I’m really looking forward to the coming year. The past seven months, I’ve been able to work on my business part-time, but beginning in January, I’ll go full-time. I’m super excited, and just being honest, a little nervous too. I hope it’s nervous excitement I’m feeling. As I wrote in item seven of my Fifteen Things post, I continue to battle with stupid, little ingrained habits that have slowed my progress over the past few months. In 2023, my goal is to eliminate as many of these as possible, and replace them with more helpful, productive behaviors.
The one thing I need to stop
Of all the habits I need to break, I’d say the most important is spending time concerned with outcome-oriented performance measures that supposedly tell me how my business is doing. The worst for me has probably been my near obsession with tracking my website analytics. For a while there, I was checking my site data multiple times a day. It was ridiculous. Really. I was spending valuable time splitting hairs between the relative benefits of Google Analytics vs Monster Insights, as if either mattered. What I couldn’t see of course, is that in reality my numbers then, and now, are based on garbage. A spike here or there isn’t really indicative of anything other than, a spike here or there. It doesn’t point out a trend of any sort. My business is too new still. But I checked regularly, until I began to realize the all the checking was beginning to make me more anxious than anything. All that checking was distracting me from the point, which is to build durable, consistent habits that allow me to produce quality work. If I focus on this, my networking, and engaging with my clients, I’m confident my business will grow over time.
One thing I really need to start
So, what’s the one habit I really need to start building now then? Answering this one is harder than I anticipated because I want to do so many things that I know are or at least seem important. But I’m pretty certain that the most important thing I need to do now is to focus on building my creative muscle. To me this means making things. Being creative. Not making products for sale or building ideal processes or settings to facilitate production. None of that. No. What I need to do is build a habit of daily creative work. If I do this well, I’ll have more than enough to talk about in the blog, or show to others when they ask what I’ve been up to. By building a consistent habit of doing, I’ll refine my skills, learn new skills, give myself stories to tell or experiences to build upon, and discover what works for me (or doesn’t) among many other benefits. For me, this sort of consistent creative doing has been so disrupted over the years that, like training to ride a century, I simply need to spend time getting into (creative) shape. The easy thing about this habit is I know that I need to build it, the hard thing is actually doing so.
This one, I’ll keep
Lastly, amongst all the stopping and starting, I wanted to spend a minute thinking about one habit I just need to keep doing. And I think this one is to continue learning how to live my daily schedule. I mentioned my new schedule in a previous post. How much it means to me. The good thing is that I’m still structuring my day differently than I ever have. I’ve kept with it. The bad is that I continue to have lapses – I don’t always start when I’m supposed to or break as planned, etc. I’m really learning that this sort of change is a process.
A year ago, I was certain that I needed a change in direction. I retrospect, I wasn’t wrong about that. Leaving my job was the right decision for me for so many reasons. This year, I know that I need to get better at what I do. So, that means further change. My plan is above. Have you considered yours?
Keep pushing. Later.