What if I told you that the most successful people in your field are not the smartest, but they are the most disciplined? If you want to figure out a way to be more consistent with your writing so that you can meet your project goals, keep reading...
One of the biggest mistakes we make when trying to start a new habit (writing consistently, exercising, paying bills on time) is setting a goal that is WAY out of line with reality. If we haven't gone to the gym in a year, we might tell ourselves that we are going to set a goal of working out five days a week for one hour. How do you think that's going to end up?
My guess is that you may get out there for 1 or 2 days, but sooner or later you will feel tired or sore, a last-minute meeting might come up that interferes with your gym time, or you may have a kid who is projectile vomiting. Whatever it is, you stop going because you don't feel like it.
Many clients come to me wanting to get back into a consistent research and writing practice with goals like "I want to write 3 hours a day," or "I want to get my book proposal started and finished in 6 months." They truly believe that if they just want it bad enough that they can transform their writing practice. They can white-knuckle a 3 hour writing session, because hey, they have willpower. Right?
And let me tell you, they are so disappointed when I ask them to start with just 15 or minutes of low-stakes writing or journaling per day.
So, why do I take this approach?
The research is quite clear on productivity. Those people who are able to work out 5 days a week or write every day for 2 hours are not relying on willpower. They are relying on the power of HABIT.
Here's how to do it:
Start Small. Set a goal for your writing that you can accomplish on your worst day. Maybe it’s 15 minutes. Cool! Once you get into the habit of writing for those 15 minutes. When it feels easy and consistent, THEN you can increase your writing goal.
Plan on not wanting to do it. It is perfectly natural to want to avoid writing, especially if you are struggling. It's not your fault. But it is your brain lying to you. The primitive part of your brain wants to avoid pain and to prioritize pleasure --this is why it's so easy to sleep in rather than drag yourself to the gym. You have to expect that and ignore it.
Adjust the scope but stick to the schedule. If you are planning to write every day for one hour at 8am, but something comes up write for 10 minutes instead. Every minute matters.
Don't miss twice! If you miss a writing session, do not beat yourself up about it. Do not "double down" on your writing goal (i.e., you miss a 1-hour session today so you plan for 2 hours tomorrow). Just pick it up the next day.
Remember that the way to reach your goals is through DISCIPLINE (a mentality and identity shift) not WILLPOWER (impulse control). And if you want to know what it's like to work with me 1:1 and *CRUSH* your writing goals, schedule a free consultation call below and we can see if we are a good fit.
You've got this!