Habits can be hard to make, slightly easier to break, and can also keep you moving forward.
This past spring, I broke a habit that I’ve religiously followed for – well – a decade.
I broke my verrrrry long streak of weekly blogging.
This past spring, I also broke a habit that I developed 3.5 years before: sending monthly emails.
I don’t have a specific reason as to why I stopped, but I can tell you it was a bunch of smaller reasons that can be summed up as being uninspired and semi-burnt out.
Of course, anyone can feel that way about their business at any time. Small business owners’ work never stops. And then when you add to that the constantly-changing online world, it’s like you are running faster and faster on a hamster wheel.
What Happens when you Break Habits
To start, I have to admit that I felt guilty breaking those habits.
I also began to pay closer attention to my weekly SEO rankings report, and noticed a clear correlation between the weeks I skipped blogging and the weeks I pushed out another blog post. (Yes, what all the reports say are true…the more often you blog, the better it is for your site and business!)
Each month when my usual email newsletter writing time came up, I’d sigh deeply because I couldn’t focus my thoughts on 1 topic to write about. This spring and summer felt especially like the social media and online marketing news and updates were coming at us faster than ever before.
Heck, in the past few months, Facebook has made all sorts of changes to its interfaces, both useful and not. A couple nice upgrades would be integrating Instagram to your Creator Studio and scheduling and publishing Instagram posts as well as IGTV videos from Creator Studio (Oh! And you can now publish landscape videos to IGTV, and are no longer limited to only portrait! Woot!).
A not-so-nice change would be the limitations placed on Facebook ads for the real estate, housing, and jobs industries. As someone who works with real estate agents a lot, this makes Facebook ads more challenging.
And it’s a bit of a mixed bag on other developments depending on how you feel about the news of tests to hide Likes on Instagram and Facebook, and what you think about the new recommended Facebook ad image size of a square.
If you use Pinterest in your marketing, you’ll be happy to know that Pinterest is now very video-friendly.
Even Twitter had some news! It rolled out some interface changes including dark mode.
And LinkedIn introduced Reactions much like what you see on Facebook.
The Bright Side of Broken Habits
There are definite positives to a shake-up in routine. Like, how I began to revisit some popular blog posts and core pages on my website, and update them.
I started a new certification course in June and have been able to carve out time to work through it.
I had new headshots done and then had new business cards designed by the fabulous Kayleen of BooyahCreative. You can see the front and back here.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to add value inside our *free* Facebook Group plus options for some new downloadable guides and checklists.
And more recently, I recorded a batch of videos that I’m slowly rolling out on our Facebook Page and YouTube channel.
So, there were some great positives to come out of this blogging and email dry spell. 🙂
The lesson learned here is that habits are in fact valuable, but a break in routine could simply mean making time for other things that you need, too.