Moving forward even if I’m doing it wrong
I just read this article about successful blogging, and like every similar piece I’ve seen, this one contained a strong word of advice about being consistent. This makes sense: people tuned into a particular person or resource like to be able to count on regular contact, updates, and materials.
I know all the “shoulds” and would love to be better at this than I am. Not that I don’t get things done. I’ve got a pretty good track record as far as accomplishing stuff goes. I just tend to do things in fits and starts, as it were, and my sense of self-discipline is more about continually moving forward than working off a regular schedule. (That said, I consider myself extraordinarily successful any time I get to the gym or turn the lights out before midnight.)
I know that I should tweet something every day, create wonderful memes from the writing I’ve done, blog for other outlets on a regular basis, and finish transferring the files from the old site I replaced more than three years ago. I’m paying what is starting to feel like a lot of money to send out 3 “monthly” newsletters in more than a year and a half.
I went to my first Yoga class in over a year and in our final relaxation pose, as always, re-committed to a regular practice that I never seem to get to. (I did block out next Wednesday, so maybe two-in-a-row will be a good-enough start.)
Articles like these, which emphasize all the things I’m not doing correctly, have a tendency to drive me into a short-lived frenzy that ends in a sense of failure and discouragement. So I have to be careful to take this advice with a grain of salt.
Because if I shift my thinking a few degrees, it turns out that I am actually pretty consistent in ways that matter most to me. I may not see friends on a regular basis and it’s a fair bet that I probably won’t remember your birthday exactly on time, but when we get together, we will generally be able to pick up wherever we left off last time, even if our visits have been years apart.
I’m good at getting around to things that need my attention and finishing things that deserve completion.
So if my sleep schedule is a bit bizarre and coming back to the gym after being on the road for a few weeks is a bit like Groundhog Day, does this really matter? If I lose friends because I don’t call or email every week—well, I guess they weren’t really friends worth keeping. And if my business lags because I’m not tweeting every day, blogging every week, or sending out newsletters every month, I guess I can chalk that up to my current version of retirement.
Because I know that my commitment to providing quality information and doing things that can help people is as strong as it’s ever been. It may take me a bit longer to get stuff out into the world than it might have taken me earlier in my life, but I will continue to create and get around to projects you will hear about as they evolve.
In the final analysis, I will continue to do the best I can do. And hope that it will be enough.
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