If you are at all like me you spend a significant amount of time beating yourself up for NOT doing what you know you should do.
Most of the achievement oriented people I know do this quite a bit. It is as though they are on a quest for perfection and anything less than that is unsatisfying.
Don’t get me wrong … I think it’s a great thing to be on a quest for perfection, and I believe people who are, will ultimately experience a good deal of success because they’ll never feel as though they’ve arrived. There will always be something else to accomplish.
I remember a conversation I had with my Mom about 18 years ago when she pointed out that I seemed to be obsessed with becoming a millionaire. She made the comment, “I am quite sure that once you become a millionaire you won’t be satisfied, and you’ll want to become a ten millionaire.”
She couldn’t have been more right, and I don’t believe I’d want to be any other way!
There is a problem with this achievement focused personality however. The problem is many people who find their drive and energy through goal acheivement often don’t take the time to celebrate the achievement of their goals along the way. They typically are so focused on “what’s next” that the joy and satisfaction they should feel after accomplishing even the LARGEST of goals, is sometimes watered down or completely skipped over due to their fixation on the next accomplishment.
Although I’ve found myself in this position over and over, it is WRONG! I believe that this sort of behavior can lead to frustration and ultimately burnout.
If you are going to take the time to set goals, plan for their accomplishment, and focus on following that plan until your goal has been realized …
You need to take a deep breathe, and celebrate the accomplishment of that goal when you achieve it!
Don’t fall in the trap of minimizing the accomplishment of that goal or eventually it will be very difficult for you to find the energy to set and achieve goals in the future.
It’s been 24 days since I began this 30 day experiment and I’ve faithfully stayed focused on my actions and on learning from my experiences. When I’ve had mental downtime between tasks at work, or when I am laying in bed trying to fall asleep, I’ve been running through each days events and my thoughts and feelings while doing so. I’ve been so intensley focused on this experiment that I’ve even been dreaming about it.
On Friday it had been 21 consecutive days of focus and activities and I decided it was time for a mental break. I believe this was a valuable piece to the experiment and although I wouldn’t be focused on accomplishing my three daily tasks, it would be valuable reflection time and I could see how strongly engrained my new habits had become.
Although I wasn’t holding myself to the accomplishiment of my daily action goals, I still took part in physical activities.
When I first started I found it difficult to drag myself outside to go for my long walks, and was typically working hard to stay away from finding reasons (excuses), why I shouldn’t have to go for that walk.
Now, three weeks later, I found myself missing this part of my routine.
I’ve been doing these activities long enough that they are STARTING to become part of a routine and are much easier to do. I am finding I need to put less focus on “thinking” about completing the actions, and I’m actually looking forward to them.
This morning when the alarm went off at 6 am, I found myself eager to get out of bed and go for my walk while listening to an excellent education podcast along the way. I’ve enjoyed my weekend of reflection, but I am very happy to be back on my action focused goal achievement path.
Whatever you do, make sure you don’t fall in the trap of NOT celebrating your accomplishments. You don’t have to feel satisfied, but you should feel proud of what you’ve accomplished and use that pride as fuel for the accomplishiment of your next goal!