Better habits build a better life and if you want the better life you will have to be consistent in better choices. It shouldn’t be complicated, and yet I seem to find masterful ways of making it complicated, convoluted, and just plain crazy.
I know to do better, but I choose what’s behind the other door – knowing full well it won’t be what I want because what I want requires that I do better.
You get the image of the wheel I tend to get on, right?
November challenges were the place I turned to break my cycle of wheel running.
I first learned about National Novel Writing Month when I was just launching my full-time writing career. The goal is to write 50,000 words on a new project in just one month (the ultimate goal being to complete a full novel).
Several years ago, I learned about #BlogLikeCrazy and I decided to give it a try.
This year, I found so many more challenges and I even made up a few to create the ultimate November Challenges Gauntlet.
- #NaNoWriMo – 50,000 words in one month
#NaNoRebel – 50,000 words in non-fiction in one month
#ScriptureaDay – One scripture post and challenge the Practical Proverbs Facebook page
#Drawin30Days – based on the book Draw in 30 Days
#MoveLikeCrazy – move for 30 minutes for 30 days
#NaPoPodMo – 30 podcasts in 30 days
#BlogLikeCrazy – 30 blog posts in 30 days
Yes, I know it’s too much. I knew it was too much the first time I tried to write it all down. The goal was to complete them all – but it was also to push me out of my comfortable uncomfortable to get me moving into my world of possibilities.
Top Lessons from the November Challenges Experience
- Accountability is essential – I did best on the days when I shared with others what I had accomplished. Hosting word wars or meeting up for regular writing sprints moved my word count forward.
- Writing down results helps create results – I did better when I recorded what I had done. The first day I forgot to write it down, I forgot to meet some of my daily goals. They slipped my mind and by the time I remembered it was the next day when I was writing down what I was doing.
- It doesn’t take as much time and energy to do it as it does to put it off – I once spent an entire evening doing nothing but surfing websites in an effort to put off my 30 minutes of movement If I had just got up and gotten it done then I would have had the whole evening and I wouldn’t have felt bad about putting off my goals.
- You get more done when you dare to do more – I didn’t finish even a third of my challenges, but I did get more done in each of the areas than I have gotten done in the last two quarters combined. That’s a win, no matter how you look at it.
Little bits add up – a word sprint here and there added up to a full day’s word needs. It allowed me to feel better about sitting in car line because I could use those ten minutes to pack on a few extra words for the day.
- You can do it . . . one day at a time! The first day I missed any of my challenges, I wanted to give up on them all. Instead, I got up the next day and I tackled all the challenges (even the one I had missed). Because I allowed each day to be new, I was able to stay focused on what I could do instead of getting tangled in what I didn’t do.
The only way to create your BIG DREAM goals is to dare to move out of where you are into where you want to be. The only way to move is to go – from here to there and from there to the moon (if that’s where you want to go). The only way to go is to make consistent choices for purposeful action.
Dare to be more than you imagined possible. Dare to launch into your possibilities. Dare to fly. Challenges are great for helping build better habits to push you into your purposeful possibilities.
A Special Thanks
Thanks to Javacia for putting together the #BlogLikeCrazy challenge and for never giving me a hard time about not finishing what I started. I didn’t say anything this year, but I was following your posts and comments and you inspired me. I finished November with 30 posts on the books. You are an inspiration!
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