It is the December 28th, 2017, my 80th day of Inspiring Challenge.
Here are five takeaways/reflections about how I start the challenge and keep it through. I hope people who want to set a goal and stick on it, could benefit from my experience.
1. Make sure that you actually want to do it
Before setting any goal, always think thoroughly about the reasons and commitments.Why do you want to do it? How much time and energy do you want to invest? Do you really have the determination?If you want to set a challenge such as losing weight or practicing self-care, the challenge has to be a necessity to your life.
The beginning, first two weeks are always easy; however, as times goes by, without strong willpower, you would easily be disturbed by unforeseen situations such as a busy day or bad mood.
Suffered from strong emotions and hypersensitivity, I experience so many deep feelings and thoughts that I always feel an urge to share them with the world. Writing is my only resolution, my antidote to outlet them.
2. Reinstate that you are doing this only for yourself
Ok, now you make up your mind, let’s face a very important fact: no body is going to care about your goal and whether you stick in or not at all.During my past years, I would tell everyone around me every time I start a project. However, after that my brain automatically assumed I have accomplished it, lessening my patience and persistence. What’s more, the minute I tell someone, I care more about others’ approval than achieving my goal. It just prevents me making any progress.
Therefore, don’t shout out to the world about your great goal. Meaningless and Helpless. I didn’t tell anyone about my blog (only putting a link on my Instagram) so I only focus on the challenge itself and just keep writing.
You could spot countless grammar errors in my post though I try my best to go back and edit a few; you would not see a lot of “likes” of my posts though I try to make the layout prettier for more attention. The reason is very simple: I just don’t care. My challenge is to inspire myself and express my rich thoughts, not to write perfect essays or attract readers.
3. Start with something small and keep doing it
Stephen Guise, the blogger & author of Mini Habits started his mini habit one push-up per day and brought powerful results. He advised people to for themselves to do one positive habit every day. As he says “Smaller habits, bigger results,” the goal is to make a challenge a routine and becomes a part of your life.
Sometimes I take a vacation and have so much experience to write; sometimes I spend a boring school homework day and have barely nothing to remember. Sometimes I lie on my bed all day and have plenty of time to write; sometimes I am busy from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m and have no energy to reflect.
Don’t try to commit a large challenge shortly because when in future uncertainties and special circumstances occur, your obligations will make you very overwhelmed and force you to quit the goal. I just make a small promise to myself – write, no matter it has few sentences or pages long.
The bottom line is you persist in doing it today, every day. And here I am, the 80th day. As an ENFP who loves to start a project but always hates to finish, I am so proud of myself that I keep it through and turn writing/journaling into a habit and a routine.
4. Reflect your progress and make adjustments
Reflections and adjustments smooth your efforts of change. At the beginning, I would not go to bed at night until I finish writing the challenge. It became a big problem because some day I was very tired or had nothing at that moment to write.
Set some time aside to adjust your behaviors. Don’t be afraid of change. Now I will always bring a notepad with me. When there are thoughts during the day, I will write down some keywords so that I could wrap up at night later. It brings flexibility as I could adjust my writing schedule. There were some circumstances that I got up early at the next day to finish it.
What’s more, the more reflections you do, the more you understand yourself. The more I write, the more creative I reliaze I am – I thought I was analytic as I was good at Math during my adolescence). The more I write, the more emotion regulation I learn – I learn to express my emotion and spend time with it through organizing thoughts and putting words on to the screen.
5. Don’t forget to praise your achievement
You might always say those words: I never finish a project! I am lazy! I failed again! I lack self-control!
Hey, I get you. Any goal before it turns into a habit is challenging; any challenge after it becomes a routine will become boring.But what makes people keep it through is neither passion nor persistence but tolerance of boredom. I am the type who always seeks excitement and lacks self-discipline. Because I know my weaknesses, I learn to appreciate my sticking in the goal. When I finish one day’s writing, I will practice gratitude by saying You are so great! I love you. I know it is hard for you, and thank you for make it! Also, I will add some different to my challenge, such as writing a poetry today and taking a photo. It gives me change and variety and motivates me keeping writing. Besides, my challenge is Inspiration Challenge. I cannot tell you how much I gain from inspiring and appreciating me literally from what I write.
You have already made so many achievements. You deserve praises for another day! I could not be more proud of you.
Thank you for reading to the end.
A little heads up, I started the Inspire Challenge on October 11th, 2017 to record things I feel grateful, inspiring, thoughtful… anything worth recording.
Everyday Ido exactly same things: open Chrome, type “wordpress.com,” find the plus button at the right corner next to “writing” button, click my saved draft of the week, and start to write.