Habits, systems, and goals

Today has been a little rough. I woke up fighting a headache and just felt in a terrible mood due to the wind continuing to blow most of the night. Wind just sets me on edge. As a result, I was worn down.

But, as the day progressed, I perked up some. Coffee does wonders. (grin)

I watched a very good video this evening and started reading another non-fiction book. I can tell that the end of October is coming up. As I’ve mentioned before, I like using November 1st as the start of a new year for me rather than waiting until January 1st. It feels strange that I haven’t already decided on my goals for the new year, but maybe I’m not supposed to try to hit goals. Maybe I need to focus on new habits. Not just targets to hit, but just a trajectory of growing.

After the last year, it kind of feels like that’s what I’ve been building toward. If everything I do is just practice with the intent of learning and enjoying/trusting the processes, that means the habit is more important than any goal. Targets and goals only serve to be a pass/fail. Yes, it’s possible to fail your way to success, but I also feel that it can become inertia. When I knew that I wasn’t going to get 8 novels out this year, I just gave up. It dragged me down to not even writing. As did the target of writing a short story a week. That just kind of petered out, especially as I got further and further away from hitting it. Yet, I have written this blog for over 425 days out of habit. I set the intention, I set the time, I brought myself to doing it out of habit. Even on a few days when I’ve thought about walking away from it, a part of my brain screams, “Not today!” I’m sure some of my blog posts have been boring. I hope some provide inspiration. Others I hope someone out there finds what I’ve written as interesting. Each one is just the practice of blogging and keeping at the habit.

Habits do another good thing: they provide structure to a day. The problem is that the structure could be a good habit or a bad one. I’ve seen that I have certain habits which are very bad. I’ll have to learn to redirect a really bad habit I have. It’s been very destructive to my creativity. But, I’ve restarted some which are good for me. I can build from there. I just need some bravery and the nerve to start a new direction with a better habit. I’m trying to work this up now.

Yes, so after writing this, I’ve decided that next year I will focus on habits rather than goals. The one obstacle I see right away is burying myself in habits that I don’t come up to do all the things required to actually “ship” the finish products of my creativity. That will move the creativity from habits to systems. Ah, yes, a bigger picture appears. Habits of creativity, and systems of publishing. Hmmm. There might be something here.

Time for me to go think about this some more, maybe sleep on it. It’s definitely going to take some time to figure out how to incorporate it into my life. Baby steps.