This is my 365th post in a row and the final in my postaday2011 challenge.
When I started a 365 project, I started writing this blog because I didn’t know what else to do. I had a blog back in 2004 that I infrequently updated for a few years and thought I could take it out and dust it off to see what came of it. I wanted to know how it would feel to dedicate myself to a journaled, daily experience every day for an entire year.
The answer is that it’s pretty mind-blowing. At the risk of sounding life a Lifetime television special, I’d certainly say I learned a lot about myself and my process for achieving something that doesn’t have room for small failures. You either post every day, or you don’t. There’s no room for anything in between: no ideas to write about, people to see, things to do, sleep to catch up on, a project due… the list of obstacles go on but they’re simply that – obstacles. In the end, it’s as easy as answering the question of whether you did what you set out to do or not.
This is a powerful concept for me. I suppose that’s silly since our lives are littered with tiny advertising mantras (e.g. No Excuses, Just Do It). But repeating a few small words to yourself and actually carrying them out are drastically different things. I learn by doing, and so now I have truly learned.
I know this is powerful because for the past 5 weeks, I have been carrying out the Couch to 5K running program. Five weeks ago I decided that I would apply the same concept to running as I applied to my blog. As a natural-born couch potato, I couldn’t imagine me following through on my most hated activity: running. But this morning I ran for 20 minutes straight and graduated to the 6th week of the 9-week program. It’s incredibly close to being a success story.
The idea that I can look back on 2011 and know that I have documented every day, accomplished the goal of breaking out of my shell and trying new things with my Lollipop Tuesday series, and have become a better writer by forcing myself to write and post it on a public forum every single day of the year is awesome. I have never completed a New Year’s Resolution before and it feels incredible to have documented proof of achieving my goal this year.
I would encourage everyone to attempt a 365 Project for 2012. You can do anything, but make it daily and document it somehow. Take a picture, draw something, cook something, write something, go somewhere, create something, exercise, try a new food – no goal is too big or too small. No matter what you choose, you’ll be better at it and be so much more knowledgeable after 365 days of practice and next year at this time you can look back and know that you bettered yourself as a person and grew in whichever area you chose. You can assure that you don’t sleep through another year with the same old drudgery. You can point to something very concrete and say you did it. You learned, you grew, you conquered.
So what will you make 2012 about? I made 2011 about being a better writer and being more openminded. It was difficult. There were days I didn’t want to post, days I had a thousand things to do, days I was embarrassed of what I had to offer but had no other choice to offer it, and days that I hated myself for doing something so public and grandiose. This isn’t about a New Year’s Resolution. This is about a 365 Project. It’s about discipline and dedication. It’s about putting your year to good use and remembering to take time for a passion.
Thank you all so very much for joining me on my journey. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of support I had along the way from people I’ve never even met. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read, especially on the days that were less than inspired.
Who knows? I might miss posting tomorrow and not be able to resist the urge. Or I might stick to my guns and reduce my posts to once a week. At any rate, it’s been one heck of a ride and I’m so grateful that you took it with me.
Thank you all and Happy New Year. May we all put it to most excellent use. ♣