Creating a good habit in the first place is easy to do, sticking to that good habit that you have created is the hardest part. Making habits stick is very difficult for most people. I am always looking to improve on a good habit that I have already added to my daily schedule and it is vitally important you make a good habit stick.
When I tried to write everyday, I achieved this most days but never really track the amount of words that I am typing everyday. I decided that not only do I need to write everyday (and read) but I also now need to set myself a target of writing at least 500 words every day.
Recently I read about this habit tracker app in a book and decided to sign up and install it to track not only my writing habit but also now to track the amount of words that I am writing, or in my case typing.
I also thought that it would be a good idea to track the amount of time it took for me to write this amount of words and it was approx 30 mins.
So I know now that I can easily fit this into a daily schedule, even if it means doing two 15 minute sittings, and that I should be able to not only keep up a good habit but also hit my daily and monthly goals with a great end result.
I have set a target of writing at least 500 words a day for 30 days to finish the end of January with at least 15,000 words to have enough content to finish my latest ebook.
When I decided to change my routine and incorporate a daily writing schedule I had already started writing my current book, the amount of words I had already written stood at a total of 4.281.
If I wanted to achieve even some moderate success as a writer on the Amazon Kindle Publishing platform I would need to create a daily writing ritual.
Things you do wrong while writing
I always tried to write as often as possible but I never really had a schedule of sorts, it just involved me hitting my keyboard as often as possible., sometimes hard if I was frustrated, and I would finish when my eyes and brain hurt, not the best way to do something that was supposed to be fun.
My eyes and brain really did hurt sometimes.
This so called “routine” would often leave me feeling frustrated during the week for not getting enough content put together and then annoyed on a weekend for missing days during the week and having to spend even more of my free time crammed over my computer at the weekends trying to fit in monster writing sessions of 4000 words plus just to make up for what I had missed during the week.
This was not the kind of writing lifestyle I was looking to build for myself. It was not a good routine.
To write is to relax
After one weekend of realising that I had interacted more with my computer than my family, (no, not that type of interaction) I decided that I needed to change my routine so it would be fun to write again and to ensure that I put less pressure on myself.
You do not always need to put pressure on yourself. I have no idea why, for some reason I just want everything to be done in an instant. I can’t seem to wait, I needed to learn to be more patient with my writing and therefore get back to enjoying it and taking the pressure of myself.
Just needed to relax…
So I decided to come up with a plan to introduce a daily writing habit into my life, it seemed like a daunting task when I thought about it more, it was a big commitment to ensure that I wrote every day, but if I wanted to change my life for the better then I need to implement a new schedule with a new habit.
I choose 500 words, basically this would pretty much equate to at least 1 book per month or thereabouts, if I could contribute that amount of words on a daily basis I should have added a healthy amount of work to my eBook catalogue by the end of the year.
The best way to sell your current eBook is write another eBook
500 words per day did seem daunting, I needed to work out a way to trick my mind that is was in fact an easy task, could I convince my brain of this? I am actually at one with myself…this is getting weird…they say that the first sign of madness is talking to yourself , how could I get myself that to believe that writing 500 words a day was not a difficult task?
I decide to time myself. This would be technique number one. The result was that it took me just 30 minutes to actually write 500 words. Not bad at all.
Just 30 minutes…why did I not try this before? What is wrong with me!
Use this app
This was now a perfect fit for me, being able to dedicate just 30 minutes a day to fulfil my writing habit seemed much more appealing now knowing the block of time that I needed to set aside was fairly small, I could even break up the 30 minute session into two separate 15 minutes if I was tight on time, perhaps one session in the morning and one in the evening.
Technique number two was to track my progress, after checking through apps available on the Google Play store I decided to use the Coach.me app , this way I could log in and declare my word count every day, this would give me another sense of commitment to completing my habit every day.
I now felt responsible for checking in every day after I had completed my writing session, seeing the green tick that the app gives you after checking in felt like closure to the habit for the day without applying any further pressure to myself, green tick equalled done for the day, forget it all now and start again tomorrow.
How this routine made my day …
The result of implementing that new writing habit into my daily routine?
I went from zero to 21.326 words in just 31 days!
On most days I easily exceed my minimum word count, it was no longer a chore to type, I was enjoying it again more and more, I even had to stop myself from typing some days, once I hit the 30 minute mark I forced myself to stop except on a few occasions where I was in the “groove”, yeah groovy baby!
I then let myself carry on long enough to finish off a particular page or chapter, once you are in full flow you should not deny yourself the privilege of typing away every now again, your work deserves it and your brain will thank you for unleashing the words down through your fingers and into your keyboard.
So what did I learn from creating my new habit and making it stick?
*Working out how long it will take you complete your habit task will make it much easier for you to start it and stick with it going forward in the future.
*Your habit needs it have an end goal, from walking every day to keeping fit to eating healthier to having a better diet to lose weight, you need to have an end goal to seek and pursue a sense of achievement.
*Setting aside a small amount of time everyday to perform your habit is much more productive long term instead of cramming in as much as possible over a few days, this stops the habit becoming a chore and lets you enjoy it.
*You need to fell accountable for your own actions, this is were an app like www.coach.me comes in really handy, by checking in everyday to register your progress you can easily keep your track of what you have done and for the number of days you have done it for, you then tend to feel responsible for your progress, you will want to check in every day and not let your self down.
As my results have now been proven to be successful, I will shift from writing towards an eBook everyday to incorporating some of my writing into a blog, perhaps once or twice a week, both will help me with building my author platform going forward which is my ultimate goal towards creating a better life for myself.
If I can make this writing habit stick what else can I do to keep improving? Anything seems possible.