Good Morning Readers!
Just a few thoughts I’d like to offer on the topic of giving up, motivating yourself, and especially ignoring the sense of despair often associated with long-term goals. This last one resonates with me and I know it does for many out there.
I have written in the past about the importance of setting tiny goals for yourself. Setting smaller goals with success in the near future is the first step. Setting goals that are too large and take too long to accomplish are difficult in two ways.
- You forget about the goal, or get lazy about the path to accomplishing it. Discipline gone.
- You feel desperately desperate because the goal is so huge you feel as though you will never reach it, so what is the point in the first place? Motivation gone.
So how do we retain both our discipline and motivation for long term goals, and why am I even talking about this?
I feel a sense of looming despair when it comes to my student loans. It is such a high number and the interest payments alone are annoying. So I’m tempted month after month to do..what’s that thing that people do with their student loans? Oh yeah, not pay them. Discipline gone, motivation to may off my loans is gone, because I see no way that I’ll ever be able to pay them off like…ever.
Fitness. Diet. Weight loss. These are areas in which many come to road blocks. Areas in which people lose motivation, regain the motivation, then lose discipline and motivation. Why? Because changing your lifestyle is hard and losing a significant amount of weight or getting into better shape takes a long time! Goals that take a long time and a significant amount of discipline are so hard to adhere to.
However we still need to do these difficult things from time to time. How do we accomplish them when they are so far away and seem so impossible?
- Set a smaller goal for yourself that is attainable, and reward yourself for it.
E.g. I pay off $5,000 on my student loans, I get to…(I guess an expensive gift for myself is a little counterproductive) but I do really want a new bag. Problems.
2. Don’t think about the end goal, think about the process and find a way to enjoy it.
E.g. In another life I have to lose 50 lbs. I find ways to workout that take me to places I love to go, e.g., a walk in a museum or the aquarium. Hell, maybe I walk around the mall for 5 hours. I do not spend time in front of the mirror and think in circles deeper into my psyche. I look forward to how I will look and feel in one month, not twelve.
I am no expert on accomplishing things that are really, really hard. Unless college counts. The reason that all of this popped into my head is because my workouts have stalled somewhat during the past few weeks. Work and holidays and work and preparing for more holidays have caused fitness to take a back seat, a feeling I hate. The good news? I’m not despairing because this has happened before. I know it will only take me a few weeks to get back to where I was. I’m not thinking about the weeks of work ahead, I’m just focusing on each workout as they happen.
Do you feel desperate about long term goals?