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Exercising the completion muscle

Isn’t it great when we discover the name for a practice we have long-ago adopted?

My newly discovered practice is “exercising the completion muscle.”

And specifically, I practice it by completing and posting to my blog and newsletter (almost) every week.

It’s one thing to start a project, it’s another to stick to it until completion. But every time we hang in till we’re done, we reinforce a valuable habit.

Earlier this year I got out of the weekly article habit for awhile. It was sort of an existential crisis. Did anyone care? Did Google care?

The blogging experts claim that readers avidly await each installment and are concerned when a publication date is missed. Frankly, I saw no such distress.

But interestingly, several people told me they had missed my articles after I reinstated publication. To those people, I say thank you for your encouragement.

How I exercise the completion muscle

I generally draft my article over the weekend and finalize it on Monday. Sometimes scheduling conflicts require me to postpone for a day or two.

I take this obligation seriously and prioritize it above almost all other work. However, if I can’t fulfill it due to travel or illness, I skip it. Nothing is worse than letting obligations pile up over time so that they transform from a reasonable challenge to an overwhelming weight.

Sometimes this means publishing something that is pretty good but somehow doesn’t fully meet my goals. And occasionally I am so dissatisfied with what I have written that I have to set it aside.

Still, no matter what is going on with bigger projects, I have this frequent experience of completion success.

Where I heard of the completion muscle

I credit the term to the podcasts of Michael Joseph Ferguson, author of The Drummer and the Great Mountain: A Guidebook to Transforming Adult ADD/ADHD, and Bahman Sarram, which I find enlightening.

How are you building your completion muscle?

Originally posted 11-28-16

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