” along the way. And as we know, only one “ooops” wipes out a lot of “attagirls.”
I specifically used “ooops” because that’s all it is if I miss one day, but the point remains: commitment to the system. System means “Plan the work. Work the plan.” These first two weeks of the Ultimate blog challenge have nudged me to do what internet marketers have been saying to do since there was an internet and blogs…write, comment, link. It’s not the little pieces of paper glued into my planner, but my own commitment to write the post, post it, comment on others, and now, to make a list of bloggers I want to stay in touch with, to build a relationship with, because I like what they are doing.
The 12-step programs reward a small token for 21 days of sticking to the plan, be it sobriety, clean from drugs or sticking to the eating plan. Another token is gives for recognition of 90 days. It takes at least 21 days to start a new habit, and 90 days to install that habit as something more than a new idea. A phrase for newbies in the program is 90 meetings in 90 days, a strong commitment to changing one’s life.
The goal of working through the 12 steps is to open oneself up to a spiritual experience by becoming honest with one’s self, and working through making amends for one’s shortcomings. It is the process that replaces one or more bad habits–drinking, drugs, overeating–with better habits. The first replacement drug is the meeting itself.
The Ultimate Blog Challenge does not have quite so lofty a goal as sobriey, but it does aim to establish a new habit and goal for us as we learn how to manage our blogs and our lives to get the return we want. Sometimes, that return is that we have written today. It is easier to check off a box for something completed than for something resisted.