I developed a Web site six years ago where I planned to publish an annual update and recollections of travels and major events in my life and in the life of my family. Although I have managed a 67% delivery rate on the annual updates, the rest of the Web site suffers serious neglect.
Working full time, along with “everything else” that had to be done, provided the excuse needed to justify the site’s neglect. When I retired a year and a half ago, I planned to get the site up to date and to keep it current. Six months, seven months, a year passed. I did nothing.
Annis, a friend who writes The DayMaker blog, inspired me to set a goal of publishing a blogpost every ten days or so. That works. In a blogpost entitled “Why Wait?”, Annis talks about tying up loose ends in the last month of the year and the “wait until the first of…” syndrome. The subject and tone of the post resonated with me, creating what I call a “get going on it” conversion experience.
Last Sunday morning, I wanted to do something minor on my Web page in preparation for tackling the major reorganization I planned for after the first of the year. My recent conversion experience must have penetrated my subconscious. Before I knew it, the day was nearly gone and I had worked for ten hours on the site . Fueled by Sunday’s success, I spent another eight hours the following day. In those eighteen hours, I wrote my annual update and holiday greeting, emailed them to family and friends, reorganized the Web site, deleted duplicate and unwanted or unneeded files, and organized an archive. The file structure for the site is lean and clean.
Within hours of clicking on the email send button, I began to receive replies thanking me for the holiday greetings and update and commenting how much they were enjoyed. Pamela, who I refer to as the “muse of my online life,” observed that an annual update is “all the things you would tell your friends if you had lunch with them.”
Achieving a goal is a good feeling. Achieving a goal ahead of schedule is like no other feeling. Staying in touch with people I care about, even once a year, lets them know I’m still here and that I care about them. The real payoff is being reassured they are still a part of my life and that they care about me.
Despite the excuses I can find for not doing something, I know it’s never anyone else’s fault that I am not accomplishing the goals I know I want to accomplish. So, I make a choice: “get going” or get miserable.