Daily Blog

For about 66 days I posted on one of my four blogs every single day. I started January 1, 2011.

I may keep up the daily habit or begin to post weekly.

Here’s how I did it:

1) Connected with a community of writers (Twitter, Facebook, 43Things, MediaBistro) 2) Gave myself permission to write only 100 words 3) Wrote early in the morning, late at night (and occasionally on my lunch hour) 4) Told myself ‘It will only take you 20 minutes’ 5) Showed my vulnerabilty 6) Showed my awesomeness.

For extra credit: 

1) Included photos 2) Told a story with a beginning, middle and end 3) Promoted books and philosophies I believe in 4) Piggybacked on other bloggers’ good ideas 5) Commented on others’ blog posts.

What I learned:

1) That writing improves your self esteem 2) That there is always something to write about 3) That I began to organize my life and thoughts around the four different blog areas — fitness, writing, spirituality and New York 4) That how-to posts and completely honest posts were the most popular 5) That my writing, especially the first couple of paragraphs, have to be simple and not witty (Humor comes later. Explaining the point of what I’m writing comes first.)

Getting In a Good Habit

I want healthy habits, but they take time.

I don’t want to write right now. I want to go off on a tangent. I want to tweet and comment on my friends’ status updates. I want to check CNN and learn more about the senseless shooting of Congresswoman Giffords in Arizona. 

That story reminds me of when I was on assignment in Tucson a few months ago and saw bullet holes in the flags flown by Humane Borders, an awesome group that provides water to migrants in the desert http://gettingmyessayspublished.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/humane-borders/ 

I dont’ know why anyone would shoot those symbols of water which could save lives. Vandals shot at Humane Border’s 100 lifegiving water tanks too. I don’t understand shooting at all. Violence begets violence. I hate gun violence.

I believe in peaceful solutions. I believe in the power of small steps to make the world better — small acts of kindness and small attempts at healthy behavior.

I don’t want to get sucked into watching TV and feeling angry and powerless tonite. My desire to develop healthy habits seems insignificant in the face of a national tragedy. 

To overcome stress and national trauma, it is necessary to perform small acts of self care. For me, that’s developing a habit of blogging or walking. I am comitted to these, even briefly.

Fifteen minutes a day is good enough. Between watching my son’s two basketball games this morning and watching the Columbia-Union College basketball game this afternoon, I went for a walk with Barbara in Central Park. We did not walk for long or far, but we walked and talked for about half an hour. It felt great.

How long does it take for a daily action to become a habit?  

One study says 15 minutes of vigorous activity a day reduces the risk of obesity. Another study says after 66 days of an activity you will acquire a healthy habit (and if you skip a few days, that’s okay).

So a week after my New Year’s goal setting, I am on my way to 2011 goal getting. Now that I’m done with this blog, I want to tweet, watch TV, check Facebook, but I think I will just go to sleep. I wanted to be in bed by 10 pm every night, but that goal’s not happening.