Go Team 2023! Do It Your Way

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I’m going to borrow from my writing coaching practice again today.

When people want to get started/get back into writing they often look for ways to do it ‘right’ – the right time of day, the right way, the right number of words.

And while I tend to fall into that trap a lot of the time myself (Thanks, ADHD brain. Sigh.) I have also found this quote that helps me escape that trap.

The only way to write is well and how you do it is your own damn business.

A.J. Liebling

I know that the idea of writing ‘well’ adds its own kind of pressure so I remind myself (and my students) that the ‘well’ part comes in later drafts. Before we can get to the part where our writing is good, we have to do the part where we write something, anything, at all.

The same is true for any fitness or well-being habits that you want to develop.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to do it perfectly, of trying to find the perfect plan, of beating ourselves out (and up) in the name of doing things ‘right.’

But if you are trying to get into the habit of exercising or meditating or journaling or stretching, you don’t have to follow a precise method. You can choose to do things that you like and that you feel like you will be able and willing to do regularly.

Sure, you can look for information and advice to help you make decisions about what to do but, just like with writing, the way you do it is your own damn business.

You can have a very specific plan with specific milestones or you can have a variety of activities that you cycle through according to your inclinations on a specific day. Or you can do some sort of combination of the two.

You can do what works for you because no matter which you choose…

If you repeatedly move the muscles you want to strengthen, body is going to respond.

If you repeatedly do a meditation practice, your brain will respond.

I mean, obviously, you will get different results from different approaches and different types of efforts.

And, you’ll want to be sure that you match your expectations to your efforts.

Someone who does yoga for 30 mins every day is probably going to be bendier than someone who does yoga for 10 mins each weekend. That doesn’t mean it is wrong or pointless to do 10 mins of yoga on the weekend, it means that you have to adjust your expectations of how bendy you will get as a result.

(In a writing context, matching your expectations to your efforts looks like recognizing that daily writing gets you to a word count faster than once-a-week writing. However, you may only have 5 minutes a week to spare so why not spend it writing? Moving slowly is still moving. 💚)

But, once you have made sure your expectations match your efforts, you are free to do what you want to do. (You can do what you want to do even if you haven’t matched things up but you may end up being hard on yourself about the results and I want you to be kind to yourself as much as possible.)

If you want to build a base level of fitness, a foundational habit of meditation, a solid practice of self-care, doing it your own way is a great way to get started and build momentum.

You don’t have to do it perfectly, you don’t have to follow anyone’s plan, again, how you do it is your own damn business.

So, Team, while you are working in the way you want to work, please be kind to yourself, do what you can with the time and resources you have, and celebrate every single success.

Here are your stars for today’s efforts:

A small painting of three gold stars against a purple background with black lines through it.
Image description: a small painting of three gold stars against a purple background with thin black lines through it. I painted the edges of the painting brown with black wavy lines so it looks a bit like a wooden frame.

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