Friday, January 30, 2015

You're Not as Great as You Think You Are... And Neither am I

Why oh why would I start a post by telling you that you are not that unique, wonderful, magical, amazing person that you secretly (or in my case not so secretly) think you are? Does lower self-esteem increase the odds of achieving goals? Well no, but considering yourself realistically does increase the odds of accurately predicting your future actions, and that is very important to achieving your goals.

"You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake." - Tyler Durden, Fight Club
So, how can owning up to being less than perfect do for your ability to achieve goals? It allows you to plan for what will actually happen. If 92% of people fail to stick with their New Years Resolutions we should assume we're in the 92% and spend some time thinking about what might cause us to give up.

Using another one of my goals as the example, I set myself the goal of posting to this blog at least four times each month. As you can see, I have not quite met this for the month of January (even if I decide my December 31st post should count). So, is it time to quit? Hell no! It's time to figure out why I haven't been achieving this goal.

I could start by listing my (and your) go-to excuses. I just don't have the time. I have other more important things on my plate. Bla, bla, bla. The fact of the matter is that I set myself a goal. I said, "Lynda, you are going to start taking this blog more seriously and that starts with regular posts." Now what has actually been stopping me?

Well, I haven't been thinking about it. I honestly have not thought about this blog since the last time I revised this post, which was almost two weeks ago. This is probably the biggest actual roadblock to my getting posts up.  So, how can I bring blogging to the forefront? I could try:

  • Setting a chunk of time aside each day or each week to work on blog stuff.
  • Leaving myself post-its with reminders on them.
  • Starting each day by reviewing my goals for the month (and having this on the list).
  • Adding blogging as a "Daily" on HabitRPG (more about that later).
  • Rewarding myself each time I work on the blog for X amount of time.

I drew up that list in less than five minutes. Figure out what's holding you back and brainstorm solutions.  Then all you have to do is pick what you think will work for you. It's very helpful to know yourself well enough to know what will work. For example, I added the "X amount of time" to the end of the reward idea because I could just see myself treating myself for tiny amounts of work because I wanted the treat. If you don't feel like you know yourself that well, that's fine too, just try things out and take notes (mental or otherwise).  Most people fail at the goals they are trying to achieve.  The people who eventually succeed are those who learn from their mistakes and keep trying.

As for HabitRPG, I seriously love this site. I have never felt so productive as since I started using Habit close to one year ago. I have always been a huge fan of to-do lists. I draw up the to-do list for the day while eating my breakfast each morning.  HabitRPG turns your to-do list into a game. This may not be super exciting for less nerdy people reading this blog, but I love the idea of battling monsters which also battling the dust bunnies in my own house (have I mentioned how clean my house has been since I added cleaning to my Dalies in Habit? Much, much cleaner!) You can also enter in "Habits" which are items you wish to do/not do multiple times per day and larger projects onto a to-do list. My spring cleaning tasks will be going up soon.

The best part (in my opinion) is that once you join a party doing battle with a boss you have to complete your dailies or your hurt not just yourself but all those nice people who let you join their party! Even on days when I'm dog tired and could not care less whether the dishes get done I will get up off my lazy behind and drag myself into the kitchen to prevent my laziness from hurting other people.

So you're just like everyone else and that's okay. Everyone struggles to achieve goals, fails repeatedly, fails to learn from their failures, fails again... What you can do to make it into that 8% who stick to their resolutions is just keep trying.  Forgive yourself for your mistakes and try again.  Don't waste energy being mad at yourself or feeling helpless.  Everyone goes through what you're going through.  Everyone. So, pick yourself back up and start again.

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