It feels strange writing again. It‘s been a really long break.
You know, there was this little idea of achieving long-term goals by focusing and getting done just that one most important bit every week. And I thought that‘s awesome enough to build a website, start a blog and later even to make the 52steps workbook. Always hoping some people would see what I see, maybe would get inspired and use the principle to get done their stuff, too.
Then work (my real, normal job kind of work) got busy – long days and permanent business trips. There was no energy left for writing and such in the evenings. Plus, the website that I build and spent many nights getting it to the point where it was… well, it got hacked and totally destroyed.
That was a hard hit – almost a knock-out.
I cleaned up the biggest mess they left, but couldn‘t get site back to where it was before. At that time, 52steps – I mean the site and the blog moved out of my focus. The idea itself never disappeared – it‘s like a virus and it came to stay. So when the site was destroyed and quiet, I understood what is the hardest part keeping the 52steps method alive and learned what is the best way to use it (at least for me).
As this thing is not a daily routine, you don‘t really form a habit, which will stick at some point. No, this one is weekly and it‘s so easy to forget to review the last step and plan the next one.
Basically, it‘s not the first step that is hard – it‘s always the very next one that is the tough cookie.
The simple stupid solution for me is to set a reminder on the phone for every Sunday evening, which says “review step”. So I sit down for about 5 minutes and tick the box, if I finished my task or not and write a few words how I got along with it. And if there is a quote I heard and it stayed somewhere in the back of my head, I note it on the side of the page as well.
To be honest, it would be much cooler to have a group of people who support one another accomplishing their goals. Walking on your own requires more discipline, I guess.
However here‘s a funny example of my tasks:
Step 18 (last week)
The one important task for that week was repairing the 52steps website.
My motivation was to get the pieces back to where they were before funny hackers f***ed it up.
The hurdles? Well, the site is build with a toolbox universe called wordpress and I‘m not a coding monkey plus not working with it for many months didn‘t make me any better. The main damage was that “sites” were converted into “posts” – no clue how they did it or how to get back to normal.
So what was the plan?
- check the status of the patient
- get site and plugins updated
- convert one damaged site to normal, then the next one and repeat until finished
Once I had the “plan” on paper, it was like some momentum had started.
The first point on the list was super easy: check status
–> log into site. Damn, what‘s the password again? … 2 minutes and I was in.
Next point “updates”
–> 2 clicks and some loading time. Done.
And now the highly complex programming part – maybe I should do this tomorrow? No, hang on and search for a plugin (tiny programs that help you to individualize wordpress sites) that can convert posts to sites. Fingers crossed… Um yeah, there are some that do just that. Install. Change hacked posts to sites with a few clicks, so it all looks as pretty as before the kill. DONE!
After about 10 minutes in total, 52steps.net was great again.
Reviewing this step was funny as you can imagine. To me it looked like the site was dead and the effort for reviving it much too big. I was hesitating for long time and the 10 minutes and finished? What the hell?
Breaking a task down into tiny bits that seem so easy, that there can‘t be any excuse for not starting immediately helped. Once you‘re in the “just-try-and-finish” mode, you simply go a bit further and finish one more sub-task. It doesn‘t feel like pressure. No, it‘s rather a game and you‘re curious to see how far you can get this time…
PS: join the 52steps community on facebook