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Arnold Could be Talking about Me

There are many aspects of my life where I consider myself disciplined – watching what I eat, exercising, getting up early, and writing my blog are a few that come to mind – but there are other parts of my life where I know I could do better.

For example, I know I should drink more water. I rarely have a cup of just water; the water I do drink is usually part of something else, a smoothie or a coffee, for example. And even then, I know it’s still probably only half of how much I should be drinking.

Another area of my life that could be improved is the amount of time I spend constantly checking the stats on my blog – how many people read it, how many people liked it, how many people commented on it, how do the numbers this year compare to the numbers this time last year, etc. A conservative estimate is that I probably check the stats 20-30 times a day, which I know is about 20-30 times more than I need.

I’m not really sure what I’m hoping to discover when I check the stats; perhaps I’m using the stats as some type of confirmation of the value of the various blog posts.

I know Seth Godin would scold me for caring about my stats:

Good blogs aren’t focused on the vapid race for clicks that other forms of social media encourage. Instead, they patiently inform and challenge, using your time with respect.

I know I shouldn’t be so concerned with my blog stats, but I can’t seem to stop myself from seeing how many people read my latest blog in the past hour.

And it’s not like I have millions, or thousands, or even hundreds (well, occasionally) of people reading my blog each day. The numbers are usually in a pretty tight interval of about 50-80 views per day, so there’s rarely anything that jumps out at me when I view the stats.

Given that there’s little benefit to constantly checking my stats, the problem must be, as Arnold notes, a lack of discipline.

So I’m going to see if I can control my stat viewing habits by going a full weekend without checking my stats, starting now. My goal is to not check my blog stats until Monday morning.

I’ll let you know if I found the discipline to do so.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to put some discipline into your life, why not make it a goal to read my blog every day. I can’t promise to patiently inform and challenge, using your time with respect, as Seth notes above, but at least you’ll know Arnold isn’t talking about you.

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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