Since You Asked…

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Dear Caroline,

I’m a talented cook. I’ve been trying to start a cooking blog for six months. I’m a teacher with a husband and three kids, so I only have a little free time. For some reason, every time I sit down to get started, I work for a while, hate how it’s turning out and find myself scrolling Facebook, watching videos or shutting down the computer altogether. This frustrates me and confuses me because I can get everything else done.



Dear Laurel,

Let’s sort this out in three steps:

First, I want to disabuse you of the popular mistaken notion that procrastination is a form of self-care. It isn’t. It’s one of the worst things we can do to ourselves because it makes mountains out of molehills. Besides, scrolling Facebook and watching videos are low-level rewards. Convince yourself that nonproductive time is a reward for productive time. Plan a higher-level reward to earn, and you’ll be better off.

Second, you’re probably getting everything else in your life done because you have no choice. The way to get your blog done is to have some skin in the game. Register a domain name, and put up a holding page for your blog with a sentence such as “Watch this space for Laurel’s Luscious Recipes. Going Live Nov. 10” — or some such thing. Send that link to everyone you know, and post it on Facebook. If that doesn’t light a little fire under you, nothing will.

Third, learn to recognize the difference between trying and pretending to try.  Pretending to try includes:

talking about what you’re going to do over and over without taking any material steps to do it,

giving yourself credit for your potential instead of what you’ve actually done, and

telling yourself you’ll procrastinate “One last time.”

If you’re a teacher, a mother and a wife, you clearly know the value of accountability, so don’t make false promises to yourself. The more you can trust yourself to be reliable in the smallest, most personal ways, the higher your overall self-confidence will be. When you let yourself off the hook, you’re telling yourself two things: 1) A promise to myself isn’t important because I’m not important; and 2) I don’t care to pay the price for success since the fantasy of success comes for free.

It’s safe to assume you know how to write your students’ syllabus and lesson plans. Planning a blog is much the same. If it helps, consider your project a class instead of a blog. Your blog may not be perfect or get much attention at first, but if you stick with it, it will get better and more popular. Give yourself the affirmation that you have nowhere to go but up.

Our talents weren’t given to us to be hidden. Make it your mission to save the world from frozen entrees and ham sandwiches one meal at a time.

Happy Blogging, Laurel! You got this!


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