Once on my list, the question became how to create a challenge I COULD succeed at. I had previously joined someone else's writing challenge and found myself losing interest. Then I starting posting a 30 days of Gratitude calendar and sharing each day. I lost interest in that one as well. WHY? Because the daily prompts often didn't inspire me.
My answer to this dilemma was to let my interests guide what I wrote. Sometimes an email offers an idea. Sometimes I just sit down at the computer and out of the blue, and idea bubbles up. No matter how the idea comes to me, it's one I want that holds personal interest for me, and that pushes me to sit down and write.
The second thing I realized was that I'm not someone who enjoys an inflexible schedule. I have in the past committed to writing an article every day for 6 weeks. It was a desperate measure during a really low time in my life so worked for me in that moment, but that's not my normal flow. I like change. I like variety as you can see from all the differents topics included in my blog. So for me, creating a 30 day writing challenge also embraced that those days didn't have to be sequential - one right after the other. They could be scattered across the span of my 2020 Year of Marilyn Bucket List Challenge.
If I feel inspired to write several articles in a week, or even one every day for several days, I go with the flow. If I only write one a week, that's okay too. I let inspiration guide when I write. The funny thing I've found is that if I go several days without writing now, I get twitchy and want to write. There is no pressure.This approach has turned it into a pleasure. It's now April 14th and I'm on article #19. I will easily finish by the end of the year and make no apology that these articles are spread out.
It's important to understand these tips won't work for certain challenges. For example, if you have a sports or gym related goal, working out just when you feel like it isn't wise. There is a safety factor to how and when you work out to consider. This article is talking about embracing things you'd like to do on a regular basis that can be flexible in how often you do them.
Some challenge ideas that would work include - cracking open that pile of cookbooks you've had laying around forever to actually make some new recipes, trying your hand at drawing, practicing calligraphy, walking, writing, sewing, knitting/crocheting, committing to a family event like a movie night, having regular coffee dates with friends, entertaining at home, taking up that instrument you used to play and starting over again, etc. The sky's the limit!
Here's a few tips -
- Pick a challenge that isn't doesn't feel like a SHOULD. Instead choose one that feels like a DESIRE. What do you really WANT to embrace that will make your heart sing when you reach the finish line?
- Make sure each day's challenge you include is something that actually interests you.
- Pick a length of time for you challenge that you CAN achieve. Don't overreach. You can always extend the time. As I am giving myself a full year to finish, 30 days is a reachable goal.
- Don't worry about participating on sequential days. If it takes you 3 months to do a 7 day challenge so be it. All you're trying to do is simply finish. How freeing is that?
If you decide to create your own challenge, I would love to hear what it is and how it went. Share with me in the comments section. You CAN do this! You CAN succeed!