I had two big epiphanies last month. One of them led me to write a post called Make Habits Your Goal.
It turned out to be one of the most important things I’ve ever written.
It changed the way I thought about the Monthly Experiments Project, and the response from people who have read it has been amazing.
At the end of the post, I made a suggestion:
If there is a circumstance in your life that you want to change, instead of setting a goal, try creating a habit. Do it as an experiment.
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In November, I’m going to take my own advice.
Why I Need To Do This
Part of the greater vision for the Monthly Experiments Project is to use my experiments to build the habits and skills that I’ll need to accomplish my long-term goals.
One of those long-term goals is to turn the Monthly Experiments Project into something that helps a large number of people. I believe that if I write enough helpful content here, I have a shot at doing just that.
The problem is: Even though I love writing for this project, I haven’t been writing here often enough; and I can’t be helpful if I don’t write regularly.
To create a helpful blog, I need to improve my writing habits. Both in terms of quality and quantity.
In fact, I’ve taken on several monthly experiments this year that I haven’t even mentioned on this blog. I kept detailed notes for those experiments, but I haven’t actually clicked publish on an experiment related post in months. Ouch.
There are plenty of excuses swirling around in my head, usually related to “being so busy.” Frankly, those excuses are getting old. It’s frustrating for me to think about all the stuff I’m not writing for this site. So, this month, I’m going to change all of that with an experiment.
I love simple experiments, so this experiment only has one rule.
- Write every day.
That’s it. That’s the habit I want to create, so that’s what I’m going to do. Pretty simple, right?
More specifically, I’m going to write for an hour a day, every day.
I’ll be experimenting with writing at different times of day and different places to see what works best. Friend of the blog, Corbett Barr did an experiment very similar to this back in 2011. I really enjoyed reading his posts back then, and have to thank him for inspiring this experiment.
I’m Not Doing This Alone
Part of the reason I do these experiments in an open setting is so that you can follow along with me. I’m so excited to have commitments from several awesome people who are going to be joining me for this experiment.
One of these people is my friend Bradley Charbonneau from Pass The Sour Cream.
Bradley’s take on this experiment is fascinating because, unlike me, he’s already a fantastic writer. He’s also taking the challenge further than I am because he’s promising to actually publish(!) something every day this month. Badass.
He’s written an excellent post to keep track of his experiment progress here: Bradley’s Write Every Day Experiment.
I really encourage you to read his post. He’s given me permission to quote some of it here:
I suffer from the typical writer’s block. I see a blank screen and want to run. I think of editing some old work and cringe. I’ve been wanting to write on a regular basis for, oh, a decade. Not ten days, not ten months, but ten years. When oh when will that day come where I learn to write on a regular basis?
John Muldoon’s Monthly Experiments has me thinking that I discovered (or he did) something of a secret: if I can manage to do something for a month, maybe it can become a habit. The nice part about the “monthly” is that is makes it bite size, I can handle it, it doesn’t scare me, I can achieve it. If it’s a big disaster, oh well, it was only a month. Also, as John points out, hey, it was just an experiment, so I don’t have to talk about failure, I can just talk about what happened.
So here we go, it’s November 1, 2012. I’m hoping, I’m even smiling to myself (no, really) that I’ll look back on this day with pride and say that was the day that it all began. Whew, exhilarating.
Copyblogger is also doing an Ebook-in-30-days challenge, if you want to write an ebook.
If writing is something that is important to achieving your goals, I encourage you to join us!
Leave a note in the comments about your writing challenge. I want to see what we can do together. I have a feeling this one is going to be a lot of fun.