At some point in the near past, I’m sure I said something about regularly updating this blog (or any of the other writing projects I have). I see now that the last time I wrote was literally a month ago; so much for that.
But I just got an email from my dad, who somehow thinks that the advice he gives me and my brother is old-fashioned and that we’ll roll our eyes at him. Well, fine, that’s happened occasionally, but usually he’s bang on target about things. Such as this article he unearthed from somewhere, called “Marching Towards Your Goal” by Henrik Edberg, summarized here in my own words:
- Establish a morning routine. That way, you contribute something towards your overall goal and feel good about the rest of the day. This is why I get to work early every day, but I could take half an hour out in the morning, possibly, to write about something I read in the news.
- Focus on the process, not the ultimate goal, when you’re working. This way, you’re not constantly comparing your progress with some Platonic ideal and spending all your time and energy critiquing your work; you’re actually just focused on getting something done.
- Remind yourself of the goal. Sometimes, especially at the end of the day, it’s incredibly hard for me to remember why I’m planning on doing this, setting myself these extra steps to reach a goal that’s more idealistic than practical. Edberg suggests writing that all down and putting it somewhere I can see.
- Don’t hurt yourself. I can’t improve on Edberg’s explanation here: “Realize that when you disappoint yourself and don’t think and do as you really deep down want to you hurt yourself by lowering your self-esteem. Whatever you do during your day sends signals back to yourself about what kind of person you are.”
- Smaller steps are better than doing nothing every day. Often it’s legitimately exhausting to do something exhausting at the end of the day. When that happens, you could instead do some small task that contributes to the eventual goal, instead of staring despairingly at the bigger tasks. I should remember that if I can’t work out, I can always go for a brisk walk, and that if I can’t write an entire article, that I can at least write a few sentences about something I’ve read today.
- Celebrate. Huh. I’ve no idea what to do about this. Although, to be honest, I do treat myself very well everyday by watching or reading something frivolous. My instinctive reaction is to go “chocolate”. And since recent studies have shown that it could help prevent weight loss…