In January 2013, I took part in The Transformational Contest organized by Early To Rise.
Participants were obliged to keep the online daily journal of their progress in three, very widely understood, categories: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.
One entry per day is all that was required.
I don’t know the details behind their decision, but ETR backed away from the TC idea and focused solely on the health & fitness side of things.
So this year we (the original TC participants) decided to make our own TC. We decided to keep the TC rules for 90 days. We organized the secret group on FB and started to post our daily updates.
But I’m the only one who really does them daily. I’m one of the busiest in our group, with my family, job and Kindle business, yet only I manage to keep the daily commitment.
Part of the ‘how and why’ is that I have kept the habit of publishing my daily progress report on The Progress Journal. But that’s not all.
I’ll explain to you how I managed to post daily for the past 13+ months, missing only the days when I was offline. I hope it will inspire you to start your daily journal; it’s worth the effort.
1. You are doing it for yourself, not for show.
I’ve been keeping the internet journal for almost a year. I have more than 315 entries. Only 13 people are following that blog. There are only a handful of comments and 90% of them are from my close friends.
If I was doing it for show, I would have given up long ago.
Tracking and writing down the daily activities which compound into my achievements is beneficial to me. I can see that I work every day. I can see my results. I can connect the dots and see which actions led to effects and which didn’t.
Sharing my struggles is just an additional service I provide to the world. If the world doesn’t care, neither do I.
2. Know what you want to accomplish.
In our FB group we have announced our goals for the current TC. Mine are a substract from my 2014 goals.
3. Establish daily disciplines.
Consistency is magic in itself. Besides, you are going to post every day, so you should establish some daily metrics. If you monitor your health, it would be clumsy to post every day: I’m healthy, I’m healthy, I’m healthy…
If your goal is to lose weight, count the calories; if you want to get fit, exercise every day. If you want to save some money, track your expanses and monitor your savings account. If you want to develop your internet business, track your metrics—unique visitors, bounce rate, subscribers number and sales.
Narrow your goal to the actionable steps you can take every day and you can easily track.
So, for example, for my goal no 1, which is quite vague, I keep a gratitude journal for my wife.
To sell more books I write more books, keep this blog, am active on the social media and I organize free book promos and, recently, the book launch. There are a lot of things involved, but I want to keep track of them all. All in all, I work full time and can rarely put more than 4 hours into them, so tracking them all is essential and relatively easy to manage.
The same goes for the last goal—expanding my mailing list.
It’s crucial. You can forget about everything else if you don’t keep track.
I have my daily habits and I track them by various methods. Most of them I just tick off as done in the Lift application (if I’ve done them of course). Some of them deserve greater attention. For example, I track my writing. I had a special Excel sheet where I noted how long I wrote for, how many words I completed and what the subject was. I do this with every chunk of writing longer than my daily entry in The Progress Journal.
I track the number of hours I sleep every day. It’s a very important health factor to me.
I track my sales on Amazon, daily. Their reporting system sucks, so it has to be done that way or it would be useless.
And I track EVERY business-related activity I can think of in my Journal: editing, marketing, networking, publishing, outsourcing… You name it and you’ll find it in the Journal.
How do I manage all of it? Simply, whenever I do something I immediately note it down in my txt version of the Journal. 99% of business-related tasks need the computer and/or online connection anyway, so it just takes me seconds to note down that I formatted a blog post or submitted the info about my promo to the freebie site.
That’s why my entries are often so dry. I just jot down what I’ve done during the day without any additional ruminations.
I’m quite good at tracking, because I track a lot of activities in my life. Practice makes you a master. At the beginning of 2013, I tracked my calorie intake for 84 days. I quit doing this after I achieved my dream weight, but up to date I’m able to tell you all I eat since dawn to dusk (1 apple, 4 oranges, 1 carrot, 1 cottage cheese, 1 homo cheese, 1 can of fish). In addition to that, I tracked calories in my drinks too, so I’m aware of any calorific drinks I’ve had (2 cups of coffee with milk and 1 cup of chicory coffee with milk).
4. Develop a daily journaling habit.
Tracking all the info in the world won’t materialize your journal. All those data have to be put together and published.
As with every habit, it’s a good idea to make it as easy as possible. I used to publish my posts late in the evening; all in all a single entry is the summary of my day, so it should be done at the end of the day, right?
At the end of the day I had no energy. A few times I forgot about my daily entry. Also, my wife was very unfriendly to the idea of me opening the laptop during the time she considers belongs to the family.
So I changed the time.
I now post my entries first thing in the morning, summarizing the previous day.
It doesn’t take much effort. My posts are almost ready. I have them written down during the day. Sometimes I add a sentence or two at the end, but 95% of the time I just:
– check the spelling
– copy the text from my txt file into the clipboard
– open my blog in the browser and log into the administrative panel
– start a new post
– copy the text from the clipboard
– choose appropriate categories and publish
It takes no longer than a couple of minutes. It’s easy. I already decided to track all those things, so I would write them down anyway. I turn on my computer every morning to track my sales anyway.
Build your journaling routine around existing activities and it will be easy for you, too.
Any questions about daily journaling on the Net? I’ll answer them gladly. Use my experience 😉