I like jotting down all the things I think I need to do in a list. I like crossing those items off. Problem is, I think I like making lists more than I like completing lists.
I need a list of all my unfinished lists.
I think I have a problem of thinking too big. It’s like I see a large river I need to cross, and plan on making it in one leap, instead of taking time to give myself some stepping stones. I want to write more? I write down “finish X stories”. I want to exercise more? I write down “be 30 pounds fitter”. I want to meet more people in a new town? I write down “make friends and network”.
You might be able to see the problem here. Where is the process? How can I make these goals obtainable instead of just putting the end result as a “step”? You know the saying, can’t see the forest through the trees? It’s talking about getting caught up in the minutiae of something, and missing the big picture.
Well, I’m like the opposite. I can’t see the trees because of the forest. I’m like, whoa, cool a big forest! And while I’m staring up in wonder at the overhanging canopy, I walk face first, smack into a tree. Then get deterred from ever coming near said forest and try to find ways to walk around the forest instead of just making sure I pay attention to how I’m getting through.
This way of thinking keeps me paralyzed due to the extreme undertaking I put in front of myself. Better to do nothing than fail at something so big, right? Terrible way of thinking, I know.
So I think I need to start super small. As Dr. Leo would say : baby steps.
First, I want to make a kind of ‘daily activities’ list. This should be the smallest of small stuff, that I can make sure I get into the habit of doing. Stuff like specific exercises (run 1 mile) or quantifiable activities (meditate for 10 minutes / write 500 words). Then, I can move on to the short term goals type of lists.
This list can work in tandem with the dailies. If I stick with the daily type stuff, I should be able to accomplish the short term goals relatively easy. This can be like “finish a short story” and “run for 30 miles for the month”. Stuff like that.
Then I can swoop in with the big, overreaching goals that I put forth originally. Make those the long term goals. This way I can have the steps laid out in front of me on just how to accomplish these long term goals. I can start big and work my way back to see how to accomplish a goal, or I can start small and look forward to see what kind of achievements are possible if I stick with a process.
Side note – perhaps my favorite thing to do besides making lists is making suggestions for stuff I need to do. I’m always saying, I need to do this and that and I should be more whatever and I should be like….
I talk the talk. As much as I like to think I am not one of those people that is all talk and no substance when it comes to achieving personal goals – I don’t have much of a history when it comes to proving it. Instead, just a whole lot of talk. Eh. At least it’s my talk.
But, seriously. I need to walk the walk. Helps to start small. Just need consistency.