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Better Every Day: Success Habits Revisited

IMG_20150615_071258I had high hopes for the summer of 2016, as I do most summers where work quiets down and creative time explodes. This summer was going to be different though. I was going to finish writing book #2…finally. I was motivated by weekly meetings with my friend Nancy. She too is writing, and we meet each Wednesday morning to share progress, and more often than not, help each other past the inevitable hurdles.

This summer was supposed to be different. The book was supposed to flow out of me. I had learned from the previous summer where I had taken on too many other things, so this summer I had kept my schedule manageable, or so I thought. I was clear on my topic…and then I wasn’t. I had my weekly accountability meetings with Nancy only there were no consequences to not doing the work. Besides guilt, and it seems that I can live with higher levels of it than I was aware.

Progress has been slow. And once again I’m reminded of the one constant around this whole process: Writing is f#%&ing hard. And it’s funny how often that surprises me. I’m full of ideas that I want to share. As I think about them I get energized and inspired and really do expect it all to flow out of me in a wonderfully easy manner, because that’s how the ideas float around in my head. Tragically though, the transition from grey matter to written word is a bumpy one.

So here I am on September 1st. I’d half expected the book would be largely done by now and it’s not. Sure I’ve got ideas down on paper, partially written chapters, more than one version of an outline, and that all matters, but there’s been something missing for me that I was half ignoring through the lazy, hazy (rainy) days of summer. So when Nancy and I met yesterday I acknowledged our slow progress…again. And the date on the calendar gave us each a bit of an ass kicking. Enough of the excuses. What’s really going on here?

I’ll go back to a bold statement I wrote two paragraphs ago. Writing is f#%&ing hard. Creativity requires discipline. Change – doing anything differently – is challenging.

So I decided to take my own advice. I’ve got two books in my head (yup two… as if I didn’t have enough hurdles with just one) and one of them is about the success habits of high-performing people; what high-performers do differently and consistently, to rise to higher levels of success. I’ve interviewed high-performers, read at length about the habits of successful people the world over, educated myself about how we make and break habits, and have come up with a compelling lists of habits that if we did them on a daily or pretty regular basis we’d get better in multiple aspects of work and life. It’s great stuff. The only thing missing from my process has been the dig-in-deep personal research element. I’m not walking my own talk. I’m not embracing all of these habits in my own daily routine.

Call me a hypocrite if you like, but the truth is, I do a lot of what I’m writing about. In fact I’d say I do all of my habits inconsistently and that’s the problem. A habit is defined as something you do often in a regular and repeated way. Without consistency habits aren’t habits.

Tweet: @4worklifeenergy: A habit is defined as something you do often in a regular & repeated way. Without consistency habits aren't habits.A habit is defined as something you do often in a regular and repeated way. Without consistency habits aren’t habits.

So, with that awareness and the writing of this post I’m declaring that my personal research has begun. I’m taking my own advice and delving in to each of the habits I’ll be sharing with you in book #1 which I’ve tentatively titled:

The Energy Habits of High-Performing People – by Michelle Cederberg

It’s about the habits we embrace every day that make us better in work and life. Better every day. Think about how that phrase impacts you personally. In what aspects of your work and life do you want to improve, and what would happen if you took small daily steps toward those goals every day? How long do you think it would take until you started to notice real change? Better every day.

One of my success habits is to get up early and get a good start on the day. You’ll hear more about it in coming posts but in the meantime I’m doing some research. September 1st for me, marks day one of a two-week EARLY RISER experiment. From now until September 15th I’ll be up before dawn – no matter what – to write for an hour or more before I do anything else, with the hope of creating some consistency (read: habit) around this f#%&ing hard writing process. I expect that by the 15th that I’ll have learned a few things about this particular habit, and my hope is I’ll just keep going with a.m. writing. And then I’ll introduce another of my success habits into the mix. Stay tuned to see what’s next.

I wrote about it in my first book, Energy Now! Small Steps to an Energetic Life … small steps. You can get better every day through small consistent steps – with work projects, exercise, money management, healthy eating, creative endeavours…anything that matters to you in your work and life! What might that look like for you, and how can you initiate your own Better Every Day Experiment?

Better every day. Let’s see where this experiment takes us.

Email me your thoughts about this blog, or share your own ‘better every day’ plans with me. I’d love to hear from you!

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