Nope. Not talking baseball. Although I do love baseball. However . . . Ever since that time my boy Max was catching and I was up, batting lefty, and caught him in the head on my backswing . . . well, suffice to say, I'm benched.
But I have been doing something in secret that now, on this 300th day, I'm Celebrating! Cue the Band!
For 300 consecutive days, midst two moves, construction, vacation, births and birthdays etc. etc. I have completed a poetry prompt ala Bernard Friot's The Aspiring Poet's Journal.
No, I am not going to share any of my poems here, now. (You're safe...for now!}
No, I did not do it alone!
Nor would I ever imagined getting to day 300. And that's what why I'm telling you about it.
Is there something you've been meaning to try, but haven't?
Perhaps a personal goal? Maybe a resolution? Do you keep saying to yourself, as I have/do/probably will again: "I'll start next week" . . . "After the holiday, really" . . . "Tomorrow." . . Tomorrow. . . tomorrow. . . tomorrow . . . tomorrow . . . tomorrow . . .
What's the Gimmick? Gotta Have Skin in the Game.
Here's what I mean: I committed to the challenge with a friend. The rules of the game were set in writer's blood (aka "Ink"). We pledged to email or text our assignments to each other every day by midnight. Or else...
It's that "Or Else" that made the difference.
Rewards & Consequences: Some folks respond better to positive reinforcement. I've shared previously how my author-mentor-friend the late Paula Danziger bought herself pieces of amber jewelry but...gave them to her editor to hold until she met a deadline. In order to get SE Hinton to write her second novel (after The Outsiders), her then boyfriend waited each day for her to finish her pages. Others reward themselves by putting dollars into a honey pot. (Big bucks!)
Rewards do not work for me. It is too easy not to pay myself. Nor have I yet found a payoff big enough (and attainable) to entice me to do anything...and I mean An-ny-thing!
I need Consequences, penalties, shame. That's what motivates me. Deadlines with consequences. So, in order to insure that I'd stick with the challenge, I set a penalty a miserable embarrassing consequence. I pledge to complete each days prompt and send it to Cindy by midnight. If failed I vowed to donate $50 to Trump's campaign publically--on Facebook. Pre-election that was the stiffest-realistic-penalty I could imagine. One I was not willing to pay and so, I did the work Every. Single. Day. Here's the 1-2-3 of it:
- Set a "realistic" Goal
- Set a "clear" Consequence or Reward
- Set a Timer (The secret ingredient!) Cindy and I devoted 7 1/2 minutes each day to complete the prompts. That's it 7 1/2 minutes. Read. Set Timer. Go.
I was amazed at what we accomplished in 7 1/2 minutes. Having a set deadline and consequence for not meeting was exactly the motivation I needed to stick with the journal, especially through those first couple of days, then weeks, and vacations, and late nights, and yucky prompts. The answer is YES I CAN!
Tomorrow is here. 300 down, 65 to go!
Celebrating 300 Playlist:
- Stars and Stripes Forever played by U.S. Marine Band
- Gotta Have a Gimmick from Gypsy
- Seven and a Half Cents from Pajama Game