I arrive today with a subject near and dear to my heart: how to accomplish your goals.
If we’re being honest, I’m a bit of a fanatical goal-setter. Ever since I was little, I can remember sitting down and writing lists with mini-goals and big goals. They could be as small as reading a certain book, or as big as learning Italian.
I’m rather proud of my success rate in these endeavors, so why is it that my latest project has stalled for years? If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I’ve wanted to write a book since I was little, and began attempting the task in earnest last year. But it wasn’t until the last few months that I began making real progress. Why?
Guys, this sounds obvious, but I started to work on it every single day.
This seems like an insanely obvious tip, but at least for me, it was a pretty big change.
Growing up, I tended to be the “procrastinate + work like a psycho night before the due date” type. But as an adult, this doesn’t work for two reasons.
- There is no due date, so you don’t ever have to work like a psycho. It is completely possible to go weeks upon weeks without doing anything to accomplish your goal.
- More importantly — and this is what was revolutionary for me — it’s basically impossible to do the same amount of work in one day as what you will accomplish if you dedicate an hour or two to your goal every single day.
Let’s do the math on this for a moment. If your goal is to write a book, and you’re busy during the day with work/school, an insanely productive day is 10 pages. If you’re ambitious, you might be able to do this once a week. But more likely than not, you’ll be so dazed and confused afterwards, you won’t string together another coherent sentence for a month.
But 2-2.5 pages each day isn’t overly exerting, even with a real life during the day. That puts you at 14-17 pages per week, instead of 10 each week (at best) or 0 each week (at worst).
You accomplish way more, and it’s way more manageable. And at the end, you’re proud and exhilirated, not drained to within an inch of your life.
And guys, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of every single day. If your goal is to get in shape, maybe just go for a light walk or stretch on the seventh, but most goals are best when nurtured. Figure out exactly what your goals are — which ones you can really tackle — and pursue them with single-minded focus.
For those of you who are saying, why should I listen to you? You are the most erratic blogger ever. Wasn’t this one of your goals too?
Yes, I originally hoped to grow this blog more, especially with no longer writing full-time for a living. When I started grad school, this was going to be a new passion project. BUT I was offered another job shortly after leaving my old one that I had no desire to turn down. School, work, and book were the only numero uno priorities I had time for, so the blog had to take a back seat.
See? At the end of the day, you just have to pick what you want to focus on, and work at it day after day. The advice is nothing revolutionary, but you’d be surprised how much of a game-changer it has been for me at least. Hopefully it will help some of you, too!