Monday, 20 June 2016

Day 20: On Doing too Much

I'm posting today because if I don't, Beeminder will sting me. That has been the motivation for a lot of what I've done in the past week.

I got a little sick sometime between day 6 and day 11--not very sick, but sick enough that my goals became difficult and that I had to appeal to my fine print on some of them. Even with this option, though, getting going again has been a bit of a challenge. I'm always just on the edge of something falling through the cracks; at times tipping over just enough to cause a small derailment here or there. And this is where you have to relearn the thing that people always tell you when goal setting that you never really believe applies to you: 

Don't take on too much. 

"I will be able to handle this," you think; "I usually do this much anyway." Ah, but you skim right past the "usually" in the sentence, overcommit, and set yourself up for disappointment. Never is it more obvious how unlikely success with your goals becomes when you take on too much, as when you can't back out of them because of a commitment device! Where earlier you would have collapsed into a heap of give-up-edness, you have to keep pushing and moving forward and trying. And often, piling on many, many goals at what you think is a "reasonable" level means that most of the goals aren't even things that you are excessively proud of. It's just a lot of little things that exhaust you, but that you don't really think, "Wow. I did that!" when it's over. 

Taking on a lot of goals at more than the most minimal level is planning for the best case scenario. That's where the "usually," above, comes in. But if you get a little sick, get assigned an extra project at the office, or even get invited to take advantage of an opportunity you didn't anticipate, things start to get pretty hectic, pretty fast. And so this is why I'm posting this tonight, before my midnight deadline, and why I now have a few other derailments to prevent before "kind of falling over onto the bed", more than "going to bed."

In the next post, I'll detail what I'm doing to keep this from happening again, and what things have worked in the past that I decided, for a reason I can no longer fathom, to abandon temporarily.