Let’s talk about goals and visions. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the race between the turtle and the hare. “Slow and steady wins the race”, right? But here’s the thing- they both have their merits. Having the fervor of the hare and the consistency of the turtle is the best of both worlds.
Set Realistic Goals
I can’t stress this enough. It’s great to be ambitious and set clear goals. But you also have to consider what you’re realistically able to commit. Given how much time and energy you’re able to put towards your goals, what are you realistically able to accomplish?
When you have an ultimate goal in mind, don’t forget to set smaller, short-term ones. Break it down into doable chunks. This way, you get consistent moments of accomplishment. You’ll also have a set timeline for evaluating yourself and making pivots. Every time you reach a smaller milestone, ask yourself if it went as expected. What have you learned, and does that change anything?
Have you ever had a sudden burst of inspiration at 2 am? That level of motivation is wonderful, but it’s unsustainable. Passion and excitement are important. But so is having the drive to back it up.
Anticipate motivation slumps
Let’s face it. Motivation slumps will happen. Hitting a slump doesn’t mean you’re undisciplined or lazy. It’s just a part of the process.
Life will throw you unexpected circumstances. Maybe you’ll change your mind about what you want. Maybe you’ll go through a period of being physically or mentally unwell. Maybe you’ll start questioning everything you’ve known.
Point is, slumps will happen, so plan for them.
This could be writing down a powerful mission statement to stay focused. This could be writing letters to your future self to cheer yourself on. This could be working with an accountability partner.
What has helped you overcome slumps in the past? What will be helpful to you when you inevitably hit another wall in the future? Prepare for this ahead of time. Kind of like how newlyweds write letters to each other for when they have their first major conflict. Imagine you’re marrying your vision of a happy life! The reason I say “vision” instead of “goals” is because material things will change. But your ultimate desires won’t. That’s just my thoughts…maybe I’m not at the point in life where my ultimate desires change!
What I’ve started doing
I’m a visual person. I like having physical reminders of things. Recently, I created this wall. The notes are the various projects I want to finish, books I want to read, progress learning Japanese, fitness goals I want to reach, ect. Whenever I accomplish one, I’ll take the note from the top of the wall and place it on the bottom. So it’s like I’m building up.
This is beside my bed, so it’s one of the first things I see in the morning. This is my way of “leveling myself up and staying leveled up”. Sporadic bursts of inspiration and ambition aren’t very helpful without consistent effort.
The yellow page is a good fortune I drew at a Japanese festival. The lady told me it’s very lucky to have a such a good fortune, but it’s also important to work for it.
I only started doing this a few days ago, so I’ll give an update in a future post! Let me know if you decide to give this method a try as well.
Good luck, work hard, and take care of yourselves!
You can also find me on my personal blog
You are spot on about asking questions at milestones instead of just keep doing the work: Every time you reach a smaller milestone, ask yourself if it went as expected. What have you learned, and does that change anything?
I would say this is “working smart” rather than working hard.
As for the motivation slump day, I go out for a walk with coffee in my hand. After the walk, I somehow feel a little better, more motivation(?)…or is it because of coffee:)
I feel like “working smart” is working hard with a sense of direction.
Walking and enjoying coffee sounds relaxing! Maybe it’s the caffeine, but it if helps, it helps 😆