The Final Post: A Postaday 2011 Conclusion

31 Dec

I don't get to cross an actual finish line, but I can stare at this and pretend.

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. 

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32 Responses to “The Final Post: A Postaday 2011 Conclusion”

  1. Jules December 31, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    I have a wide grin on face at the moment. I’m glad you’re progressing couch 2 5k very nicely. Keep it up!

    Like

  2. JWo December 31, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    I’ve been thinking about 2012 goals for The Life of JWo and I was getting scared at committing to posting twice a week, 104 times a year.

    So I am truly amazing and humbled by your commitment to posting 365 straight days.

    As your reward you should take some much needed time off to start 2012.

    But no TOO much because I’m not sure what we’ll all do without our daily dose of Jackie.

    Like

  3. Lori December 31, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    You did it! I’m so proud of you. So, incredibly proud. Great job!

    Like

  4. mctell2 December 31, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    Congratulations…..sincerely.

    Like

  5. mistressofpoetry December 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    Congrats on finishing! I hope I will be able to do as well at some of my goals as you have with this one. Have a happy and healthy 2012! I’ll still check back often to see what’s new in your life. Can’t go for very long without my dose of Jackie shenanigans! 😉

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Thank you so much – it felt great to have some regulars stop in and I know that I couldn’t have accomplished that goal without readers like you stopping in. Thank you so very much for reading.

      Like

  6. lsawyer713 January 1, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Congrats Jackie on all you have accomplished from your daily blog to your way to your 5k. Keep it up, I enjoyed reading each one of them! Happy 2012 to you. Laurie

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Hey, thanks Laurie. I hope that I can apply some of this crazy voodoo to other areas of my life. Of course, other areas of my life don’t have such a following and avid support group. Thank you for reading!

      Like

  7. Makya McBee January 1, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    Nicely done. I’m thinking of making a commitment to get out of bed each and every day in 2012. Baby steps…baby steps.

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:10 am #

      ahaha Makya, I love your posts. Keep on keepin’ on my friend.

      Like

  8. sanetes January 1, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    Congratulations, you did it! May 2012 be just as great for you as 2011 has obviously been.

    Oh, and running for 20 min straight is quite impressive too, I am confident your 5k project will be a success story too.

    Happy New Year!

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:09 am #

      So far I’m struggling with the 7 week completion, but I’ll get it eventually 🙂 Considering I couldn’t run for even a few minutes straight before and now I’m coming in at 25, that’s pretty cool. I hope that in a few weeks I can finally say 30. I really appreciate you sticking with the blog for so long. It means a lot to have some regulars 🙂

      Like

  9. teamzuhl January 1, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Congratulations, Jackie, and Happy New Year! Thanks for brightening up a corner of my life!

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:08 am #

      Thanks! Happy New Year to you as well and thank you so much for reading.

      Like

  10. jaredblakedicroce January 1, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Wow, just wow — what an achievement!
    It’s funny, WP is where i go when i need a break from other work, when I’m burned out, exhausted and question if I can go on, and your blog, your ever-present dedication to this 365 thing, has been a motivator on more than one occasion.
    Take it as you will, i just thought you should know :-).
    CONGRATULATIONS!
    Happy New… Happy Every Year!

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:07 am #

      Thank you so much, Jared. That’s really awesome to hear. It really was difficult for me but a big goal like that can really force you to grow a lot in a small period of time. It’s cool stuff!

      Like

  11. Wazeau January 1, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Congratulations and Happy New Year! Looking forward to 2012’s posts 🙂

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:07 am #

      Thank you so much – it means a lot to have the support and I was ready to give up on more than one occasion if it weren’t for reader support.

      Like

  12. Lynn Harris January 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Way to go young one! I’m happy for you. I will keep looking for my Jackie experience every week or so in 2012. Wow! I can’t believe it’s 2012 already. Congratulations!
    –just an old guy

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:06 am #

      Thanks a lot! Once a week isn’t really as satisfying. In fact, it’s a tad lonely. We’ll see how this goes but right now it’s feeling kind of hollow 🙂 But I’m certainly getting more sleep 😉 Thanks for reading!

      Like

  13. Kendall January 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Jackie I’m going to miss your blog so much! I always look forward to your posts. Once a week just won’t be the same. Congratulations on achieving your goal, though. It’s a huge accomplishment! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every post. Happy New Year 🙂

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:05 am #

      Kendall, you got your own blog! Grats! And thanks for reading – I’m so flattered 🙂

      Like

  14. Sleepless Knight January 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

    Well done, Jackie! I was certainly entertained by it. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us.

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:04 am #

      Thanks! I really did share a lot, didn’t I? When I meet people and they say they read my blog, I’m still taken aback and I immediately feel a bit naked knowing all the things they know about me that I don’t know about them. Thanks for sticking with me 🙂

      Like

  15. Michelle January 3, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    Congratulations, Jackie! You’ve accomplished so much in 2011. Have a great 2012; I look forward to reading your posts, when they do come. 🙂

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:04 am #

      Thanks a lot Michelle – I really appreciate you reading!

      Like

  16. Barb January 3, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    I am sooooo glad you did this post and I found it. I was wondering what it was like to post each day. I can’t imagine the demand to be creative. I’m impressed. But after your description, I don’t think I’ve the stamina for it. Congratulations on such a massive journey.

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:03 am #

      Hey, thanks a lot! It’s incredibly difficult to post every day, but after a while it really forces you to examine your process, to stop judging yourself too harshly, and to find material in unexpected places. It’s a great journey and I highly encourage it!

      Like

  17. lexy3587 January 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    congrats on your achievement – hopefully your couch to 5k is as successful 🙂

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:02 am #

      Thanks! And re: C25K it appears I’m struggling with week 7, but I’m determined to finally finish it and get to the end of week 9.

      Like

  18. pegoleg January 4, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Congratulations on setting a goal, doing the work and meeting the goal. I’m glad to have met you this year in blogland.

    Like

    • Jackie January 25, 2012 at 1:00 am #

      Thank you, and a big fat ditto to you!

      Like

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