We are not alone.
In my previous couple of posts, I have talked about my the year that has just passed and how I utterly failed in that year. After I have surfed my way through the internet, I have noticed that many people have failed to achieve what they intended to get done in 2018. It is not only me. It is not only you. Many people have problems staying on task and feeling the sense of accomplishment. They see the successful people that have made it and wonder what miracle they have found.
Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure for getting any type of success. I wish there was. And honestly, I have yet to find the level of success that I strive to achieve. A more detailed account will be discussed in future blogs.
Goals, and Dreams
In short, goals and dreams are the way we measure whether we are successful or not. If we made our goal, we are a success, if not, a failure. But what about the in between? The space from the daily struggle to the day that you deem yourself a success. How do you tell if you are on the correct path? Many people, like myself, use days like New Years as a judgment day where the previous year is weighed and measured.
Honestly, that is the reason why I hate New Years and my birthday. They are two easily recognizable days that tend to jump out at me when I am least expecting it. They always mug me for loose pocket change and leave me watching a rerun of that failed year. It is worse as my birthday is in the middle of the year, giving me a mid-year check-up day. I usually freak out and realize that the stuff I was supposed to do isn’t done and that I am a half-year behind.
The Path to Success or Daily Tasks
As I have stated in previous posts, there is a disconnect between setting a long-term goal and setting daily tasks to propel you towards that goal. Many people, including me, have an issue with keeping on task. It is easy to get sidetracked and allowing a week or even a month slip by without realizing it. This sidetrack is the reason why I have not reached the level of success that I want. Such as having seven unfinished and unpublished books, which is not a good thing.
The outcome of having been sidetracked is, for some; the weight has not come off, the finances are just as bad, and for me; the book isn’t written and is not published. Some people will say, “It’s okay. Shake it off and try again.” So I try again. New year, new me. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
However, how many times must I do that before I wake up to that scam? Before I realize that it isn’t about trying again the same way. Einstein defined insanity as trying the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result at each attempt.
So this year, as stated in previous posts, I am trying something new. This daily accomplishment is my new thing. In 2018 I didn’t write daily tasks, I only doled out self-punishment for failing after I picked myself out of the ditch where I was mugged.
Giving out self-punishment is not a good thing and I see many people do it. Worse yet, it can come in a form that doesn’t look like punishment. It is not self-flagellation, but it is something more hidden. It is the act of giving up, of turning on Youtube or Netflix or cable or video games. It is wasting the days away and pretending not to care about the issue or about making your goal.
I will be truthful, in these last three weeks, I have had my good days and my bad days. I am not perfect. Some days I let things get too much and others, like today, I am getting things done; like writing a blog post on a Wednesday that will be posted on Sunday.
But I have a strategy for that.
(Please note that I read this or heard it somewhere, but can’t recall where.)
The ultimate goal is to do a few little things that get you closer to your ultimate goal. These little things make one day better than the last. It will make you stronger from one day or one week to the next. Or smarter. Or it will get that book done or more money in your pocket and that debt repaid. However, it is easier said than done.
My strategy is my daily accomplishments. The idea, in short, is to write out everything that you need to do that day. But not to write them in randomly. The goal is to write them in an order of importance, to write them the night before instead of when you wake up and to write out the list every day even if it is the same thing over and over.
As stated in previous posts, the starting point of my daily list is my word count for the day. For you, it may be to work out at the gym or go for that 5am run. Whatever it is, put it on top and do it first. That way if you lose steam or get distracted by a honey-do list, then at least you have done something. If you wait until the end of the day when you are tired to do the most important thing, then it is easier to say, “fuck-it-all,” and turn on your distraction-vice of choice.
The task of writing out a list at the end of the day is a nice ritual to end the day. If I am feeling good about what I have accomplished, then it is exciting to write things down. If I failed at the day, then it is an important recap of the day and a chance to think about how to make it better. For me, it works.
This brings me to the last point; the act of writing a new list every day. It gives me the ability to look back at the day and ask the important question. If I didn’t get my tasks done, why? What went wrong on that day? Is it cause I put too much on the list? What distraction hampered my day? When I do that, it gives me the ability to figure out ways to overcome that problem. Cause problems will happen. Days will flop.
But what about…
There are loads of people that have excuses why they can’t do a daily task list and the ability to accomplish daily goals. Some of them are justified, but some of them are not. I struggled with this for a long time. I was not a list person until I was.
In my attempt to prove that I wasn’t a list person, I wrote out all of my excuses on why I couldn’t write. These were the things that got in my way. The job, kids, wife, video games, youtube, anxiety. At the end of my list, I wrote anxiety down as I was grasping at straws hoping to have something that would prove that lists don’t work for me.
But it did. After I went over my list, I realized that all of my issues were not insurmountable. They were details that I could and am overcoming. The important aspect is to take a daily interest with your goal, turn it from an abstract concept and work steadily towards it. If you don’t then you will be thinking the same thing at the end of 2019 that you did at the end of 2018.
That is it for today. If you enjoyed the blog and wish to support me in my work, feel free to purchase one of my books or to simply buy me a coffee.
Until next time.