Celebrating Milestones

Personal development experts will tell you that it’s important to celebrate milestones.

In fact, some will tell you that you should identify how you will celebrate as part of setting goals. For me, I understand the concept but have always struggled to figure out what to do to celebrate.

My ideal would be something like baking and eating a chocolate cake or a box of my favourite chocolates. The idea of a facial or a massage doesn’t do anything for me and whilst I enjoy my food (especially the sweet forms), dinner out doesn’t sound that exciting.

This article is a milestone for me – my 100th written article for Smallville.

Now that’s no mean feat, and I’m feeling pretty chuffed about it.

I’ve been thinking about how to celebrate and decided that I’d celebrate by writing about the journey of 100 articles and a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.

I can clearly remember writing my first article. I was nervous about it, and I had heaps of questions running through my head, like, what would the Smallville editors think about it, would they think its rubbish, would it be good enough, would anyone actually want to read it and the questions kept rolling on.

One thing I have learned over the years is that despite the negative self-talk in my head it doesn’t stop me from taking action when I’ve committed to something and someone.

So, with a blank screen in front of me, I wrote my first article. Once that was done, the next deadline rolled around and then the next, and I quickly started to worry about what on earth I would write about each week and that surely I’d run out of things to say. I guess with 100 articles written now; you could say that I have plenty to say.

What I’ve learned from writing regularly is:

  • The more you write, the easier it becomes.

When I wrote the first articles, it would take at least an hour or more to write the article, and then time to review and tidy it up. Now, I can complete the process usually in around 30 minutes.

  • The writing is better.

The sentences flow better now than the earlier articles which feel stilted and abrupt at times.

  • The writing is more natural.

I was brainwashed in my early accounting career to write formal letters to clients with old-fashioned phrases. It has taken much article and book writing to eradicate the formality and bring more of me and my personality into the articles.

  • There’s always something to write about.

Let’s face it, I’m a numbers nerd. Logically, I would write about the numbers, but as time went on, I found myself writing about other topics that have nothing to do with cash flow, profit and other financial numbers.

  • Watching the readership of the articles has shown some interesting trends.

Certainly, some of the articles about cash flow have had high readership, but what has amazed me is the articles that have nothing to do with the numbers also garner a strong readership. And here I thought I was just the numbers girl. Go figure.

  • I can write anywhere, any time.

I started off with a strict regime of writing first thing on a Thursday morning. Whilst I still aim for that, when work and travel commitments throw that out of whack, I’ve found that I can write an article anywhere, including sitting at busy, noisy airports, day or night, it doesn’t matter.

  • I love writing.

I’ve been a numbers girl since school days, English was always the subject with my lowest marks. Now I feel like I’m equally a numbers and letters girl. My high school English teachers would be shocked and hopefully pleasantly surprised.

To you, who read my articles, if you have ever thought about writing or doing more writing, just start.

But more than that, if there’s anything you want to achieve in life, including coming to grips with your numbers (yes, I had to put that in somewhere), just start.

I’m sure that over time you too will:

  1. Find it becomes easier.
  2. Your capability improves.
  3. You become more confident.
  4. There’s always more.
  5. You’ll see trends.
  6. You will be able to apply your knowledge to any situation.
  7. You’ll love what you’re doing.

Perhaps my best celebration and reward to myself is to just start on this with daily exercise and healthy eating.

What action are you going to take?

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