For those who are soaring through March Madness this year and getting tons accomplished, way to go! Keep with it! Keep checking in to inspire the rest of us!
I want to talk today a little about those times when we're not keeping up on our goals, or we're further behind than we'd like to be at certain checkpoints (like the halfway point!)
First of all, you're not alone. I've been there many times, and, in fact, I'm facing that kind of situation right now.
Secondly, this is not an unfixable problem. And maybe the "problem" isn't even a problem at all. Perhaps along the way you've realized that the goal was bigger than expected, or maybe you've realized your story had to go in a different direction than anticipated, and this has required stepping back to discover a new plan of attack.
The most important thing, wherever you're at with your goals, and for whatever reason, is that you're not thinking of your work (or yourself) as a failure. This kind of outlook is debilitating, and will stop you in your tracks. At first you may think, "Yeah, I'm a little behind, but I'll catch up tomorrow." Then tomorrow comes, and you don't really feel like catching up. The next day rolls around, and you've become so far behind, and you are now so unmotivated, it seems nearly impossible to close your Twitter window and open your manuscript. Sound familiar? Or is this just me?
One solution I've found is to micro-focus until I've built a few small successes to bolster me up again. Opening my manuscript IS an accomplishment when it's hard to do, as is writing one new sentence. Pretty soon, I'm writing an entire new paragraph. Sometimes we miss those small accomplishments if we're focusing too hard on the Big Goal. A question I often ask myself (with writing and with other areas of life) is "Am I going in the right direction?" If the answer is yes, maybe all the little details of when and how and how much are not that important.
Sometimes I think we need to be more like little kids. I love this picture, because it reminds me that kids have no problem celebrating the little things in life, like creating a silly cartoon character or winning a round of a video game. We adults may have more of a tendency to tell ourselves it's not enough, or not good enough, or not worth celebrating. Forward progress of any kind IS worth celebrating. Making yourself accountable to us was a huge step in its own right, so if you're feeling down at all today, remind yourself that you're here, you're doing this, and even though this month may not be looking exactly how you envisioned it, you are accomplishing things! One of my favorite song lyrics is from Avril Lavigne: "I'm waking up to say I've tried, instead of waking up to another TV Guide." That's all of us. We're all trying, and it's a lot better than not trying.
What do you do when you get behind or feel like you just can't motivate yourself to do anything?
And finally, what's one thing you are celebrating about yourself or your progress today?
Don't forget to check in over at Kim's blog tomorrow!