Staying the course

It is crazy when we realize how much success depends on just showing up. And it seems to apply to most things in life. For instance, there is not much difference in training for a marathon and creating a successful blog. Both require a plan, but more importantly both require doing the work.

The funny thing for me, is I find it easier to train for a marathon or trail run then I do in writing a blog. This may be opposite then you, but I think we both can succeed by just following a few key principles.

###Just starting
There are days when I know you don’t want to get out of bed for that run. You are just so comfortable and there are a million reasons (excuses?) going through your head as to why you can do it later. Maybe on your lunch break or after dinner. But guess what? They never seem to work out do they?

But, you know what? Those days you do get yourself out there it seems to kick start you doesn’t it? It is a lot easier then it seems like it would be when you are lying in your comfy bed. And I will bet dollars to donuts that the rest of your day is just easier to handle as well.

The same can be said for writing a blog. I am always procrastinating. It never seems like a great time to start writing but those days that I do actually get started it is always easier then I remember.

So, what is the key? Just get started. Not every day is going to be epic, but if you stick with it you will have more good days then bad.

Something that seems impossible at the start can be achieved. – Arnold Schwarzenegger

###Having a plan
It is quite common for people to start something only to give it up within a few weeks. (Hello, New Year’s resolutions!) If you work out in a gym you are quite use to the amount of people that start working out in January only to disappear by the middle of March.

So, why do so many of us start something only to see it fall through? Well, life gets in the way. Usually we are fed up with the indulgences in January, after all the Christmas season can be full of goodies. This is enough to fuel any of us for a few weeks. But, to stay fully committed we have to be able to plan for those days that we are tired or sick.

That is why having a plan and making it into a habit is such a key to succeed. In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology , Phillippa Lally and her research team discovered it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.

66 days sounds suspiciously like around the time we notice a drop off in the New Year. So, most people are not staying around long enough to make sure that they have set a habit for themselves. That is why a plan is so key. You have to be smarter then this, and you have to be able to set yourself up for a win.

The easiest thing is to create yourself a 12 week plan. It can be something as simple as working out 3 times a week for half an hour. But to succeed, take it a step further and choose the days ahead of time. Say Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then set the time. Even better put it into a calendar. So, 7:30 AM every Monday,Wednesday and Friday. I would even recommend that you pick your exercises for that day.

I know when I started training for my first 50km run, it seemed unrealistic. I started and stopped a few times. I didn’t even really know how I was going to train for that far of a distance. The farthest I had ran until that point was 25km. But, I was committed and set time aside for my training. I eventually found a plan that worked for me, but the most important part was that I was willing to follow it.

###Keeping it realistic
Everything in it’s own time.

I know that I would love to have a huge reader base for this blog, but the reality is that I just have not earned it yet. I have to put in my time and write some good content that you folks want to read. And, even then I have to make sure that this site is ready for more traffic. A huge traffic spike right now would cripple my server and make the site unavailable to everyone.

You can use the same analogy in workouts. Although, running a marathon might be a goal for you. You have to put in the work to be able to do one. And I am sorry a few jogs around the block is not quality work. Just my site, if you go out and try to do too much you are simply going to blow yourself up and then you are no good to anyone.

###Conclusion

Well, there you have it. The key to achieving our goals, whether it is creating a great blog or running a marathon. The funny thing having success in one thing does not necessary mean you are going to have success in another. But, natural abilities aside ( I am under no illusions that I am a great writer) if we follow some key principles we CAN succeed.

So, please stick with it.

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