When we are in school, we are always thinking of the next grade.
In 7th grade, we think of all the next level things 8th grade has and what new freedoms and responsibilities are in store. Everything is exciting and we have so much to look forward to. Next comes 9th grade in high school, then being able to have more intimate, and open minded lectures in college.
Each new degree has a sense of a new plane to conquer devised by the next stage itself. The next volume of the latest anthology is the most thrilling. It’s stimulating to think of the future elevation and the heights we could reach after.
This sense of new grounds to reach keeps us hopeful and with a sense of purpose. I know I have something to look forward to even when I don’t reach a goal. When I want to reach $10,000 in extra savings within 4 weeks and don’t get it, it’s totally okay. I try to aim higher still and it gives me something to work towards.
If I create the objective of making only $1,000 extra in a month, I might reach it easier, but do less.
Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.
For those of you who don’t know, I have an endless to-do list. This includes my weekly list of books to read — well, audiobooks. I aim for minimum 4 a week rain or shine. Read more on how I accomplish this in this post. If more, then that’s setting myself up for some good luck of being able to harness more information for future use!
The Little Weekly Agenda / Yearly Planner
I have a wonderful yearly planner from Amazon that keeps me on track. It’s more meant for my weekly goals. The planner itself has 3 lines at the start of the week for 3 weekly goals. Outside of the planner, I would have never come up with this idea myself.
The Google Calendar Way
Something that helps me execute tasks is my Google Calendar. Nothing is sexier than color coding and blocking out time lol. It’s just easier to access when everything’s automatically online and is faster to load than the Calendar app on my macbook, really.
The Notes App / Mini Legal Pad
But each day I manually create a to do list broken into smaller tasks. This could be on my Notes app on iPhone or simply a mini legal notepad I also get from Amazon for cheap in a huge set! I’m a sucker for handwritten notes.
The truth is it’s statistically proven that taking notes and writing things down helps us understand what it is we’re aiming to achieve. This is because before writing, your brain is cognitively trying to understand what you’re writing before you actually put it down on paper. Typing notes is less active when it comes to retaining information. It’s been proven by a few college surveys I think it was.
A way to physically force yourself to create smaller habits that bring your larger ambitions to fruition is by giving yourself a manual prompt. Set up a notification system on your phone with a reminder to do something you want to get closer to.
It can also be a sticky note on your mirror or desktop, erasable marker on a whiteboard you see everyday, or typed note on your fridge. However you want to manifest your actions, bring them to life by making them visible in your daily routine.
If none of this works for you
Go back and re-evaluate your situation to see where in the sequence of completing your aim went awry. Sometimes finding the misstep can help you realize where your misdirection is. Backtracking can not only help you see where you may have stirred from your objective, but it can also help you figure out how to change your systems.
Seeing manual prompts of written, forgotten notes everyday on your desktop may have become numb to you. This may mean you need to take further steps of action and find what works for you. It can simply be doing a forceful little detail everyday for a few minutes, sit down, and grind. Sort of like taking a really strong medicine, but pinching your nose before taking it.
It’s the effect of the work that counts and sometimes we just have to “eat the frog” (from Mark Twain) and do it. We just have to remember our why and end goal of everything to push through.
Motivation is hard, and forcing ourselves to do the right thing, even if it’s uncomfortable to do. We just have to get comfortable with being discomfort and change our relationship with adversity.
Facing new challenges to get this done is an obstacle we all have to get through, but it needs to be done.
Find an accountability partner
If someone out there is keeping an eye out for your who understands the situation objectively, you can probably count on them to have consistent daily or weekly meetups. Especially if they’re going through a similar situation, or just understand that they are the active prompts reminding you to take daily steps to reach your goals, the idea of not letting an external person from the equation down keeps the mind in check.
How I prevent myself from missteps
I personally like to give myself no options to mess up — very extreme, I know. This means not letting myself make mistakes. It sounds weird, but I don’t own any pencils or erasers, only pens.
I also don’t like to own any clothing that’s worn out, or ragged, even for pajamas, because I don’t want that energy in my life. A sloppy mindset shouldn’t be allowed, because we need standards.
If we don’t start somewhere with cleaning up our self development, getting to the next stage would be an even more exigent journey. Starting with the self awareness of where we are for a sense of placement is the beginning of unearthing our next course of action on the route toward achievement.