I have a question I need you to answer: are you a looney liberal or a cranky conservative?
The answer isn’t important; just realize that if you lean more left or right, that’s part of your framework in which you view the world. Ok, let’s move on from politics, yikes.
When you consider your goals, there is a frame or narrative that you continually play out. Often, there’s an insidious cycle of the authoritarian tyrant (when you punish yourself) and the self-loathing sloth who zombifies through Netflix.
It’s not a winning strategy. You know this.
It’s more important how you approach achieving your goals than the actual goals themselves. Think about it this way:
You have to negotiate with yourself.
Beating yourself into the ground 80 hours per week is foolish. Running 10 miles because you had ice cream is just plain silly. Enjoy that Ben & Jerrys!!! But, earn it first.
Remember, we overthrow tyrants in politics, and so you will rebel against yourself.
Nor, can you suffer from nihilism and decide that nothing matters. Imagine beginning to walk without having a desired destination. You would end up nowhere, correct? The same is true in life. An aim and a desired direction is nonnegotiable.
Instead of treating yourself like a dictator, take on the role of the benevolent judge. Impose strict standards but maintain enduring empathy when you make mistakes.
I’d suggest to start journaling.
Start with one minute a day. Think about your goals and how you fared. If you had a good day, ask yourself why and build on that tomorrow. If not, identify the bottleneck and be a bit better next time.
Incremental progress is the aim. By journaling, you have a continual frame of reference as to where you were, where you are, and where you want to go.
I’ve always found it’s important you live a conscious, assertive life and not one of quiet desperation. How your approach to life is grounded is oft the beginning to something beautiful or the start to a perilous journey handcuffed by your unwillingness to do the work upfront.
Choose wisely, friends.