Plans vs. Habits

4:30am at the Belmond Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina and – despite being under the most exquisite comforter, maybe ever – I can’t sleep.

One of the benefits of vacation time is that it gives you the freedom to think. One of the drawbacks is that a free-roaming mind tends to overthink.

Stripped of the routines that would otherwise occupy our thoughts, we discover places our brain goes naturally when it isn’t being forced into submission by a bulging calendar.

My mind was fixed on the blog you’re reading now – and it was keeping me awake.

Since I launched Grace on June 22nd of this year, barely a day has gone by when I haven’t second-guessed the decision to post every weekday. This isn’t the result of deadline pressure – this is simply a case of unfruitful rumination.

You know what I’m talking about.

Those moments after a decision has been made, and yet you still spend countless hours churning over whether it was the right one. On the surface this feels helpful – responsible even – but go a few levels deeper and you realize all the ruminating is really just an excuse to avoid doing.

This is why I believe an essential key to mental freedom – and living with grace – is being flexible with plans, but rigid on daily actions. As an example, I can spend my time focusing on open rates and opt-ins or I can spend my time crafting something beautiful and thought-provoking for you.

Both are required for success, of course, but only one is inside my direct control. Otherwise, it’s like trying to play basketball while staring at the scoreboard. The numbers are motivating but, ultimately, you win by keeping your eye on the ball.