1. Start from the basic tenet, Everything happens for a reason and it’s all for the best. This is not so much a Pollyanna thumbs-up as an acknowledgement that I can’t see the big picture from here.
2. Given #1, remove, “Oh I hope I didn’t/I hope I wasn’t” from your vocabulary. You either did or didn’t, were or weren’t Everything happens for a reason, so if you think you did or wish you weren’t, decide it was just what was needed in the moment. Move on.
3. Write every day. Thanks to Jerry Seinfeld, this will start the third year I’ve kept a small calendar that I use only to mark off the days I write. The days without an X are few but they come in clumps. One day of not doing the thing you love leads to another, and worse, corrupts your precious time with excuses and projections and doubts. So do the thing you love a little every day, and make your X on the calendar.
4. Don’t get fixated on the calendar. It’s not going to win you any prizes, unless you have your own private awards ceremony for yourself. “And now, in the category of Best Supporting Month in Consecutive X’s, the winner is June!”
5. Why not? Go ahead and have your own private awards ceremony for yourself. You’ve earned it. Include speeches, music, a new outfit, and an after-party. Do this privately, not out of embarrassment or shame, but to see if you have the sand to honor yourself without requiring any outside acknowledgement.
6. Don’t go telling people you had your own private awards ceremony for yourself, or you’ll ruin the whole thing.
7. Everything happens for a reason. If you find yourself babbling to people about your own private awards ceremony and showing them pictures (why did you even take pictures? Didn’t you realize you were already sabotaging yourself with the picture of your hors d’ouvres platter – “Look! I decided to do all healthy foods out of respect for me!”), know that you did it for a reason and it’s all for the best.
8. Trust your instincts.
9. Remember that every list doesn’t have to end at 10.