I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

There’s an odd pres­sure when you’re try­ing to exer­cise the mus­cle of dis­ci­pline, it’s tempt­ing to want every­thing you do as a part of that to be the best that it can be. Some­times you need to just push through and exer­cise that mus­cle. When you’re start­ing out, quan­ti­ty is often more impor­tant than qual­i­ty. You need to get used to doing some­thing reg­u­lar­ly before you can focus on doing it bet­ter, oth­er­wise the fear of not good enough can hold you back and pre­vent you from mak­ing the progress you want to make.

Building

I’m great at mak­ing state­ments and promis­es about things that I want to do. It’s easy. I think of some­thing I wish to do, decide there and then a means by which to do it, then post to my blog declar­ing it in the pub­lic domain.

In prin­ci­ple it’s a good tac­tic. The pub­lic dec­la­ra­tion should be enough of a moti­va­tion to make sure I stick to some­thing, but the real­i­ty is that more often than not I fall short. I might stick to it for a cou­ple of weeks, but then life will hap­pen and that’s it, the idea slides out of exis­tence. Why? Because of a lack of dis­ci­pline.
When it comes to dis­ci­pline I’ve gen­er­al­ly been quite good when it comes to doing some­thing that real­ly mat­ters, or some­thing that I have to do. The trou­ble was when it came to doing some­thing I want­ed to do, like writ­ing for this site. So as part of get­ting back into it, I’ve been tak­ing lit­tle steps, to build integri­ty, trust and dis­ci­pline.

Integrity

Build­ing integri­ty with myself is crit­i­cal. The num­ber of times I’ve set out with an aim to do some­thing, then not suc­ceed­ed to do it are count­less, and this car­ries over into start­ing new things. Whilst the inten­tion and desire can be strong, the belief that I can do it less so. It’s been errod­ed by years of unful­filled promis­es to myself about start­ing to write on a reg­u­lar basis.
The trick, I’ve dis­cov­ered is to start small. It’s not a new tech­nique, but I tes­ti­fy that it’s start­ing to work. I start­ed with The Week in Links, my week­ly post shar­ing a few links to good arti­cles or inter­est­ing things that I’ve seen around the inter­net over the week. As of the time of writ­ing, I’ve now post­ed an edi­tion of that post for nine­teen weeks run­ning. I’ve built integri­ty with myself that I can post to this site on a reg­u­lar basis, on a sched­ule I decid­ed and want­ed to com­mit to.

Trust

Now I have built some integri­ty and belief that I can do some­thing I want to do and not just some­thing I have to do. I’m build­ing trust in myself that I can actu­al­ly do it. I trust that I can man­age the rest of my day well enough, to be able to set aside time to write.

Discipline

The trust in myself that I can do this, builds the dis­ci­pline that I need to actu­al­ly do it. Hav­ing estab­lished a pat­tern of turn­ing up each week to post The Week in Links, I’m now dis­ci­plined enough to carve out that time each week to make sure I keep doing it.
It’s a knock on effect, or maybe more of a cir­cu­lar cycle. The more belief that I have in stick­ing by my stat­ed inten­tions, builds the trust I need to be able to make those inten­tions in the first place. In turn, that builds the dis­ci­pline I need to exe­cute those inten­tions, thus giv­ing myself more belief. It’s why this week I’ve added anoth­er step into my morn­ing rou­tine so that I can be sat here at my desk and do a half hour of writ­ing before my work day begins. Not only am I build­ing trust that I can work on writ­ing for my site with reg­u­lar­i­ty, I’m also build­ing trust that I can get up and go through my morn­ing rou­tine with the time to do all that I both want and need to do.
Of course there is anoth­er side to this. If I do miss one of my carved out writ­ing slots, I must not give myself a hard time about it. Life hap­pens and I won’t always get to do these things. When that’s the case I need to be able to say nev­er­mind, reset and go again the next day remem­ber­ing that for the past how­ev­er many days I’ve been able to do it.