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getting up again

Getting up again

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).

Tough part

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?

Lessons learned

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…

Out

PS: join the 52steps community on facebook

title picture

colored brushes and paint

Love the process

Love the process

Before we go to the main story, I would like to thank my teachers – they taught me to produce results, which get evaluated and compared to others. This prepared me well for a job in the industry, where only results matter and no-one wants to be the “he-tried-very-well-guy”.

However, I remember that I liked to doodle around before school age, but it got less through the years. The effort wasn’t worth it, if the grades stayed as they were. And now it’s my kids turn to learn drawing and forget it later again. Read more

handwriting

Some thoughts about handwriting

Introduction

It’s beginning of 2016 and we’re in the middle of the digital age. Displays everywhere, all our music and friends in the pocket and the ubiquitous internet is keeping the addictive information-flow alive.

That said – how can writing with a pen on paper survive? And why should it?

Let’s lean back and think about the meaning of handwriting today… There will be more questions than answers in this article.

Read more

compass on hand better than smart goals

Right direction beats SMART goals

I wish you a Happy New Year first of all!

I hope you made it through the holidays and now you’ve probably set your New Year’s resolutions. And this is exactly what I want to talk about in this post: Why a simple direction beats every SMART goal, when it comes to long-term objectives.

You can use this simple (not easy) strategy to form your resolutions and definitely make them come true. It is exactly the opposite to what productivity-gurus say: We do not set a clear goal and don’t set a deadline. This year, we’ll test the 52 steps way.

Read more

lazy cat

What, if you miss one?

Let‘s talk about something that might feel like failing: not completing an action step

Life is not a straight line. That means there will be situations, when completing a scheduled task will be simply impossible. There can be various reasons for it: that step is too big, your situation changes, your priorities change during the week and many others. Like Mike Tyson said:

Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face.

Read more