I have a confession to make – this blog has been both a huge success and a terrible disappointment. Let's start with the bad news. The disappointment is that I've never really built up much of a following here on 30GO30. Truthfully, I just haven't put in the time and energy it takes, and I've been blogging professionally more than long enough to know that.

On the flip-side, I started 30GO30 to kick myself in the butt and take accountability to the next level. When our daughter was born and (2 weeks later) I turned 40, I knew it was time to get serious. Most importantly, I felt like I had made and broken a lot of promises to myself, and I wanted to finally face up to those past failures. In a lot of ways, I've done that, and I feel like 2011 was a huge step forward.

The doing got in the way.

The irony is that I wanted to write about doing so that I'd hear my own message, but as soon as I made that decision, the doing started to happen. Just creating this blog was a commitment to myself, and in retrospect, it was both an act of faith and magic.

Once I was doing, I didn't care so much about writing about it. I just wanted to do more. Writing about what I've accomplished so far has, many times, felt more like narcissism than progress.

It wasn't supposed to be about me.

In my first post on 30GO30, I made it clear that I didn't want to be a guru. I didn't want to build a community revolving around the shining sun that is me in all my glory. Of course, like any personal blog, the story became about me. That's ok, in theory, but it's not what I was trying to create.

Meanwhile, I've found that I enjoy participating more in other communities, like SEOmoz (my half-day-job), The Impossible League and Fitocracy, than I do trying to build one from scratch here. I know that, as a marketer, I'm supposed to own my own content, but the reality is that I don't care. I enjoy meeting people and learning, and that was the point of 30GO30.

I love writers (don't get me wrong).

I'm not saying that you can't write about something and also do it well – I love blogging about marketing. I work hard every day to raise the bar on the content I create for that industry, and I learn a lot and (hopefully) I teach in the process. People can write about writing, motivation, fitness, and whatever else they're passionate about. That's important.

What I'm starting to wonder, though, is if writing about doing is right for me. The simple truth is that, when I sit down to write here, it feels like a chore. I want to get back to doing as soon as possible, which sometimes means writing for other sites. When you don't enjoy writing for a site you created, it's time to make a change.

I think there also comes a point where writing can be an excuse to avoid doing. It's a lot like announcing what you're going to do to the world before you actually do it. For some people, that strengthens their resolve and makes all the difference. For others, shouting their latest plans at the wind just makes the room a bit breezier. We all have to find that line for ourselves.

So, what comes next?

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure. I'm not abandoning 30GO30 – I'm just going to let it be what it is. For now, that's a personal blog, where I'll write when I want to write. I'll keep updating my progress on some big items, like the Year-42 Project and 50,000 Push-up Challenge (both are going well). After that, I'll let the doing be my guide. When I feel like I've done something worth writing about, you'll find me back here.

11 Jan – Sean Maguire

I like this site and there's nothing narcissistic about it.


11 Jan – Dr. Pete

Thanks, Sean - I'm not abandoning the blog, just taking some time to regroup. For the most part, I see it as a positive. Mentally, this project really did what I needed it to do - while that didn't manifest into words, it's been clear in my daily life. So, I'm going to focus more on that and not worry about the blog so much.


11 Jan – MikeTek

Reading about doing creates similar circularity - 99percent.com, a great productivity blog, is branded on the Edison quote, "Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration" - if you read three productivity blog posts per day, there goes your 99%.

Still, it's an interesting topic, moreso in the face of the absurd amount of distraction we face today - tech workers especially. Building solid habits, structuring your environment to make them easier to follow through on, is more important now than ever before.

I've enjoyed the reading to this point, but I've arrived at similar conclusions in my own life. At some point reading/writing about productivity becomes the excuse/distraction.


11 Jan – Dr. Pete

@Mike - My reactions as a reader are part of what got me thinking this way. Of all the motivation/productivity content I read, probably 1% really resonates. It's not even that the other 99% is bad - some of it's bad, some of it I've heard so often that it's already burned into my psyche, and some of it is good stuff that I'm not ready to hear yet (or doesn't apply to my life in general).

So, I had to ask myself - am I just adding to the noise? Recently, I'm getting a lot more out of forums and discussions in the area than I am out of blog posts, so I'm going to run with that. At the same time, I'm just going to prune back, both as a content consumer and producer, and focus on putting advice into action.


30 Aug – Amy

Just to let you know, this is my first comment on anyone's blog... and I read alot of them. I have been inspired to try (no not try... USE) your 30/30 idea. It works! I used it to loose weight, save money and get fit post heart attack.


30 Aug – Dr. Pete

@Amy - I'm sorry to hear about your heart attack, but I'm very glad to hear you've turned things around. I really appreciate you letting me know that you've gotten something positive out of the blog. In some ways, the core idea was so positive for me that I just wanted to keep moving forward and stop writing about it. I suspect I'll cycle back, though, and start writing again. In my 40s, I'm finally starting to realize that life will always be a work in progress, and that's ok.


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