In September 2017 I decided to take a month of the booze. It was tough but I relished the challenge. So much so that when it came to the end of September I found myself thinking what my challenge for October could be. I liked pushing myself out of my comfort zone and challenging myself to break out of bad habits.
Somewhat unexpectedly the idea for my next challenge came while I was grappling with building my new website. I had resolutely ignored the tab that said ‘blog’ on the free website builder I was using. I mean, what on earth would I blog about?! But out of the blue, I saw a link to something called the 30-day blogging challenge on one of the Facebook groups I had joined. And it peaked my interest.
Could I really blog? More than that, could I write a blog post every day for a month? My sensible head was telling me no. No way. This isn’t what you do. You’re not a writer. What would you have to blog about? And even if you could think of stuff to write about, who the hell do you think would read it?
I’d done enough reading by this point to spot a limiting belief when I heard one. And in the interest of pushing myself well out of my comfort zone I thought, stuff you, I’m doing it!
I had a look at the info on the challenge. It’s a penny to join, based on the premise that we value what we pay for. And the challenge is, quite simply, to write a blog post every day for 30 days. Along the way there’s bags of advice and guidance from Kevin and Sarah Arrow who created the challenge and are deeply passionate about the value of blogging for business.
I leapt in. And I didn’t look back. Being part of the 30-day blogging challenge commits you to publishing your blog posts and sharing them on the Facebook community group. That accountability was essential for me. Without it I would have made every excuse under the sun not to get my writing out there. The community is supportive and getting feedback on my posts reassured me that the content I was producing was ok. Blogging every day meant I had to get comfortable with done is better than perfect – a good life lesson!
It was during the second week of the challenge that I had the realisation that I had a whole lot to say about the changes I was making to my professional life but my business website just didn’t feel like the right place to express it all. And thus, From Flee to Free was born.
I had enjoyed the blogs I had been writing for my business website but the Flee to Free posts were altogether different. For the first time ever I was writing about my personal journey and the words just flowed. The response I have had to these posts has been overwhelming and it has sparked in me a love of writing that I didn’t know was lying dormant. It has also sparked an idea which I’m still nurturing about how I might use my experiences to support others to make big changes in their life.
Writing has now become part of my work routine. I miss it if I’m not doing it and it has opened up a whole world of new possibilities that I would never have considered before starting the challenge.
Committing to a blog a day is tough. I am completing the challenge today, months after I started it. But I got to day 20 in October from a standing start. I had no idea that I could achieve such a thing. The support of Kevin and Sarah and other bloggers on the challenge, particularly Emma from EJW Solutions, kept me going.
And during October, another idea started to form in my mind. A year of 30-day challenges. Stretching myself to try new things, challenge some of my most deeply engrained habits and see where it leads me. Since making the shift to working for myself I have committed to always being open to learn. I have realised that for me this is the basis of a full life. It is what will allow me to live my best life.
And so as October drew to a close, I started thinking about all the ways I could challenge myself. And I started on a year-long journey of discovery. I’ll be sharing the highs and lows, the learnings and the frustrations on this blog. And I’d love to hear what you think.
What have you given up for a month or longer? Or started? What do you think would be the hardest thing to give up? Or commit to doing every day? I have a list of challenges I’ve thought of but I’m always looking for inspiration. I’d love to hear what you think.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, I would highly recommend the 30-day blogging challenge. It is a sure-fire way to face your fears about getting your stuff out there and you’ll have a whole heap of support along the way.