It’s ironic.  This is the post I’ve been looking forward to.  Every week, I’ve felt myself getting closer to the halfway point.  The one thought I’ve had is that if I could get here, to this week, I would be closer to achieving my goal than I was to writing it.  I’d be over halfway into my goal to post every week of 2017.  So, why am I struggling to write the post I’ve been aiming for?  Because part of me didn’t think I’d get here.  Part of me wondered if this would be like so many of the projects I’ve been excited to start and yet never finished.

Now that I’ve gotten here, I needed to figure out why so that I could apply it to the second half.  Why was this time different and why didn’t I give up when I hit the writer’s blocks, insecurities, frustrations, and the monotony?  It comes down to what I did differently.  It comes down to the 4 most important questions that we need to ask and answer when we commit to something new.

  1.      Why does this matter?

In the past, I always asked this question, but I never answered it well.  I told myself things like “it’s good for me” or “I need to do this.”  Neither of which were able to get me through the struggles of difficult goals.

This time, I answered the question honestly.  It mattered because of all the beliefs I wrote on my about page.  Yes, I still thought that the blog was good for me and that I needed to do it, but it was much more than that.  Starting with why allows us to persist through any what or how.  Answering why it matters makes us aligns our actions with our deepest beliefs and that allows us to keep going even when it is difficult.

  1. Why not me?      

There are always going to be skeptics that either expect you to fail or just can’t see your vision for how to succeed.  Sometimes the biggest skeptic is yourself.  If we let them, these voices become louder than the one that says why not me.

When I started writing the blog, I acknowledged my voice that told me I wouldn’t make it to the halfway point.  I acknowledged the voice, but I hated the voice.  Along with my own doubts were those of others.  There was (and still is) only one way to quiet the skeptics and that is to prove them wrong. With anything in life, someone is going to do it- why not us?

  1.       What will the middle look like?

The biggest reason I didn’t finish things in the past was that I did not anticipate the middle.  The middle is an uncomfortable place to be. The energy from starting something new is gone, but the end is still so far out of sight.

I knew the middle would come and I knew there would be days that I struggled to get anything written.  I knew the excitement would wear off and that sometimes confidence would be replaced with insecurity.  Yet, if we anticipate the challenge of the middle, we can plan for the challenge.  The struggle is less daunting when we expect it.

  1.       How do I work through the middle?

Where I had been blindsided in the past, I was now ready.  With other undertakings, I reached the middle and the unexpected barriers stopped me.  I assumed the fun and excitement of the beginning would carry me through to the end.  And, it never did.

This year, I’ve turned to habits, goals and people to help me through the middle.  Habits fuel the difficult part of an undertaking.  If I had to make the decision to write daily and post weekly, it would never get done.  But, the habit makes me do it even on days I don’t want to (like the 4th of July).  Goals clarify what we want to accomplish and how to get there.  And people push us when we are tempted to quit. There is no chance that I would still be in the game at the second half of the year without my proofreaders (more like advisors), encouragers and visitors.

I hope you’re ready for the second half- because I am.

       Here’s to many more two-cent Tuesdays and being better than just good enough.

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