How do you hold yourself accountable?

1000 wordsNearly a year ago, I began the discipline of rising early to carve out time for writing. My mind is clearest in the morning, when it’s quiet and peaceful, with a cup of steaming coffee beside me, and maybe even a candle burning brightly beside my computer.

But I have discovered that carving out the time, and creating the results are not quite the same. It’s not enough to just schedule the time on my calendar. There needs to be a result attached to that in order for me to be the most productive.

Just telling myself that I needed to write that day’s post or start one for the next week was not enough of goal. On the days when it came easy and only took a little while, what do you think I ended up doing instead of writing more? You guessed it, whittling away the time reading Facebook or email or something else besides writing. Not good.

I kept telling myself that I was disciplined because after all, look what time I get up and sit there at the computer? Who was I kidding?

Recently, I read a post by a classmate of mine in the Blog Topics Master Class course (affiliate link) that I took last year. Grant Webster (click here for his article) writes about his decision at the first of the year to develop the discipline of writing 1,000 words day. As I was reading, I was thinking that it sounded like a lot of words, and how could that possibly be done, etc. But then he shares his results. Backlog of posts ready to go, increased blog traffic, less stress about writing. Maybe there’s something to this discipline after all.

I realize that this kind of specific goal doesn’t work for everyone. For some, having a word goal would stymie their creativity. But there is definitely value in having more defined goals than just allowing time for an activity.

Several days ago, I decided to try out this word goal. I told myself that I would aim for writing 500 words a day. That’s not such an overwhelming goal. And in just a little while, I had 500 words. Wow.

That’s when I made the commitment to myself that I, too, will aim for 1,000 words per day. Granted, I realize that not all will be worthy of being published.  Sometimes, just the journal-like ramblings jog loose some really good ideas.

In just a few days, this seems to be getting me back on the right track of writing and not frittering away my precious time in the mornings. I am gaining back some of my focus. And who knows what other benefits will result?

So what about you? Are there some disciplines that you have developed that need to be reviewed? Are there some areas where an extra layer of accountability would make you more productive?

6 thoughts on “How do you hold yourself accountable?

  1. I know how you feel. What fixed that for me was my Ten Minute Day thing. Every time I move away from that one simple thing, I lose focus. No matter what… do what works for you!

    • Thanks Stan. I saw your post on that and wondered if it might work for me. Seems like this might be my solution.

  2. This is a great post. I have consistently published posts each week but need to get better at writing daily or more often. It’s just hard to balance my writing with work and having a family.

    • Thanks Dan. It is hard to balance work, family and time to write or whatever is your passion. The hardest part is starting a daily habit of writing – but what I’ve found is that now that is my favorite part of the day, and my whole world is off kilter those few times I don’t get to write in the morning – even just for 15-20 minutes. Hope you can find a balance.

  3. I’m right there with you on that one. Everything goes to pot for me, if I don’t rise early.

    Grant’s posts on this topic have been inspirational and it’s been amazing to watch the results.

    Looking forward to hearing how you get on too 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kittie. Grant’s results have been amazing. Already I’m finding myself building more ideas and trying not to beat myself up if I don’t make my word limit. I have to remember it is a goal, not a requirement. I”ll keep you posted on progress.

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