How To Restart a Habit

by Robert Rizzo | Twitter, Facebook,

Writing is hard. Even though I love to write, it takes time and time is precious. But the benefits of writing outweigh the cost for me. Writing keeps me focused. It clears my mind and organizes my thoughts. It’s also one way I share. I like to give things to people and writing is one of the things I enjoy giving.

But for the last several weeks, I’ve had a hard time writing anything. I’ve sat down at my computer several times. I’ve even started several posts but they’re still in draft form and haven’t been published.

One reason is lack of time. I’m devoting a lot of time to remodeling our house these days so we can list it and sell it. Our hearts yearn to be in Texas near family and friends.

Cincinnati has been a great place for us, and we love our home, but it’s time to go West, back to familiar faces and places.

But time is not the only reason I’m failing at writing.

Writing consistently is like any habit that needs to be formed. The key to success is to start small daily and do something, anything. For instance, if I want to ensure I exercise, I make sure I do something every day, without exception. Then some days I do more if I have time and the desire. So I average 25-30 minutes per day.

But I haven’t disciplined myself the same way with my writing. I set high expectations of lengthy, well-researched posts which almost certainly doomed me to failure. Much like when I started all those rigorous exercise programs that rarely delivered the results I expected and often resulted in injury because I pushed myself too hard and too fast.

I need to constantly remind myself life is a marathon, not a sprint. And I need to pace myself, set realistic expectations, and enjoy the journey.

Thankfully, my wife is a good sport.

When I’m frustrated, she’s usually encouraging. That’s the sign of a great friend and companion. They lift you up when you feel down-trodden.

So the purpose of this post is three-fold.

First, to remind myself that all great things start with small steps.

Second, to say thank you to all of you who read this blog and have encouraged me in this journey.

Finally, to encourage you not to give up if you are struggling to succeed at something. All great things are accomplished on step at a time.

My wife recently reminded me of a graphic someone shared with us. It’s from a book by stand-up comic Demetri Martin titled This Is A Book.

(see below)

Image: What People Think Success Looks Like

I’m starting an experiment to write shorter and more frequently. And also to write first thing in the morning. It’s my best time.

Is there a good habit that you’re struggling to form? I would love to hear how you are working through it.


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Robert is the founder of | Mediocrity-Free Living. He is passionate about helping people discover the rewards of daily giving.

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