Wednesday 3rd June 2020
I’m falling into one of the traps of long term goals.
I’ve not played the last week. I’ve been meaning to but other things have taken priority.
One thing that is constant amongst any of the long term projects I’ve done (whether it be getting myself healthy after Leggedon, or learning to swordfight, or writing a novel) is the importance of repetitive actions.
You’ve heard the phrase “slow and steady wins the race”. That’s so true. The trick to any long term goal is the ability to do the work with no short term reward. It’s the reason why so many people fail. They are enthused for a week or so, but then either they get bored or the work gets harder, and they skip it for a day.
I’ve never believed that you can’t skip a day. Sometimes, circumstances are such that repetitive work is not possible for that day. But the downside to that is that it becomes easier not to do the work the next day, and then a day off becomes a week, becomes a month. With life so disrupted at the moment it’s incredibly difficult to stick to a routine.
I’ve always struggled with routine. I need to hold myself accountable, and for that reason it’s why I have a lot of process that surrounds me. BUT, I find that when one area of my life breaks routine, the rest start to follow.
For example, I’m waiting on something at the moment. It requires make to be patient, but in doing so, it’s made me inactive in other areas.
There’s another phrase: “enjoy the journey, not the destination”. I think that’s very true. With no short term reward you have to love the act of completing repetitive tasks. That’s easier said than done. I know I love writing but some days, some scenes are torture.
I doubt there’s anything I’m saying that people haven’t heard before, but there’s something I’ve learnt additionally to this in recent weeks and months.
There’s often guilt when habits are broken and repetitive tasks are not being done. That makes it harder to restart. It often feels like there needs to be some sort of reset or big new effort to kick things back off again.
But that just leads to more delay. The trick I’ve learnt is to discount the past. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t played Warcraft in a week or more. I can’t get those days back. Instead of flagellating myself for it, instead, I just need to do the repetitive tasks for that day.
By diminishing the guilt, it makes it easier to jump back in rather than procrastinate more around resetting.
I’m not saying I’m perfect at this yet, but it’s something I’m working on.
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