As I wrote about in my last post, I faced a number of hurdles during my quest to start a blog. Over time, I began to wonder if I was ever going to accomplish the very thing I felt deeply compelled to do.
2012 was an eventful year for me and my family in which I lost my dad and became one. These events caused me to reflect on where I was in my life and where I was headed. After much prayer and thought, I realized that I never had made any progress on a long-time goal of mine — writing. Once I realized this, I actively worked towards accomplishing the goal by following these steps.
Identified the obstacles
There were obstacles to overcome in order to make this blog happen. After sitting down and thinking through all of the excuses I had come up with for not starting a blog, I wrote them down. Time management, procrastination, and lack of self-confidence were common themes with my ’excuses’. Writing them down may seem like a silly or obvious, but one that is important. Before you can even think about attacking your obstacles and how to overcome them, you must first have clear-cut definitions of what they are.
Set goals After identifying the obstacles, I worked on a plan to overcome them. As I began the process, I realized that all of the obstacles I had identified were effecting every aspect of my life. My lack of time management were always dogging me in my work, I drove my wife crazy when I procrastinated on projects around the house, and when saw work piling up on me, my motivation and energy levels would definitely take a hit.
To combat this, I did what many people do around the month of January. I created a list of goals for the year. In this list, I broke goals into different categories. These categories, inspired by a blog post from Jon Acuff, were physical, mental, professional, family, social, financial, and spiritual. Each category was given no more than 2 or 3 goals to start with. Every week, I review these goals and see where I am at on them. If there are areas that I feel behind on, I work on them and those I have have completed get crossed out with new goals added. Jon’s blog post gives a good run down on how to do this and provides great examples.
Kicked the habits!
One of the things that aided to much of my failure of progress was myself. I was getting in the way of my own dream! How in the world was I doing this!? By giving into that nasty habit that plagues our productivity — procrastination. This was a nagging habit I developed while college that I really struggled to shake since then.
It wasn’t until I began reading Michael Hyatt’s blog that I realized how my daily routine, work environment, and lack of following a to-do really effected my work efficiency. Combining his insights with my year-long goals already in hand, I am working hard to keep the procrastinating habit away.
We are too often our own worst enemy. This has certainly been the case with my desire to write. Often times, when I felt the urge to somehow tell my story, I would doubt my own abilities or story. Could I actually write well enough to capture readers’ attention? I have been through a lot, so what? But, doesn’t everyone have struggles in life? These were questions that often paralysized me in my pursuit to write.
But, then I realized that the fact that everyone does have a story and struggle with obstacles in life was a good thing. No, I never want to see someone go through hardship; but, what if my experience could help someone else pull through a trying time in their lives? Could I even use my blog as a platform to share other stories to help inspire an motivate? YES! This revelation motivated me to work past my inner barriers. These ideas would serve as the basis for the goals of my blog.
Finally, I realized that my most powerful approach to starting a blog was to forget. Forget all of the reasons why I have not and focus on why I will. Forget worrying about all of the details and launch!
As you can see, I have done just that. It may not have all the bells and wistles now. But, over time, I will improve and build upon what is currently have.
What is it in your life that you have always thought or dreamed about doing? What is stopping you and how do you plan on dealing with those obstacles?