Let’s be honest. Am I really doing this challenge? Am I really taking it as seriously as I should?
I think the answer is no. But also yes, because I’ve written much more often for this blog over the past two weeks than I have for a long time.
On Tuesday, when I was getting back on track with three blog posts in one day including this one on colorism in Nigeria wedding visuals, I started reflecting on why I fell off the wagon and how I was getting back on. It started as an intro paragraph to the colorism post but once it was three paragraphs long, I decided to say it for today’s topic: Why you’re doing the 30DayAfriBloggerChallenge.
So with that, here are the 4 things I’ve learned about achieving goals from the 15 days of this challenge:
1. Community is essential
In all seriousness, I’m super bummed at myself for falling off the wagon so hard. But like Chineme said<link to post>, no matter how far behind you are, you just gotta try, try and try again. Falling off also made me realize how important community is in a lot of the things we do. I’ve been having issues with my phone so I no longer have access to the WhatsApp group for the #30DayAfriblogger, and all their energy and support and encouragement – that’s kinda been a bummer. I imagine that if I had been chatting with them this whole time, I would have likely stayed on top of most of the days – except Day 6, review of an event. That one really had me stumped. Not for lack of events, but lack of willpower to choose which one.
With anything you’re trying to achieve, have a supportive community that believes in your dream as much as you do.
2. You’re your #1 accountability partner
That said, I’ve also learned a SUPER important lesson about personal accountability and being your own biggest cheerleader. The truth is actually 0 people have pointed out to me that I need to get on the wagon with the blogging thing. No one’s checked in asking how I’m doing with it or pointing out that I’ve missed a couple posts. Essentially it seemed that no one noticed or cared that I wasn’t doing the challenge well. This would be a perfect excuse for me to give-up and not bother anymore. But for me, this challenge isn’t about all that <link to first post in challenge>. It’s about proving to myself that I can set a goal and crush it. That I can remain disciplined and focused even if I’m not seeing immediate results like people’s reactions.
Community or no community, make sure you are on your own back 100% of the time, because if you don’t push you, who else will?
3. Do it for yourself
That’s why, before you embark on any goal, it’s important that you want it for you and no one else. That you have markers not based on others’ reactions (this is clearly different if your goals are business related). Rather, for a challenge like this, you have markers that only involve yourself: I’m writing more, my writing is improving, I’m decreasing the time between having an idea and hitting publish. This way, even if you’re not receiving feedback or encouragement from anywhere else, you can give it to yourself.
Figure out the core reason you are doing what you’re doing and let that drive you forward.
4. Motivation is not enough
And that brings me to my final lesson so far from deciding to get back on track with this challenge – and this is a lesson I’ve already known but continues to be reiterated throughout my experiences. The lesson is: Motivation is not enough! No matter how excited or passionate you are about something, it’s never ever going to carry you to the finish line.
Do you think world class athletes get where they are simply because they love to run – or whatever their sport is? No. It’s because they have made it a habit to wake up every day and try harder than they did the day before. It’s not the love of running that gets them to do that. It’s their dedication and focus on their craft that leads them to cultivating discipline and forming habits that ensure they get up each day and hit the pavement. No matter how much you love something, you will have days you don’t want to do it. Those are the days that your best friends: discipline and habit, need to kick in.
With any goal you set, build it into your schedule and just do it. No excuses like lack of community, outside feedback or motivation. With or without those things you still have to get up and get sh*t done!
Here’s to more productive days ahead!