On the eve of the new year of 2011, I created a wordpress account with a resolution that I would write 50 blogs in 2011 which means almost a blog a week. I thought it would be a cakewalk and I would easily put 50 blogs in few months. I was wrong, my first blog took me the entire weekend. The same topic which was so easy to have a chat with friends was so difficult to put into words. My mind wandered around, thoughts and words were never coherent. When I finished the first blog I realized that it is not going to be easy, hence started putting up my thoughts whenever they occur in a sticky or draft it in wordpress blog. The thought of writing something had been lingering in my mind from the school days, so it was fairly easy for me to find the first few topics.
Every week the time taken for me to finish my blogs reduced and I found it fairly easy to finish the blogs without much distractions. I had chosen to write only in two categories – Developer related and workplace improvement related. After around 15 blogs, I started running out of topics which hinted me that I had to catch up on reading and technical experiments. It pushed me in a position to optimize my workday such a way that I can make time for reading and work on stuff not related to projects. The optimizations in turn forced me to have healthy eating habits and set into a routine which became habitual.
Old habits die hard and new habits are hard to sustain, at least when they good habits and the returns are not immediate and visible. I had second thoughts to discontinue my writing as I grew tired of the new cycle I got into. At this point I thought the best way to keep me going was to advertise out to the world that I am writing and expect me to write once in a week and publicized my blogs through twitter, facebook, linkedin, thoughtworks etc. This part worked wonders by introducing me to many new people from all over the world and people started pointing out to more reading material, provided feedback and sometimes critical feedback. The amount of exposure received provided an enjoyable tension to keep on writing. My writing improved to point that I was able to write the first draft in 30 minutes and it occupied less and less of my time every week.
You can’t change just one part of the system without affecting others.
My lifestyle has changed in the last year such that I read more than I have ever been doing, I spend quality time at home and office, I also had good amount of time to pursue my hobbies and keep myself fit. All these without a hint of burn out. I am very surprised how a seemingly simple resolution like 50 blogs in a year and doing whatever it takes to accomplish that, had a huge positive impact on my lifestyle.
Go ahead and make a resolution and stick to it to see the magic it does.