For years, I tried and failed to create a daily blogging practice. I thought it was out of my reach, until it wasn’t. This is how I built a daily blogging ritual.
Today I am celebrating. I am pausing — no, I am full-out stopping — and savoring the moment. Owning this moment.
I am dancing on the table celebrating.
And I am inviting you to put down whatever you are doing and join me in my celebration.
Why am I celebrating?
So glad you asked.
When I published yesterday’s blog post, it was my 120th consecutive day of publishing to my blog.
Daily publishing is something that I once thought was impossible for me to do. It was a pipe dream I had years ago, but it seemed hopelessly out of reach.
120 days isn’t a year, but it is an important milestone (more on that tomorrow).
This. Is. HUGE.
How Long Does it Take to Build a 120-Day Streak?
If you answered 120 days, you are correct. And also you are incorrect.
I have worked for years to figure out how to do this.
I first tried to start a daily blog in 2006. Various factors got in my way, and I shelved the idea.
I finally started this blog in August 2013. Since then, I’ve tried to get traction on a daily streak several times.
In 2014 one of my intentions was to “ship” more regularly. I wrote a monthly article for Chris Brogan‘s short-lived Owner Magazine, but I couldn’t translate that consistency to this blog. I tried 30-day writing challenges, but they didn’t seem to work. Writing was so hard, I couldn’t even think about publishing.
The Secret to Getting Traction
Just before starting this site, I created what is now my Fitness First ritual. I stopped hitting snooze in the morning, got out of bed, and went to the gym before allowing myself to get sucked into email or social media. I vowed to stop living in reaction to the demands of other people, and I took a stand for saying YES to myself first.
That was the start of creating space for my best work. At first, it was just a small amount of space to accommodate my daily workout. Over time, I expanded this space by adding to my ritual stack.
I created additional morning rituals, including meditation, morning pages, study time, and writing. I added other rituals as well, like walking 10,000 steps a day, and My Daily Recap, an evening journaling practice I created to give me positive momentum.
What do these rituals have to do with publishing daily?
Big Accomplishments Are Built With Bricks of Rituals
Your life comes from your rituals. If you don’t develop the ritual, you are kidding yourself. — Tony Robbins
With the hindsight of the wisdom I’ve gained through my creating my own rituals and helping clients create rituals, I could see that I failed in my earlier attempts to publish daily because I didn’t yet have a foundation in place to support this activity. I didn’t have the proper rituals.
Daily publishing is not just one action item. It is a culmination of activities: a ritual “house” that is built with bricks of smaller rituals:
You can’t publish daily if you don’t write daily.
To write daily, you must consistently generate ideas.
You can’t consistently generate ideas if you are always in reaction mode to everyone else’s urgencies or your own perceived urgencies.
And it’s hard to get traction if you’re constantly interrupting yourself to check email and social media.
Ideation requires space. Writing requires space.
This is where all those rituals come in.
My Fitness First ritual helps me wake up. Moving my energy gets my creative juices flowing. It also helps me sit still and focus. Meditation practice helps me clear my mind. Morning prayer connects me to the Divine source. Staying offline until at least noon creates a buffer in which I’m not in reaction to other people’s problems.
I continue this throughout my day, even when I’m not immersed in Deep Work. Walking helps get my ideas flowing. As I go through my day, I try to do so mindfully, paying attention to my experiences and recording what I notice internally and externally. At the end of the day, I reflect and celebrate.
This fills my creative well and my journals with juicy ideas.
The Power of Rituals
Of course, these rituals are not just the path to daily blogging. Just like daily blogging isn’t the ultimate destination. Each of these rituals is an outcome in its own right. This is the power of creating a life built on rituals. Each one is a process, an outcome, and a stepping stone to something greater.
In crunch of daily living, it can sometimes feel as if my rituals aren’t doing much. There have been many times when I wondered if it was worth the effort. I contemplated quitting.
Today, I am celebrating 120 consecutive days of publishing to my blog. And also, I am honoring myself for 4 1/2 years of commitment to my daily rituals. I am celebrating consistency in action and implementation, even when the results of my efforts were not obvious or guaranteed.
Worth celebrating? I think so.
Momentum comes from celebrating your results. This is not a time to hold back. I am really proud of myself for reaching this moment. Really proud. Some rituals are easier to create than others; daily publishing has not come easily to me. And 120 days is a major milestone in creating sustainable rituals.
So I am celebrating.
Thank you for being here to witness, to read, and to celebrate with me.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more.
What is one daily ritual you’d love to create? Please share in the comments.
I also invite you to join The Ritual Revolution, a movement focused on creating a life of intention, instead of reaction.