A lot of people give up on things because they focus on goals.Their goal is:
Goals are lovely. Goals are sexy. Goals work brilliantly for some people, but for some of us goals are absolute bullshit.
I know this. Yet I still fall into the goal trap all the time. If I don’t lose twenty pounds and only 19.5, I feel like I’ve failed. If I only write 49,998 words, I feel like I’ve failed. And I’m not even going to talk about the bank thing.
That’s because goals are all or nothing. You get them or you don’t.
Habits though? Habits are an author's and a human's best friend. Habits are amazing and good ones? They create other good ones.
Charles Duhigg wrote,The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. And in it he talks about keystone habits and how if we understand habits, we can figure out how to kick ass, basically.
He wrote in an interview:
“Take, for instance, a bad habit I had of eating a cookie every afternoon. By learning how to analyze my habit, I figured out that the reason I walked to the cafeteria each day wasn't because I was craving a chocolate chip cookie. It was because I was craving socialization, the company of talking to my colleagues while munching. That was the habit's real reward. And the cue for my behavior - the trigger that caused me to automatically stand up and wander to the cafeteria, was a certain time of day.
“So, I reconstructed the habit: now, at about 3:30 each day, I absentmindedly stand up from my desk, look around for someone to talk with, and then gossip for about 10 minutes. I don't even think about it at this point. It's automatic. It's a habit. I haven't had a cookie in six months.”Duhigg
As a writer, people always ask me how I’m so productive. It’s because I usually write every day. That’s my habit. I was a much better drawer when I drew every day. I was a much healthier human when I exercised every day. And so on. Some habits have great rates of return (like lifting weights, walking) and some don’t (binging Tiger King). The key is to find the habits that help you toward your goals.
They call these habits, keystone habits, which LifeHack defines as:
Working toward those goals in smaller increments (thirty-day habit forming cycles) is also pretty key because it seems doable and according to most research those thirty-day stints help us get the habit ingrained into our psyches.Some Awesome Habits Cooking
Making your own food is way healthier and way more rewarding. Yes, it takes time, but if you can do it, do it. There are some great sites with 15-minute dinners. That’s less time than it takes to wait at McDonald’s lately.Exercise
I know! I know! No brainer, right? Start slow. Do something easy every day for that first month. Build from there.Reading
Seriously. Step away from the screen. Read something in long form. Build your brain.Writing
Making your thoughts make sense? Giving yourself some time with them? It’s pretty golden.Chilling with other people
Yep. We have to remember how to interact in real life. Form those bonds.Meditating or praying
Spiritual connections and purpose really help people. I swear.LINKS TO RANDOM THOUGHT SOURCES
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
AND we are transitioning to a new writer podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! You'll be able to check it out here starting in 2022!
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.
Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That's a lot!
Life doesn’t go the way we want to a lot of the time. Your kid gets a speeding ticket. You can lose your job, your mom, your friend. Life is improvisation and yeah – the whole seize the day thing is a cliché because it’s important. So to enjoy life you’ve got to be a good improviser. What does it take to be a good improviser? Be aware. Be awake. Don’t succumb to numbness. Be brave! Say yes to things! Be aware of other people. Not just focused on yourself. Say yes to things. Live your biggest damn life and take chances. Writing Tip – Say yes to experiences and to writing about them. When you look at the page, don’t see emptiness, see possibility. Dog Tip – Say yes to every new experience! And don’t just say yes, SAY YES!!! Live your life with exclamation marks and joy. Hey! There’s some bonus content over on my website with links to free things. FREE THINGS! Share this if you want!Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens ...
In our random thought (not transcribed here), we talk about Being a trophy wifeA woman finding an abandoned apartment behind her bathroom mirrorAnother couple finding a hidden basement in their rental home. So a lot of Medium articles and blogs focused on writing are all about: How to increase your audienceHow to make 60-trillion-dollars a year off your writing.How to be like James Patterson and make 90-trillion-dollars a year. But all of them seem to forget that writers are creators. Writers are people who make story and art (not just to make money), but also because they are compelled to create, to move, to incite, to inspire. Especially when so many of us are struggling to make ends meet, it’s easy to focus only on the money. But your life is worth more than that. Your brain is about more than that, too. You aren’t just about money. You are about creating. “The guardians of high culture will try to convince you that the arts belong only to a chosen few, but they are wrong…We are all the chosen few. We are all makers by design.” -Elizabeth Gilbert Every single one of us creates something. My dad built bird houses and engines. My mom embroidered like a beast. Neither of them would think of themselves as creators. Shaun’s dad painted Bob Ross things. His mom probably does something, too. We all have urges. Those urges aren’t just about food, sex, and survival. There are also urges to create. But so many of us are told, you aren’t artistic. You can’t draw. You’re a math person. We let those moments define us. And we think, “Ah, I’m the left-brained kid.” We think, “Ah, I ...
As we do this podcast, the United States is full of protests and pain, Covid-19 is still happening, people are being hurt, people are dying. So, it’s a lot to take in and a lot to process and worry about so for this podcast we’re going to focus on a simple writing tip. Ready? Story is made up of sentences. You want your sentences to be strong. Strong sentences stem from their beginnings. When the beginning sucks, the whole foundation can suck. It sounds like a metaphor for a government, doesn’t it? Anyways, in English, you want the strongest words on the left-hand side of the sentence. Strength comes from the beginning of the sentences and the rest of the words branch out from there. So what are the strongest words you want to put on the left side? Nouns and verbs. They are our friends, our battle weapons. Nouns and verbs ignite the fires of imagination. Here’s an example of a sentence that’s pretty long, but strong because it begins with solid words: Reporters collapsed after cops in riot gear shot rubber pellets directly at their cameraman and on-scene correspondent last night in Louisville, making them understand a little bit more the systemic violence and dehumanization that can happen when power is in the hands of few elements of society. White people weren’t used to that especially not reporters used to watching as others lose their rights, are crushed beneath knees and vehicle wheels and arrested without cause. Random nonpolitical ...