… and how I change that.
I know it is important to sit down and think of all the positives in life. I do that at some point every day, even if it is just one thing I remember to be thankful for. However, I also find it to be equally important to self reflect on why goals aren’t met, so that it can be changed.
I didn’t have ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ goals, or even short-term and long-term goals. When I have my mind on something, I usually get really excited and overly-ambitious. I set one goal, and it was usually pretty far out of reach. I don’t think setting goals like this is a bad thing, but there also needs to be supportive, easy to reach ones as well.
I used to think anything other than my main objective was pointless to focus on or celebrate, and I didn’t get much gratification from them either (possibly due to my ADHD, but that’s another post). However, I have come to really appreciate what they do for the bigger picture.
For example, I have a long-term goal of going to graduate school. My short-term goals are to schedule a GRE, find admission requirements for every school in my area, start the application process, and study for the GRE. Currently, I am starting the application process. By crossing small things off, I can be happy that I am one step closer to the big goal.
I get bored very, very easily. This one is a constant issue that I try to work on every single day. In regards to career choices, this seems to be true for every job I’ve ever had. When I worked at Petco as a dog trainer, I was completely immersed and dedicated for about six months. Though I love(d) dogs and working with them every day, I was so incredibly bored with my every day tasks. Currently, I am working for my father’s business as his bookkeeper. At first, I was super excited to help him get organized and find better solutions for how things were being done. Now, I just feel like whatever he’s been doing for these last 20 years without me is working, and I don’t need to change anything.
With help from self-reflection, I now know that my professional career needs to be in an environment that is constantly changing to keep me interested. I also know that as much as I thought I would like a desk job, I really don’t. And if all else fails, I could make changes myself. Whether it is a different morning routine, changing shifts, or reorganizing my work area.
I lose faith in myself. There could be many reasons behind me losing my positivity. Maybe I failed to complete a short-term goal when I thought it should be done. Maybe something completely out of my control slowed me down (WiFi down, water heater broke, and road blockages come to mind). Even just having a bad day will really take the motivation right out of a person. Regardless of the reason, I sometimes find myself struggling to continue on my never ending journey. In this moment, I have to think about the pros and cons of pushing through the funk and continuing.
For example, if my long-term goal is to get more toned for the summer, and today I just really do not feel like working out, I will weigh my options. I could go home and have a frozen pizza date with Netflix and try again tomorrow, or I could use exercise to get out of the funk (because believe it or not, exercise actually can put you in a better mood). If I choose pizza date, I might be refreshed for tomorrow, but I also might further the funk by being mad about my slacking. If I choose to do exercise, I could potentially feel better when I am done while also maintaining efforts for my long-term goal, or I could feel worse because I know that didn’t try my best.
Sometimes my answer is to try again tomorrow, sometimes my answer is to push through, but I feel it is important for the options to be weighed regardless.
Self reflection is how I keep myself in check. I find it hard to be honest with other people about certain things, and I can be brutally honest with myself. I have also learned how to really listen to myself, as weird as that may seem. I do a mental health check occasionally to catch any potential bad mood that could snowball into something else. No one knows me better than me, and I know now that not communicating with myself has only done me harm.