The Burn to Succeed During the First Test

Photo Credit: Oscar Rethwil (Creative Commons)
Photo Credit: Oscar Rethwill (Creative Commons). Image of people running a race.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Was it saving money, losing weight, reading more or starting a business?

This post isn’t a “How To” or an “Action Step” article. It doesn’t promise answers to your big questions. It’s just a real look into my first test after setting a goal to better my life.

I committed myself to get up an hour early to write every day. 500 words, every day.

This is week 4. It has felt GREAT to make headway, to set a goal and accomplish it.

Until I got tested.

Teething was my first test

My 7-month-old was up at least once every night last week. Pretty normal. Then, for two nights in a row, he was up three times. That’s a little tougher.

Still, I made it to my computer and wrote.

Ear infection was my second test 

The following night, my 2-year-old woke at 12:30 AM with an ear infection. She was screaming and miserable. Over the next four hours, my husband and I took turns helping her as much as we could – until she fell back asleep.

Then, the baby woke up for another feeding at 6:00 AM.

Suffice it to say, I didn’t write that morning.

I could not move my limbs. Only my brain was awake, trapped in my exhausted physical state.  

Here are the thoughts my brain was telling me during my “writing hour”:

  • “Why did you even set goals when you have young children?”
  • “You’re just supposed to take care of them; no one expects more than that.”
  • “That goal you set is for more disciplined people.”  (Here my brain starts listing all the people who are more disciplined than me)
  • “You’re bound to fail.”
  • “Stop now before you embarrass yourself.”

What is that goal you’ve set for yourself? What are the voices in your head telling you? I bet it’s really nice stuff that encourages you.

Or not.

Here’s an awesome idea I picked up from Jon Acuff in his book “Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters”:  

Write down what the voices are saying. Seeing it in print, outside of your own mind, drains its power over you.

Thankfully, our children are improving – and I’m taking naps. I’m not mad at them; on the contrary, I’m rejoicing with them as they daily regain their health. Our son has his first tooth! Talk about accomplishing something.

Also, I’m letting go of my “perfect streak” and diving back into writing.

What’s your next move?

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