Did you ever stop to think about how closely aligned the discipline of writing (and more importantly, writing well!) is to the discipline of fitness and working out?
As I sweat my way through FOCUS T25 in my living room this morning, several parallels between writing and fitness came to mind. For those not familiar, FOCUS T25 comes from Shaun T, the creator of the popular Insanity workouts- the program features five workouts, designed to be done 5-6 days per week, following a calendar for five weeks.
The program is intense, but it gets results. Want to see similar results from your writing and content marketing efforts? Take a note from these writing lessons learned from T25.
1. Consistency is key. For T25 to really work, you need to follow the workout calendar, which encourages completing the video workouts 5-6 days per week. That sounds like a lot…and it is…but when you do something consistently every day over a period of time, it becomes a habit. The same goes for writing! Setting a goal to write every day or even perhaps five days a week can feel daunting in the beginning, but as you do it every single day, it quickly becomes part of your routine.
Quick tip: Consider completing your writing at the same time every day. This way, it truly becomes part of your daily schedule. I recommend making writing part of your morning- that way, you can get it out of the way before the day slips away from you and it becomes easier to make excuses.
2. All you really need to be successful is 25 minutes a day. Time is something that holds people back from reaching their big goals whether that goal is to write three blog posts per week or to run a marathon. We all lament the fact that we don’t have enough time. However, the truth is…you don’t need a TON of time to be successful, whether in your writing endeavors or in some other area of your life. As these T25 workouts have taught me, 25 minutes a day can lead to incredible results. Instead of looking at a writing project as a massive and daunting undertaking, consider breaking it down into smaller steps and spend just 25 minutes a day slowly working toward your goal.
Quick tip: I know you’re busy, but anyone can carve out 25 minutes in their day if a goal really matters to you. See where you might be able to squeeze 25 minutes of writing in and get to it!
3. An accountability partner makes a big difference. Want to know one of the main reasons I’ve stuck with T25 for the past five weeks? I’m doing it alongside a friend and every day, we commiserate, discuss our workouts and celebrate our successes. I know I need to complete my workout each day or else I’ll have to report back to my friend that I haven’t been sticking with it. That peer pressure keeps me moving forward. Similarly, an accountability partner for your writing can prove extremely effective- you can keep each other updated on projects, word count and content ideas. Knowing that someone expects you to stay true to your word is usually enough to ensure that you stick with it.
Quick tip: Check in with your accountability partner at least once a week (I recommend chatting on a Monday). This way, you set your writing goal for the week and then report back the following week.
4. You need to focus. One of Shaun T’s favorite sayings during the T25 videos is, “I’m going to need you to focus.” Easier said than done. How often do we go through our work days unfocused with a mile long to-do list, jumping from project to project? Guilty! But when you focus (even if just for 25 minutes) you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make in a short period of time. Truly focusing means only completing ONE singular task at a time. It means eliminating other distractions to hone in on that one big thing you need to get done today.
Quick tip: For 25 minutes, eliminate ALL other distractions. Get off social media, close out tabs on your computer and get your phone out of your sight to truly focus in on your one task at hand.
Just like working out consistently can help you achieve great fitness results, writing consistently can help you improve your craft and reach your goals when it comes to content marketing and publishing.
Jessica Lawlor is a public relations professional and freelance writer in the Philadelphia area. Her work has been published on Ragan’s PR Daily, Muck Rack, Brazen Careerist, Mediabistro, Business Insider and AOL Jobs. She blogs at JessicaLawlor.com about getting gutsy- stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy.
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