Time to Reflect
In a rather impromptu manner I decided to take a break from my goals over the holidays. For the first time in a year I put all of my Beeminder goals on hold and hopped on a plane without my guitar or laptop. The moment that decision was made I felt all the self-imposed stress release like the steam from a cold water opened pressure cooker. I hadn’t realized how much it had built up and how much I needed a break.
The writing, the guitar, the blogging. Why was I doing this? Why was I putting myself under so much pressure to keep growing and learning and delivering?
With the New Year approaching I did my fair share of reflecting on the past year and planning for the coming one. I was reminded of how lucky I am to have such an amazing and loving family, great health, a rewarding career, and financial security. The pettiness of complaining about the pressure and stress from learning to play guitar and maintaining a blog does not escape me.
I also spent some time watching my guitar videos, rereading some of my articles, and reviewing my blog metrics and I felt a burst of pride for what I had accomplished. That feeling was a result of hundreds of hours of work and sacrifice by my family and me. Repeatedly I passed on pleasures and distractions in the present to achieve goals that would only be realized in the future. It rarely felt like I was making progress in the present moment but now that a year has passed I can truly see how much I have worked and learned and created.
I published almost 50 blog posts in 2012 and the site had 4,546 page-views with 1,482 unique visitors.
My most viewed articles of the year were:
- How to Cram for a Math or Engineering Exam in 24 Hours
- Learning the Guitar Fretboard Using Anki Flashcards
- How I Practice Deliberately on Guitar
- Spaced Repetition: How to Learn Anything and Never Forget It
- Who Wants to Be A Master? I Want to Be Good Enough
- 200 Hours of Deliberate Practice on Guitar
What’s Next for 2013
Back from my trip and settling back in to my regular day to day I struggled to rebuild inertia. I re-started one Beeminder goal at a time. First my daily writing, then my guitar and finally my blog posts.
This blog was originally created to test whether I could actually write and publish on a regular basis. Deep down I dreamed of being a writer, yet I hadn’t taken even the smallest step towards that goal. With little experience in writing and no experience in creating or maintaining a blog I dove in.
Now that the number of visits is increasing I am beginning to feel pressure. Pressure to write better and more frequently. Pressure to focus my writing on a specific topic. Pressure to improve the look of the site.
The more I thought about it the more I realized that those aren’t my goals. With that in mind I have decided that my goals for 2013 are the same as they were in 2012. I plan to continue doing my daily writing, practicing my guitar, posting regularly and sharing my thoughts, struggles and ideas with you along the way.
I hope that you will continue to comment and converse with me when you feel inspired. The discussions in the comments have been one of the most rewarding aspects of maintaining this blog.