So many of you have decided to participate in the 52 weeks to simplify your life challenge. Many of you took my advice to create a blog to gain the benefit of support and accountability – fantastic. Then you went to create a blog and some of you got stuck – normal and not a problem.
Instead of continuing to answer emails and comments on this I figured I would round up some basic information for those confused by how it all works.
You can sign up for a free blog
There are quite a few places and ways to do this (some I had never heard of) so I figured we would keep it simple for you and stick to the 3 biggies – blogger, wordpress and typepad. I won’t get into pros and cons as I have no experience with any of them (mine is on a self hosted wordpress site and you do not need to go there just for this challenge – make it easy on yourself and just pick one based on a friend’s recommendation or someone else doing the challenge who might comment below). So far I have seen at least 10-12 new blogs from SYL12′ers and they are split between wordpress and blogger and everyone seems to be finding their feet (and already commenting and helping each other!)
You can set up your blog in under 10 minutes
Set up is simple and quick and there are video tutorials to guide you – I found videos best as most of us non techy people (I was when I started) don’t know the terminology so reading directions can be confusing. Some people may find text better – you can google for more help as questions come up.
Here is a step by step tutorial for blogger – follow this and you will be all set.
Here is a video tutorial for how to post on typepad and add images etc.
How to link up posts for SYL12
Next Monday the first link up will open and blogging participants will add their posts to what is called a “linky”
At the bottom of my post there will be a link up and you will see “add your link”
Click on that button and there will be spaces to enter
- url (direct link for your blog post): If you don’t know where to find your permalink: click on the title of your post that you are submitting and then copy and paste the url located in your address bar. It will look like www.yourblogname.com/blogposttitlehere (not the address of your main blog page)
- Name: You can write your blog name, your post title or a description (does not need to be your personal name)
- Email address: This is in case I need to get in touch and will not be publicly displayed.
- Click Next step to load it into the linky (at this stage there might be a thumbnail linky which simply means you will have an ability to select a picture to show up with your blog link – from your post or from your computer etc) – we will see how this all plays out next week.
Your post needs to contain a link to this site in some way – either the button or simply a reference to the site in your post like “I am linking up with home life simplified’s SYL challenge” -link the words to www.homelifesimplified.com.au
There will be a new link up each week and you simply take the url of your newest challenge post and enter that information.
How to put the challenge button on your blog and / or post
Basically, a button is something people create so you can share sites and link ups you are involved in and help spread the word or identify yourself as part of a group.
If you look to the right of my posts you see I have one promoting my philosophy (and sign off on every post) of “Find your Simple” and another for the 52 week challenge. Using the challenge one as an example you copy and paste the code that is in the box under the picture
<a href=”http://www.homelifesimplified.com.au” target=”_blank”><img src=” http://www.homelifesimplified.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/homelife_simplified_52weeks_125x125.jpg”>
and paste it into your blog post while in html view/editor or into a text widget / box . When you publish the post the code (the long chain of info) will magically turn into the image!
Other questions / concerns about the challenge answered
You do not have to participate in every challenge – this is a no stress scenario – please make of it what you wish and what works for you. I admit this is unchartered territory as I am designing this from an idea I had and the knowledge I have amassed over the years that has led me to this theory…I believe it is critical to the challenge to at least stick through the first 1-2 months when we do the bulk of the inner work. Then if you skip the money section or relationships because you are good-to-go there, then no worries.
If you complete 36 out of 52 missions you have not failed!
You do not have to blog – comment on the link up post with your results (remember it is not a blog post though so be brief if you want others to read and comment back). I do think the added accountability and support are worth the attempt at setting up a simple blog, but understand the time factor and possible added stress would be too much for some. In that case use Facebook and my blog to interact and comment on other people’s posts to connect further! Another option I saw last night was Kimberley shared a link to a facebook note in a comment on my post. She made it public and that way SYLers can see it and comment there just like on a blog.
You do not have to link up on Monday – the linky will be open Monday to Sunday and then close. If you want to blog on Wednesday link up then or whatever suits your weekly schedule. I will be reading along through the week and there will be others dipping in and out of reading posts so there will be people to read new posts other days.
What about prizes? – well amazingly no one has mentioned this at all so I am going to say now – I expected a few people to join in and I planned to read every – single – post and pick favourite posts to send gifts and prizes as encouragement and acknowledgement. I plan to feature these posts on the blog as “guest/featured posts” with permission. If the group is very large I cannot guarantee that I can manage this so will have to rethink how to do prizes – email me if you have any suggestions or experience hosting a large linky.
Allright then – if you have any more questions post them in the comments and myself and other bloggers (new and old alike) will try to help you out! Up until this week I replied to every single comment on my blog as much as possible (might have missed a few in 5 months). I cannot guarantee I will be able to do that anymore (but may die trying) so please know now – I am not ignoring you if I don’t reply. I read every comment and will forever do that – I may do a few group replies (some people were concerned by the number of reply emails they received when I responded to all the launch post comments – seriously sorry and do know that was a one-off).
Let’s get to it then! I am so excited to have you along this journey with me and appreciate your enthusiasm and openness to a process that is not so clearly defined. One day at a time we will move through 52 weeks and all I can promise right now is that if you participate fully you will not be the same person at the end of this. You will be the person you have been holding inside – that person has been waiting to come out.
Find your simple,