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Though a highly unmotivated individual, I’ve still learned some tricks up my sleeve when it comes to goal-setting and achievement.
I feel unmotivated a lot – like right now, for instance. I want to have this post up the end of the day, but I’m having a hard time making it happen. I’m not in the mood. Unfortunately, I’m never in the mood. The process of writing is long, tiring, and often stressful. I want nothing more than to just let myself forget about it. Take a break. Treat ‘yo self.
I’ve always had a chronically hard time committing to the goals I set myself. I don’t think I’ve ever had a New Year’s Resolution – because I never believe I’ll be able to accomplish it. I thought I was being realistic, but I’ve come to realise that it’s just sad. The only way to truly fail at something is to not even try at all.
I guess I’m not self-motivated. If someone else gives me the instructions and the deadline, I can get the work done. However, if I try to take charge of a task myself I quickly lose interest. It’s like my brain has no respect for what I want to do.
I tell it: okay brain – today we’re going to finish writing this piece to do with feeling unmotivated.
My brain responds: I don’t want to. You can’t tell me what to do.
Clearly, my brain has some maturing to do.
I take a small amount of comfort in the fact that I am far from the only person facing this problem. So many people seem to have a hard time motivating themselves to achieve their goals. If this doesn’t apply to you – great. Please share the secrets to your success. I’m all ears.
When it comes to setting goals, my biggest mistake is being overly ambitious. Basically, I often have a long-term aim that I want to achieve in a short-term capacity. For instance, I once decided I wanted to read the entirety of War and Peace in a week. This might be possible for some people, but not me – since I had a number of assignments due at university at the time. I felt discouraged when I couldn’t finish the book when I wanted to, which made me question whether I should even bother reading it at all.
We need to change this mind-set and be realistic about the size of our ambitions and the length of time it is going to take to achieve. If we set ourselves a large task to complete – will we be patient throughout the time it takes to accomplish it?
If patience is not your biggest virtue, I’ve often found that breaking a goal into smaller fragments helps to keep my motivation up. When reading War and Peace, for instance, I decided to read a chapter a night until I’d finished it. Rather than stressing out about completing the whole thing in a week, I took my time and finished it in a much more enjoyable manner.
It’s important to remember that we can be very hard on ourselves and set standards that are a little too high. Though there is nothing wrong with having ambition, being realistic about how long something will take you to do is incredibly important, since this will give us the encouragement and incentive to keep going.
Another thing that helps motivate me are lists. I am so much more likely to do something if I’ve physically written it down on a piece of paper somewhere. I don’t know why, but I really hate not completing lists. If I take the time to actually write something down then it means completing this goal or task must be important.
Obviously, lists don’t work for everyone. We just have to find what it is that works for us. If we don’t find it straight away – remember, it’s okay. It’s all a process. Heaven knows I’m still figuring it all out.
- Do you have goals you haven’t achieved?
- Do you have goals you have achieved?
- Do you even like to set yourself goals?
- What goals have you recently set yourself?