So the idea of this blog post was inspired by a conversation I had with Ben via text (while he was at work). I texted him to inform him that I had completed my daily word goal, but no more. Ben texted back to say, “that’s good,” to which I immediately argued that it wasn’t because I had just hit my goal but no more. Ben disagreed and said what I assume most people would say. Hitting goals is in and of itself good, extra is great, but it is still extra.
This doesn’t really compute with me because I have an attitude of “now more.” If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know that I feel like I have wasted a lot of time in my life primarily due to my mental health struggles, among other things. To counter that, I have put a lot of effort into goals and routine setting. Every day I have set tasks I want to accomplish, goals for the week, etc. I have started to micromanage myself a bit. In part, because I get joy from creating lists and checking things off, but also to help me in moving forward as I become more healthy and thus feel I can be more productive.
The problem is when I complete a list, I don’t consider that a good thing. I think to myself, okay, that’s a start, but to be good, I need to do more. If my daily word goal is say 1500, then it’s not good until I hit 1800 or more.
But I can’t live life like that.
The truth is we all only have so many hours in a day to complete tasks. So when I set a word count for the day, it’s not just a random number. It is that I have so many hours in a day to write, and I give myself a reasonable amount to do in that time frame that will still lead to me being able to write quite a bit overall as long as I stick to it.
So if I tell myself that it’s not good enough to reach that daily word count, I am setting myself up for failure. I’ve given myself a reasonable number, but then refuse to acknowledge that reaching that number is a good thing.
Living life with a “now more” attitude can be very self-defeating and is a recipe for never feeling like I have done enough. It would be one thing if it was a case of “you hit 1500 a day way too easily you clearly can do more.” It’s another when the goal I give myself is reasonable, and accomplishing more isn’t always possible, but then I still don’t give myself that moment of a pat on the back.
It does me no good to write out lists of goals I’ve set if the second I check one off, I am instantly thinking, “okay, now add more to it and keep going.”
I am not saying it should be all pats on the back. Goals do need to be shifted, being more productive is likely possible, but I have to let myself be proud of myself for what I do manage to do. If I live life for “now more,” then I never get to feel joy in anything I do. I never get to feel like I have accomplished something or am worth being proud of.
It is not a great mindset to have as it’s rather depressing.
I am better today than I was yesterday, and hopefully, tomorrow will be even better. But as I slowly work towards greater and greater goals in my day to day life, I need to be able to say. “Great, you’ve reached this goal enjoy it. More can wait for later, it doesn’t have to be right now.”
It is hard to undo a habit like never letting yourself feel like you’ve accomplished anything… but it is something I need to do.