We've been, at least indirectly, talking about pressure a lot lately (and how to put less of it on yourself).
A few weeks ago, I talked about how balance might not look like doing something every day or every week—instead, it might look like doing something a couple of times a week or a few times over the course of a month (or whatever else feels right). The bottom line? You get to decide. No pressure.
And then last week, I talked about giving yourself a break when you need it—essentially, not forcing yourself into an arbitrary schedule when what you really need is rest. Again, no pressure.
So when I talk about Explore (a writing experience I offered in January and will be offering again soon), whether you've participated in it or not, you might be a little confused about where it fits into all of this no-pressure talk. Because the whole point of Explore is that you write…every day.
Waaaait a minute. (I can hear you now.) I thought we didn’t have to do these kinds of things every day! I had just gotten cozy with that idea! What’s going on?
Here’s what's going on: Explore, and other pursuits like it, are simply experiments. They allow you to try something on and see how it works. No pressure.
The thing is, we don't usually think in terms of experiments. Instead, unconsciously, we think in terms of forevers.
I'm sure you've had a thought that goes something like this: Okay, that’s it. I have to step up my game. I’m going to:
- Share a post on Instagram every day.
- Publish a blog post every week.
- Meditate every morning.
- Read one book a month.
- Write 500 words every day.
At first, that kind of statement makes you feel good. Powerful. In control. Like your future self has it all together.
But while you may have excitement around those Instagram posts or your meditation time the first few days, when that initial jolt of energy wears off, you may feel tired at the thought of continuing to do that thing.
So you stop. You miss a day because you don’t feel good or you get busy or something unexpected happens and or you just don't want to...and then it’s a quick slide back into your old patterns. But something else also happens—you get frustrated with yourself. You start to believe you’re not the kind of person who can start new, meaningful habits…and slowly, you become that person.
What’s so often tripping us up is the implied forever. There’s no end date—so your mind gets worn out at the thought of making such a huge change.
But when you decide to simply do something for a set amount of time—an experiment—you know when the end date is, and you no longer face the pressure that of forever.
That’s why I’ve set up Explore as a 31-day experiment. You commit to yourself that you’ll write every day—but only for 31 days. Once that specific amount of time is up, you can choose to do whatever you want. You can keep going. You can stop. You can change it up. It’s your choice, and you can do whatever feels right to you.
And the same is true for any experiment you decide to create. Want to post on Instagram every day? Try it for a week and then reevaluate. Want to read one book a month? Try reading one book this month and see how it goes.
Then, when the time is up, be honest with yourself. How did it go? What do you want to keep doing? What do you want to change? Then reset that experiment timer (every day, every month, every Tuesday, whatever it is)…and keep on going.
I’ll be opening the doors to Explore very soon, and I’d love to be a part of your writing experiment. But don't feel like you have to wait to start experimenting.
I’ve created a simple but powerful worksheet you can use to create your own experiment right now!
It's in the Library with several other worksheets you can use to create meaningful connection with yourself, your ideas, and your audience. Sign up below to get access, as well as weekly(ish) emails from me. I would love to hear what you’re experimenting with!