Last week, I had an idea for a story. I wrote a short scene, but didn’t know what to do with it. I knew it could be something if I worked on it.

But I also know from experience that I can work on things forever. So I set myself a deadline: one week.

That was Tuesday, and today is Tuesday again. I wrote some more on it yesterday, still not sure what it would be when I finished. But I promised I would finish it.

External deadlines are much easier to stick with. When you know another person will be disappointed if you fail, the guilt keeps you working. Internal deadlines are much easier to miss. Often, I’m the only one who knows I failed to meet it.

That’s a habit I want to break. I want to trust myself. I want to believe in my own capacity to finish the things I love.

I finished that story this afternoon, in the literal moments before I had to leave for work. I promised myself I’d do the thing, and I did the thing.

That’s a habit I want to build.