Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.–Bruce Springsteen
Regardless of your pursuit, nothing contributes more to your success than consistency. Being consistent, however, is hard. It means showing up, even when you don't want to, especially when you don't want to.
Consistency challenges have been around for many years now, but social media has increased their popularity. Search #30daysof or #100daysof on your favorite social media channel, and you will find everything from coding to happiness challenges. Each has a straightforward concept–pick something, coding, working out, drawing, playing an instrument, practicing gratitude, or meditation, for example. Do the challenge consistently for x-number of days straight, and share what you did and or learned that day publicly.
Doing something consistently (or not) for 30-100 days helps inject or remove a habit from your routines. I say it helps because there's no silver bullet. It's still hard work. However, these types of consistency challenges do give you a process to put in place. Add in personal commitment, and you're on your way to building a better you, one day at a time.
My first consistency challenge was meditation. In the fall of 2017, I was dealing with severe anxiety issues. Out of desperation, I decided to try meditation using the app, Headspace. I'm a technology nerd, and I love my iPhone, so of course, I choose to do this using technology. The headspace app encourages consistency and shows your latest streak within your personal stats page.
It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein
I started slowly, doing only 2-5 minute sessions every day. Within a few months, however, I was up to meditating for 15-20 minutes daily. Now, years later, I've completed well over 1,000 sessions, 319 hours, an average of 15 minutes per day.
Forcing myself to meditate daily taught me a lesson in the power of consistency and building habits. There were many days I didn't feel like it, but I did it anyway. I can't imagine my life without meditation now.
My second consistency challenge was the 100 Days Of No Code challenge, #100DaysOfNoCode, and I committed publicly this time on Twitter.
In the #100DaysOfNoCode challenge, you practice building digital ideas and solutions without writing a single line of code. I was a full-time webmaster at the University of Central Florida for nine years, so I'm not afraid of code, but I value my time. If I don't have to code, I'm not going to. Using no-code tools allows you to build software ideas and solutions much faster than traditional coding methods.
Over the next 100 days, I tweeted every day on my progress. I learned about and used over a dozen new tools and launched numerous online products to include; whynocode.com, thefacemasklist.com, thenocodedaily.com, and a newsletter onetobetter.Substack.com.
I share what I learned from the challenge in an issue of my newsletter.
I no longer see coding skills in the same light as I once did. The rise of no-code tools is an inflection point in software development. The many, rather than the few, will create the digital verse of the future, expanding digital solutions and opportunities around them exponentially.
One to Better is a byproduct of taking the challenge, and joining LaunchMBA.co, a group I joined where I've committed to building and launching 12 products in 12 months. My story and journey with LaunchMBA.co deserves a post all it’s own, and one that is coming soon. I'll just say for now, it's been awesome and overwhelming at the same time.
Until next time, stay safe and be well.