“It was a long and difficult 30 days… he'd never done anything like this before… he wasn't sure he'd complete the task when he had begun…”
And so begins the final post in my 30-Day Challenge to Write a Blog Post Every Day.
This was the perfect challenge for me to take on these past 30 days. As I said in my 30-Day Challenges post, they can be tough, but I believe 30-Day Challenges are the best way to make positive changes in your life. They say it only takes 30 days to form a habit, and this particular one was intended to develop a habit of daily writing along with some other benefits.
Why did I take on this Challenge?
- To become a better writer. There's no better way to become a writer than to write. As I mentioned in my Act As If – Overcoming a Lack of Experience post, the first step to becoming something or somebody new is to do as they do, and the best writers in the world write every day, so that's what I did!
- To get used to daily writing. Before I set the challenge for myself, I was a little lackadaisical in my writing. I would write a couple times a week for 30-60 minutes per day. This just wasn't enough to get all the content up on the site that I wanted to. It was tough at first, but after about day 10 it felt natural to sit and write for 30 minute chunks 3 or 4 times per day.
- To get great content up on the site. I have lots of ideas about poker study and things that I do that I think would help all my readers improve their games. The sooner I get this stuff up, the faster we can all improve our games. You've truly learned something when you can teach it to others. As I'm teaching all of you what I've learned, I'm solidifying that knowledge in my head and becoming a better poker player alongside you.
- To practice putting my opinions down on paper. I've always been one to keep my opinions to myself. I learned at an early age that “opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one and they all stink.” I think this somehow got ingrained into my unconscious competence so early that it's hard to get it out. I'm trying to put my opinion out there more, to let the real me shine through, and putting my own voice into my writing (not letting poker study writing seem too robotic or text book like and boring).
- To prove to myself that I have a lot to say about poker. One of my worries before starting this website would be that I'd run out of stuff to talk about. I'd never made an effort to blog/write about a specific topic, and I thought I might run out of things to say. But I had a list of topics to write about, and after 30 days, the list is even longer than it was at the start. It just goes to show that the more involved you get in something, the more your mind works and the more ideas you can come up with. I think I could write a post a day for a year and still have plenty to say. I'm not going to do that, but I could. 😉
What did I learn from this Challenge?
- To improve the chances of hitting a goal, keep it specific. Having just a goal of “Become a Better Writer” isn't good enough. But giving myself a concrete goal like this one forced me to do things that will naturally make me a better writer: actually writing, reading other articles and doing research.
- Writing can take a long time, and don't underestimate it before you write it. The How to Become a Poker Range Master post took me the longest at about 3.5 hours, and the Range Creation post took runner up at about 2.5 hours. The quickest posts were two that I wrote while I was on vacation, the Colossus post and the Challenge Me post.
- Making your goals public will push you to not dissappoint those around you. I told my friends and family of my goal, along with posting it on Facebook and tweeting about it. If I didn't accomplish the goal, I would've felt like a real schmo. The thought of not accomplishing what I publicly proclaimed I would do made me push to write daily and to give up on other things in order to make the time to write.
- Making small, manageable tasks makes it easier to attain goals. I started by writing in 1 hour chunks, but I quickly found that if I didn't have a full hour to write, I wouldn't even start writing. I changed this to 30 minute chunks of writing and that made it super simple. Who doesn't have 30 minutes a few times a day to do something? Plus, if I was on a roll and didn't have to stop, I'd just continue past the 30 minutes.
- I need to stop planning and overthinking and just get to doing. I found that I would often sit in front of the computer and just think about the piece I'm trying to write for up to 20 minutes before I wrote my first word. When that happens I try to tell myself, “Stop thinking, just start writing.” It's tough, but I need to keep working on it. It's easy to see something as a big daunting task and play around in your mind with ways to tackle it. Sure, it's good to make a plan, but don't let planning keep you from doing.
- I need to eat my frogs first. This is an expression that means you need to do the most difficult, disliked tasks first everyday. This increases your productivity greatly, as things that you don't want to do aren't on your mind, ruining your mood or causing you to procrastinate by doing non-important, easier, funner things first. Eat those frogs for maximum efficiency and productivity.
I also just finished day 10 in another 30-Day Challenge: to study 1 hour of poker everyday. I'm doing really good at that one, and it's forcing me to cover topics that I've been meaning to for a long time, along with watching training videos that have been sitting on my hard drive for far too long.
If you're going to start a 30-Day Challenge of your own, please let me know what it will be in the comments below. Also, download the 30-Day Challenge Tracker and tweet this and your own challenge to your friends. Let them hold you accountable. Tweet
This is it… the final post in my 30-Day Challenge to write a blog post every day is now COMPLETE!
And thus ends the 30-Day Challenge.
Make your next session the best one yet!
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