Five years ago today my life dramatically changed.
On a whim, I made a Facebook post publicly committing myself to a 30 day challenge in which I would give myself permission to dream…vividly. The seeds of everything I’ve accomplished since then and all that I’m currently pursuing and planning for the future are in my blog posts at www.30DreamDays.com
Since finishing my masters degree a few weeks ago I considered committing to a daily blog practice again so I can chunk out the pieces of what will eventually become a youth entrepreneurship program and other entrepreneurial ventures that lay ahead.
It makes sense to start this next blog series today….on the 5 year anniversary of my original blog. Here are a few reasons why I need to do this now, in no particular order.
Blogging is an accountability tool for me.
When you are committed to forward progress, its advisable to recruit an encouragement and accountability partner. This can be a spouse, partner, parent, child, classmate, friend or even the public. This partner will be someone you can turn to when you need a pep talk, but it must also be someone who will ask how your plan is going. If you can’t find one person for both roles, get at least one for each role.
Here are some examples of accountability tactics I’ve used in the past:
- When I was publisher of a parent-targeted magazine and wanted to lose weight, I wrote about my progress in a monthly column.
- When my husband and I fixed our marriage problems after a small group study called Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage (LYW), we decided to start being facilitators for Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage weekend seminars. It made our marriage stronger while it was still on the mend and we were forced to practice what we preached.
- When I wanted to get my finances in order and out of debt, I started and taught a Financial Peace University class at my church. Again, we had to practice what we preached.
- When I wanted to reinvent myself, I started a 30 Dream Days challenge blog to vividly visualize a different future path each day. This blog kept me accountable on the journey of becoming ME.
As you can see, I favor public accountability because I learned from the weight-loss magazine column that it worked for me. I didn’t want to put a friend or my husband on the hook to have to tell me to get in line. The more people that knew of my commitment, the more that asked me about my progress and the more that I was able to stay committed. This has been a key to my success and so it makes sense for me to continue to use this tool.
Blogging is an outlining tool for me.
As “A Damn Highly Divergent” and non-linear thinker I struggle with activities like outlines. I know I can create an exciting and empowering youth entrepreneurship program. I’ve already written extensively about the philosophical underpinnings of this program. What I have not done yet, is try to write the content of the program. Many people would start with outlining topics they want to cover and then start writing lessons and/or creating experiences. This approach doesn’t work for me. All of my thoughts fire at once and I start to spin in an ideational swirl…it’s exciting and exhausting all at once. By writing whatever seems most interesting and applicable to me each day and immediately publishing it, I can get immediate feedback. I can see what is resonating with my readers and what kind of engagement and interaction it prompts. I can see what raises more questions in my readers and in myself. While typical outlines are not easy for me, I’m a whiz at indexing and pattern recognition. I have no doubt that clarity about my youth entrepreneurship program will emerge through this process.
Blogging is a form of content curation for me.
In each blog post I link to content that inspires my thinking on that topic. As I develop my program, these resources will either become part of my program or may become part of my overall suggestions. For example, I believe anyone looking to start an entrepreneurial journey at any point in their future should immediately subscribe to Seth Godin’s blog and podcast. A daily dose of Seth is what first set my thinking free and I continue to turn to him when I need to get unstuck and refocused.
Blogging is a way to improve my writing.
In order to get better at writing, I have to write…a lot. I will inevitably write good stuff, crappy stuff and hopefully even some great stuff. I will take risks. Some will work. Some won’t. I will learn from my success and failures and I will keep iterating.
Blogging is a way to tap into my intuition.
When I commit to writing daily, I am constantly scanning the world for things worth writing about. This includes my inner world and the external world around me. The 11:59pm deadline day after day forces me to choose something and then elaborate on it. Choosing topics is a very intuitive process for me. I may jot down a bunch of ideas in one day but as soon as “the one” comes to mind I know it immediately. Sometimes those other ideas are just meant for a later date, or they aren’t meant for the blog at all. I can’t really describe it better than that but I do know that bypassing my logical thinking process is a really important part of my creative process.
Blogging helps improve my storytelling.
I’ve been a bit obsessed with storytelling the last two years. It started with my master’s project and most recently I explored it further as part of an independent study course this summer. I see this as another opportunity in which to explore this medium further.
Blogging is part of my destiny.
I’m sure there might be other reasons that aren’t coming to mind right now. I know that I like blogging and that it is part of, and pointing me towards, my destiny. I’m glad to be back at it.
If you decide to join me on this ride by reading along, please post questions, comments and suggestions about the topic of the day or the youth entrepreneurship program as a whole. I really value any and all feedback and will do my best to reply.