Posts Tagged goals

Finally, I’ve Discovered the Secret to Motivation!

18 June 2012

I have changed a lot in the last few months. I had a year vacation that I’ve only just returned from. A year of sex, drugs, and rock’n'roll- debauchery unending. The year was amazing, I had a total blast and learned a lot about myself as a person. But learning who you are is not quite the same as growing into someone new. Just knowing who you are isn’t enough to make you a better person- you have to DO something with that knowledge. After a year of introspection without action, I returned home and resumed my personal development. Within weeks I’d changed so much about myself I don’t even want to write it down because no one would believe me. I hope in this and future posts I can capture some of the metamorphosis I’ve undergone.

Let’s kick this off with my most evasive opponent, my oldest foe, the patriarch of all productivity- Motivation. For years I thought motivation was the thing I lacked and the reason I never accomplished anything. Instead of taking RESPONSIBILITY for my procrastination I took the VICTIM stance and blamed my ineffectiveness on my utter lack of motivation. “Well I’m not motivated, so I don’t do what I’m supposed to.” See that? That’s a victim statement, which I’ll talk about later. Just keep it in mind.

So by blaming motivation for many of my failures, both personal and professional, I attributed a cause that I thought I could ‘fix’. If I could just figure out what motivated me I could accomplish so much! If I could find that one thing to drive me throughout life I’d be unstoppable! I cannot tell you how many things I tried, how many books I read and how many excuses I made on my journey to become a motivated individual. I decided money didn’t motivate me, because offers of money didn’t make me work harder. I decided objects don’t motivate me, because I’m not really a materialistic person. (Which I am, but ‘stuff’ doesn’t sound like its worth working for.) My journey went on, I’ll spare you the details.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d discovered and perfected a new form of procrastination! I call it, “Discovering the Cure for Procrastination.” I now know that instead of working like I was supposed to I was looking for an external reason for my laziness. An unrealistic and imaginary ‘cure’ for an ‘affliction’ I had diagnosed myself with. Then, only just a few weeks ago I was reading a personal development book. It wasn’t geared towards motivation, it wasn’t supposed to help specifically with procrastination, it was just something on my Mom’s bookshelf called “Failing Forward” by Danielle Laporte. Within this book held the answer I’d searched for during the last five years. YEARS I have been blaming my lack of motivation for failures.

Within the pages of this unassuming book was the holy grail of advice: “Motivation comes AFTER you begin.”

Just that. Sounds simple. Danielle writes that motivation is a trap we set for ourselves- you spend all your time looking or waiting for motivation as an excuse to not have to do the things you don’t want to do. The way to become motivated.. is to start a task BEFORE you’re motivated. After you meet some success or realize it just isn’t as hard as you made it out to be in your head, the motivation to complete the project will set in. I don’t know if this hits home with anyone else or not but I felt like I was hit in the pit of my stomach with a hammer as I realized my procrastination is my fault. Of course I always told others that I only had myself to blame for procrastinating but deep, deep down I knew it was not my fault. It was ‘Motivation’s fault, I’m just the victim here.

If you struggle with procrastination or lack of motivation as I did, I encourage you to really take this post to heart. Don’t let yourself play victim to your struggles and remember in order to be motivated you only have to start! ‘Motivation comes AFTER you begin!’

Getting Ahead

6 August 2010

All right! Day TWO in a row of posting good stuff. I have some old articles I wrote a while back that will be auto-publishing themselves at midnight for the next week, they aren’t really on topic but I had fun reading them so I’m assuming you will too. Today’s topic will be about… hmm… The Slight Edge, a book by Jeff Olson. It’s a fantastic book I’ve been reading and Jeff, if you ever see this, understand I suck at citing sources so I’m just trying to make it super obvious this blog post came about because I read your book(The Slight Edge for those of you just joining us) so please don’t sue me.

SO this book- The Slight Edge- brings up some good points that made me think a lot. The book starts out describing the difference in winnings in say, a golf tournament. First place gets X amount, second place gets half of X, and so on. But the deciding factor in a golf tournament can be as little as one stroke.. one stroke doubled that player’s earnings. He wasn’t twice as good, he was just good enough to get twice the reward. I thought about this idea for a long time, and finally decided that all I have to do to be really successful in life is get the slight edge over everyone else. Now, you probably aren’t starting out too much ahead of your peers, but I think that just by improving yourself a little every day, it will add up to be enough to surpass those above you and leave the rest in your wake. Since I first read this, I’ve stopped making so many long-term goals and made a lot of short term goals that will have effects that last a lifetime. For example, a recent goal of mine is to keep my desk clean. Every morning when I get to work I’m going to spend the first ten minutes getting it absolutely spotless. Just a few days into this and I’ve already noticed changes in my attitude and behavior and my organization has been noticed by everyone else in the office. The immediate gratification and results makes it easy to want to keep it up, so I am.

Just by making little changes in your life will make it easier to change bigger things in the future. You’ve heard of compound interest? Same idea here. The little things are going to multiply and people will notice, and change the way they talk to you or behave around you. If you have the cleanest desk in the office, your coworkers who hate clutter are likely going to notice and appreciate your work. Maybe they will trust you with more work because you seem organized enough to handle it all, who knows? Set little goals every day and then meet them! This edge will go a long way, you just have to keep at it.

My goals for the day? Write a blog post, beat my high score of Bejeweled Blitz, and make a facebook page for this site.

Note to self- Don’t forget to make a facebook page today, do laundry.

Goal Setting

25 November 2009

Goals have three parts to them: 1. Think up/set them, 2. Figure out a way to achieve them, 3. Motivate yourself to pursue them. I’ve recently spent a ridiculous amount of time on my goals, and it’s made me feel really good about myself and feel like i’m actually accomplishing something.

1. Set the goals. You can do this a few ways, I have a few suggestions that I used. The first technique I used was from Tony Robbins, a super awesome guy you should google who teaches about the things I’ve been writing about. You take sixty seconds and write down things that you want to do, as many as you can. You then do the same thing for things you want to own, and things you want to do before you die. Then you go back and pick three from each part that you can do within a year, and those are your goals! Easy-peasy. A second method was introduced to me by my Mom, and to her from a friend. You use those same three parts as before; things you want to do, to have, and to do before you die. This time, you’re going to make up a list of thirty things for each one of these parts. Next, read my previous post about who you want to be, and imagine that person. Figure out each individual attribute that you want to have. I want to know another language, and how to play a musical instrument, so those went down on my goal list. Do this until you have a dozen or so. Figure out what kind of things you want people to see in you, what you want to know, what you want to do.

2. Now that you have your goals, you need to figure out how to achieve them. Now, my goals are mostly long term goals, with my ‘due date’ being my twenty first birthday. That gives me two and a half years to learn another language, learn a musical instrument, set up a decent website and maintain it, get a bachelors degree, and a few others. To keep track of my goals I first wrote them down, so I won’t forget. I made sure I set a timeline to complete them by, and made little ways to measure my progress. I did it simply- If I have to complete them all by age 21, then in a year i should be about halfway done, in half a year should be a quarter of the way done, etc. You may choose a different method for yourself, this is just the way I think will best help me get where I’m wanting to go. <br/>

After I worked out the time, I worked on the how. I know I procrastinate, badly, so I went out and bought a four by eight foot piece of plywood to paint my goals on and mount in my room. That way I’m forced to look at it every day, and can’t avoid them even if I want to. In addition, making a website that talks about goals and improving yourself helps remind me every day what I’m working for and why. <br/>

Since I don’t like to work on a single thing for long periods of time, I decided I’d try to do all of my goals at once, instead of one after another. I’m kind of worried this will make learning these new things a little bit harder, but at least I won’t get bored of them or want to quit. I got a guitar last night, I’m going to start teaching myself using Google and my roommate’s volunteered to help me out as well. I got a French CD pack that is supposed to be able to teach me French in no time. I put them on my ipod and also recruited my Mom to learn it along with me. That way, I have someone to practice with, and who will get on me if I haven’t kept up on it. Try to recruit your friends and family to help you with your goals- it makes them easier to do, and harder to quit! <br/>

3. If you’re like me, you may suffer from motivation issues. “Why should I learn this? I’ll never use it..” My big struggle is with procrastination. I know I can do stuff later, and I have two and a half years to accomplish this stuff. I’ve never learned a language on my own before, or made a functional website that had to be constantly updated. I’m not sure how long this will all take me, and I was shaky on when to set my deadline, because I don’t want to give myself too much time. However, when I sit down every day and think about my life, it somehow supercharges me and makes me want to get up and go on a run, to go meet people, to learn the guitar. I’m sure everyone has their own methods of getting pumped up- If I’m feeling a little bummed or kind of in a slump, I listen to some fast paced music and go power down some coffee. Most importantly, I get up and move. If you sit or lay around it’s incredibly difficult to want to go out and accomplish something. Get some caffeine in you, get up and crank your music and dance, sing, whatever. After I get my heart rate up and get my mind a little more active, I feel like I can totally get these goals out of the way and I can sit down and work on them like a madman. <br/>

If you need more ideas for goals, motivators, etc. Just leave a comment and I’ll try to help out a little. <br/>

Be all you can be and don’t run with the scissors.

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