4 Guaranteed Ways to Fail

Being out of college has left me feeling restless. I miss the constant sense of forward movement and a long-term goal. Even better was the feeling at the start of every semester that I could wipe away the last few months and start fresh.

Now I feel stuck, repeating the same cycles over and over again in my flailing attempts at self improvement.

But, to paraphrase Thomas Edison, I have not failed but simply learned many ways that don’t work. Here’s the cycle I’ve found myself stuck in, in the hopes that maybe by writing it down I can start to get out of it and that it might help someone else get out of their own rut.

Make a ton of goals

It’s so easy to start with one goal (i.e. “I’m gonna get in shape and lose a few pounds!”) and quickly get derailed. I should clean the house more. I really ought to make more of my own food and clothes. Oooh, I really want to get started on Etsy and the craft show circuit. Hm, and my blog’s been dead for like a month.

Have high expectations

Then comes the daydreaming.

As someone that’s way out of shape, fitspiration is merely thinly veiled daydreaming.

Suddenly I’m imagining myself next summer with a super model body, a financially sustainable handmade store,  a closet full of clothes I made by myself, and a spotless, minimalist apartment. Never mind that each of those by themselves would take months of focused effort to complete.

Work hard at all of them

Willpower’s a muscle, so I need to exercise it a ton. Except that this is the exercise equivalent of trying to bench press a car when I’ve only been able to lift fifty pounds.

After burning out, vow never to fail again and repeat the process

The self-hate is vital here. Really pound in that I suck, that I just need to try harder. Come up with a slightly tweaked but equally difficult version of the previous list of goals and repeat it all over again.

——-

Hey, they say to write what you know, and you have to admit this is much better than a “so sorry it’s been awhile, life got in the way” post. If you’re looking for something a little more uplifting, I’d direct you to:

/r/GetMotivated – an active, friendly community that’s happy to offer advice and support alike

/r/ZenHabits – similar to GetMotivated with happiness and meditation advice as well

Nerd Fitness – whether your goals are fitness related or not, the six week challenges are an excellent format for goal setting

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