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Dear Friday,

You’re here! You’re really, really here! *gives gigantic hug*

I wasn’t standing around all week waiting for you to arrive, but I’m still excited that you finally made it. I’m loving our little chats and look forward to telling you about the week. You really are a great listener!

So a couple of things. First, consistency. Yep, I know we chatted this last week (at 11:57pm if I remember right), but I have more I want to process. This ends my THIRD week of posting on my blog every day. That is *huge* for me. Especially considering that the idea of posting every day used to make me cringe. (I mean, who has time to read all that stuff, right?) But I’ve been surprised at what consistency—daily blogging—has done for me.

Surprises of Consistency

1. I . Feel. AWESOME. Something about meeting these daily mini-goals that turn into week goals that morph into monthly goals (and so on) has really given a boost to my sense of accomplishment. Although stats can be important, I find that hits and numbers don’t matter to me right now. And although I love comments, the lack thereof isn’t affecting me like it used to. Perhaps when blogging is second nature I can pay more attention to all those things. But for now, I just love that I feel great and am reaching my goals—no excuses (see planning ahead).

2. It gets easier over time. Week one was great. Week two I did some major scrambling. And week three came and went with almost zero blogger worries. I thought I’d run out of things to say, ideas to share, or hope to give. But I haven’t. There are a bazillion resources & friends to share with Monday, an unending list of awesome for TED Tuesday, a terabyte of pictures for Wednesday, and so much hope & craft to share on Thursday. And, well, Friday… we’ll always be together won’t we! I think what’s made the difference is breaking the whole thing into manageable pieces that I can anticipate (see planning ahead).

3. My writing has improved. Yes, that surprised me. Though maybe it’s not necessarily my writing that’s improved but my ability to focus on my writing. After taking care of morning blog stuff (which I keep quick), I am ready to delve into my story. Everything is turned off… the blog, twitter, FB, my phone. I’m in the zone baby! I used to think blogging detracted from my writing (and the reason for my sporadic posts). But with some PLANNING, it’s become the way to zero in on what I need to accomplish. It gets the juices flowing so when my fingers hit the keys for my story, I have less crap and more awesome to work with. Wahoo for consistency!

Which, of course, brings me to point two: planning ahead.

For all intents and purposes I should have failed this week. Or at least had minor setbacks. With a crazy food fast on Monday followed by two outpatient procedures on Tuesday and recovery on Wednesday (spilling over into Thursday), my blogging should have fizzled and died.

But it didn’t. I’d discovered the awesome called planning ahead.

(Who knew? Okay… I just didn’t believe you.)

Sunday evening, as I sat at my computer combing through TED talks for my Tuesday post, I realized I could make a plan for the week. I knew I’d be out of commission, so I took the time when I had it to write my post about Liza, share a TED talk from JK Rowling, and find a picture that shared my feelings with the world. Blogger scheduler made that SO easy. It was awesome! The only thing left for me to do was log in each morning and tweet my post. FABULOUS for a week filled with life. So some thoughts…

Planning Ahead: How to Make It Work

1. Break the week into manageable pieces. For me that meant giving a theme to each day. I stuck with my purpose: to help others, pick up hope, and remember my roots. Each day reflects one or more of those three goals. When it comes time to blog, I’m not racking my brain trying to pick one thing out of the millions existing in the ether. Monday I know I’m looking to share something of worth… either a person, blog, book etc. Tuesday I know I’m sharing a TED talk I find inspiring. Wednesday I know I’m sharing a picture that reflects my mood for the week and so on. Narrowing the topic each day helps me to focus my energy and resources.

2. Think about the post *before* the day arrives. My blog posting used to be like this…

*wakes up*
“What we gonna do today, Brain?”
“The same thing we do every day, Debbie, try to take over the world!… I mean… post on something awesome… like spider monkeys.”

You can see why posting at the last minute didn’t really work for me. But if I give it one or two days to sit and percolate, something better than spider monkeys usually comes out (usually).

3. *Don’t* think about posting *months* in advance. Contradictory to number 2? Maybe. But I’m not a fan of scheduling my posts a million months in advance. The organizer/perfectionist in me wants to take my good thing (my manageable pieces and desire to think ahead) and make it into something insane like a color coded chart for the next 5 years of posting. No thank you! (Down, girl! Down! *cracks whip at the lion called Perfection*). Instead I want to embrace the flexibility of changing things up or talking about what’s happening in my life right now. If I try to push it more than a week, I start to shut down because I feel overwhelmed.

4. Take some time on the weekend to prepare. *gasp* Yes, I said “weekend.”  I know Friday, it’s supposed to be my “days off,” but I’ve discovered that in my days off I’m not focused on writing, tweeting, facebooking, blogging etc. Turns out it’s actually a really great time to sneak in a couple of hours writing blog posts because I don’t have all the distractions or demands on my time. In the same amount of time I would have spent Monday morning working on my post, I had three posts entered into blogger and scheduled for posting throughout the week! I wasn’t expecting that, but it’s true.

5. Keep it simple. Maybe this is just a rehash of the first few points, but it’s a reminder I need. The system needs to be simple. The more complex I make it, the more likely I am to fail. Manageable pieces should be manageable… 5. Not different themes for every day of the month. No worries about rotating books/people/blogs through my “worth mentioning” days. S-I-M-P-L-E. Same goes for scheduling, taking time on the weekends, and just about everything else in my life. I definitely need to simplify. (Hmm… perhaps a goal and another post for next week… *rubs chin*).

So Happy Friday, Friday! It’s been a wonderful week filled with success—as I define it ;). Hope you have a beautiful, fulfilling weekend!