Step 155 of the Journey: My first day as a paid author on Medium!

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Step 155. Day 9 of 365 of positive potential. Yesterday was a special day on my journey of small steps. I am now a paid author! After more than five months of daily writing, regardless how brief each article may have been, I received an email from Medium to tell me I had earned $0.01, and that the payment had been sent to my Stripe account. One cent might sound ridiculous, and is hardly a great rate of pay, but it puts me ahead of my goals for this year.

How it started

I started the year unemployed, with a stress fracture in my foot, overweight, unfit, lacking direction, and in the throes of a fairly deep depression. I made the decision to take small steps every day, no matter how small, and to continue taking those small, achievable steps every single day, to take me towards a better situation — a situation where I would regain employment, get fit and healthy, develop my writing, become happier, and develop a business with my wife. I expected many of these things to take up to one year, and so although I had those goals, I did not put pressure on myself to achieve them rapidly. Instead, I determined to take small steps in multiple areas and to commit to performing those steps every day without exception.

Small steps…

Those steps include writing and publishing something every day, even if it is just one sentence; reading something every day, even if it is just a few pages; ab exercises, even if it is just ten sit-ups (and it has become much more than that); forearm/grip strength using grip strengtheners (I started with one rep and am currently up to 155); foot strengthening exercises; shoulder strengthening exercises; walking or running; upper body strength on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; leg strength on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; doing something daily until I find a new work contract (it started with applying daily to at least one position and culminated in a great, well-paid role from mid-March); thinking about what I eat.

…lead to habits

All of those small steps have become habits that would now make me feel very uncomfortable if I didn’t do them. Today, as usual, I read, wrote, ran (twice), performed all my strengthening exercises, worked, ate healthily, and thought about the positive potential of events that would occur later in the day (that’s a new small step that I started a week ago).

The result…

I must confess that I feel delighted, elated, enthusiastic, motivated, energised and excited. I was expecting to see significant results by the end of the year, but to be feeling so good already and to have a great physical, mental and emotional state already is incredible. I have, of course, had some difficult days where things were not going well and I felt down, but even during those days I still kept my small steps going, and now those small steps are more important than any low mental state. In fact, those small steps have given me sufficient direction and focus to feel more in control of my life and my emotions.

… is a growing level of success

Getting the job was a great day. Running again after the stress fracture was wonderful (my first run was for one minute, which really is a small step, and the next one was just a few seconds more, but those small steps allowed me to keep moving forwards, and to develop a running routine without the risk of injury.) Launching a business with my wife has been fantastic (and challenging!) But interestingly, the one thing that gave me the biggest buzz was receiving that email to tell me I had earned $0.01. It may sound silly, but it means I have taken that first small step, and it’s a step that I can build on if I so choose. I started writing a book several years ago, and of course, I never finished it. Now I have the confidence to finish it.

A truly new me and an exciting future

Small steps are amazing. I made my steps so small that they had no obvious effect, but simultaneously they had the ultimate effect of giving me unstoppable momentum. The first 155 days have been eye-opening. What will the next 211 days give to me?

Day 155, job done.

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