2022: Just Keep Swimming -->

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2022: Just Keep Swimming

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 In his 2017 bestselling book Finish, author Jon Acuff writes, "I thought the biggest problem for people was the phantom of fear that prevented them from beginning...Fear was the ghost holding them back and starting was the only way to beat it. I was half right. The start does matter. The beginning is significant. The first few steps are critical. But they aren't the most important. Do you know what matters more? Do you know what makes the start look silly and easy and almost insignificant? The finish."

Last March I introduced the blog's 2021 theme of Motivation. This year--a year actually beginning in January!--I'd like to continue that concept into a new theme: the theme of Momentum.

As Acuff points out, starting is important. And motivation can help us get to the starting line. But momentum is what gets us through the slog of the "messy middle." According to Acuff, the most important point of any major goal or project is what happens "the day after perfect." 

The day after perfect is what Acuff calls the period of time that follows the first instance someone doesn't live up to their own idea of what the completion of their goal should look like. It's the day after the first time you hit snooze instead of waking up early for a run, the night after the night you fell asleep without writing in your journal, the meal after you passed on the salad bar and went straight for dessert. It's the moment you might be tempted to say, "Well, I've already messed up, might as well just give up entirely!" 

There's an old cliche that says something to the effect of, 'just because you break one plate doesn't mean you should throw every other plate on the ground.' And this seems totally obvious, but it's amazing how often I find myself tempted to do just that. Metaphorically, I mean...

So this year we're going to try to build on our motivation and find the momentum to keep moving forward even after our plans go slightly askew. The topic will be applied to writing-related issues, but hopefully these ideas will be useful in all areas of life. Here's to 2022!


Acuff, J. (2017). Finish: Give yourself the gift of done. Portfolio/Penguin.

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