Get the habit!

bghabits1If you take a look at the section of this blog that lists posts by the month in which they appear, you’ll see that whilst recent months have been pretty regular, there have been some hiatuses in the past.  Looking back over them I can identify the fact that at the beginning of the period of silence, something happened in the ‘day job’ or in life in general that broke me away from writing the blog post.  And I stayed away from the blog for a while after that for the simple reason that I hadn’t really become habituated to blogging.

I remember reading somewhere that you have to repeat a course of action a few thousand times before your mind and body really begin to treat something as a truly ingrained habit.  Well, I hope that’s not entirely correct because I’m working on making a daily blog post a positive habit in my life.

Here are some techniques that I’ve adapted from other places and that I’ll be using to get the blogging habit in 2010.

Publicise what you’re doing! 

A friend of mine set up a Facebook group where we could publicise our New Year Resolutions to other group members and see whether we could keep them!  It’s always good to have an audience of people waiting for you to drop the ball! 🙂  You’re making a promise now to others as well as yourself; many people find it harder to disappoint others even in small ways than let themselves down.

Set a time and a place

Stephen King, in his excellent book ‘On Writing’, suggests that any writer needs to make sure that they’re at their writing desk / writing place at teh same time every day.  Excellent idea!  It effectively makes an appointment with yourself to be in a place with all the conditions just right for writing.

Remove Distractions

Make that appointment with yourself in a place and at a time where it’s possible to remove distractions.  This doesn’t mean working in Monastic silence in a plain white painted room, bare except for a desk, chair and laptop.  It’s more a state of mind – whatever might give you cause to prevaricate – despatch it.  Don’t schedule your writing time around the time that your cats need feeding, the postie arrives, or when you might expect to get phone calls.  If you like to work to music, get your music on your computer so you don’t go grubbing around to find it.  If you like a lot of tea or coffee whilst you blog, get a thermos if you need it.

Set a SMART target

I set a target of a minimum of one blog post of between 400 and 600 words a day.  It’s a SMART target because it’s:

  1. Sustainable – I reckon I can do this day in, day out.
  2. Measurable– it’s easy to see if I’ve hit the target. 400-600 words.
  3. Action-oriented – you gotta DO something, not talk about it! I will have at least one blog post to point at.
  4. Relevant– the target you set yourself should be relevant to your ultimate goals.  It’s relevant to my aim of generating a popular blog.
  5. Timely – should have a timescale attached to it. It happens every day.

So – there you go!  Join me in making good habits in 2010!