As I’ve recently been reinvigorated in my own passion of learning the science of peak performance and sharing it through blozzom, I’ve realized that I’ve failed in the past when it’s come to launching blozzom and completing other related personal projects. My strength is that I’m a big picture thinker and can see the possible future– motivating myself and others to get started on projects. My weakness, however, lies in the details. I’m not so good at maintaining the small details and tasks over that longer period of time. Eventually I feel as though things are taking too long or not going anywhere, and I get bored or lose interest and quit. Sometimes even, the task seems so big that I don’t think I can accomplish it and run away when I don’t see myself going anywhere.
Planning far ahead and not-so-far ahead
The idea that knowing progress is being made- is validating when it comes to behavior change and goal achievement. This is why it’s important to have milestones to track your progress. Even more so, having specific goals can help you reach those milestones faster. This is because you will know what steps you need to take in order to achieve that milestone, and are more able to take action because you have a plan.
Breaking it down into easy chunks
The solution here is: using both proximal and distal goals. A distal goal is a long-term goal– one that is farther out and not immediately attainable, whereas proximal goals are short-term, more immediately attainable goals. Proximal and distal goals should be used in conjunction, where the proximal goal assists in making the distal goal happen. For example, if you have a research paper to write, the most distal goal would be to have it completed by a certain time. Proximal goals would be set to make sure that it gets completed by then. For example, some proximal goals would be to do the research and write notes about the literature, or to create an outline, to create a rough draft, and then to edit. Proximal goals turn one big goal into multiple smaller goals, allowing you to take out chunks until you are completely finished. In the research paper example, I turned the one large goal of writing a research paper into four separate chunks that are smaller and much more manageable.
When it comes to motivation and getting things done, when the goal seems hard or even impossible to complete in one sitting, we become discouraged. It’s easy to let something go by the wayside especially when you aren’t seeing the progress yourself.
Tracking the progress
I want to get into better shape, but if I can’t track my progress and maintain goals toward my ends, I’ll probably give up. But if I measure my weight and keep track of the amount of weight I can lift each week, slowly inching my way to achieving the fitness level I want, then I’ll be able to see my progress and stay motivated.
Looking back at my previous failures to follow through, it was because I felt like I was going to be in a never-ending loop of work that I could see no end to. This time around, I’m creating objective milestones for me to complete and tracking the amount of work I do to see how far I’ve come.