In December of last year, I decided to commit to publishing a blog post once per month for all of 2019. Looking back through the archives for my blog, you can see that I published at least once per month all the way up until September, but no posts went out during that 30-day period. I failed.
My failure goes a bit deeper than just letting September go by without writing though. When I first wrote the blog post, the point of it was to make it a habit to blog more often, to share my ideas and discoveries with the internet, and have a sort of portfolio of my expertise. My hope was that by setting a measurable goal, I'd have milestones to work towards and improve my blogging skills through consistency. As time went on though, I got so caught up in the goal itself that I forgot the motivation behind it – to form new habits. What ended up happening most of the time was that I would realize it was the last week of the month and remember I hadn't written anything, then quickly sit down to pump something out that seemed somewhat decent. For August I even wrote the post ahead of time and scheduled it to go out on the first of the month. Rarely did I actually leave a finished post in my drafts for a few days to think about it or even revisit it for editing.
I'm no professional writer, nor do I aspire to be, but if I intend for this blog to be a representation of my knowledge and growth over time, then I think I owe it to myself to put in a decent effort to forming better habits and not just meeting arbitrary goals to say that I'm making progress. True progress is often more difficult to measure but is much more valuable. I think my biggest mistake was setting a goal that wasn't in line with my motivation. I have nothing to prove to anyone and no quotas to make for publications. I don't make ad revenue so number of views is irrelevant to me. I just want to blog more consistently.
With this in mind, I'm going to change my goal. I'll continue to attempt to publish at least once a month but more importantly, I want to sit down to write and/or edit posts for at least 30 minutes per week. I may increase this amount if I see that it's insufficient but for now I think that's a good place to start. Some weeks I have more time than others so I can always do more but I want to ensure that I'm setting a reasonable baseline to work up from. I imagine that by setting my goal to be time-based instead of end-result based, I’ll find myself blogging more often, and may even publish multiple times per month.
Another mistake I made with my original goal was not planning for it. I never set aside time specifically for it or set reminders or anything. In order to stay consistent with my new goal, I’m going to block out 30 minutes in my calendar each week, probably Saturday or Sunday in the morning when I know I usually won’t be busy, and have reminders for 10 minutes before so that I have time to fire up my computer, open my editor, and get to writing. By not only setting a measurable goal that tailors better to my intentions but also putting it into my schedule, I hope I’m able to accomplish it this time.