If you are anything like me, and I pray to God you’re not, you tend to fall into a trap of inconsistent or compulsive and impulsive behavior. You set goals, you move two steps forward, but before you know it, you’re hitting up Dominos, and you’re right back at the start line. Sure, you lost 40 pounds a few years ago… but it all came back within a year. You drink soda obsessively, you lay off for a few weeks. You go to the store to get bread, spend $40 on other things, and forget to get the bread. It’s a pattern, man!
The answer is obvious and easy… to point out… but actually solving the problem is a lot harder. You focus so hard on the finish line and the celebration you completely forget to take the small, necessary steps to get there. You even forget the steps in general. You fixate on the goal and forget about all else. Then you get ridiculously mad when you’re not making any progress. You lash out. It’s all so unfair. The others, who were smart enough to realize that the process is the ONLY way to get to the finish line, are passing you in droves. This is not healthy living.
So what can I do to begin focusing on the small, important steps that lead to big, measurable results? How can you turn this pattern of impulsive behaviors into a set of daily rituals and small successes that lead to big time results?
I actually do not know the answer to this question. I’m trying to answer it every day. I don’t know if it’s just an insurmountable immaturity that has been festering for years since middle school, or if it’s an actual, scientific problem. Either way it’s putting me through a lot of undue and unnecessary stress.
Maybe it’s because I am an INFP, and I’m just wired to have a hard time with minutiae, like cleaning (but not organizing – I can organize all day long) and basic hygiene, and upkeep. Maybe it’s the result of something else from my upbringing. I don’t honestly have a clue. Creating good habits isn’t as easy as creating bad ones (tbh I don’t think there are bad habits, just bad impulses).
Successful people have always been able to master the small steps and use those small steps to move in a generally upward direction. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. If you can break your day up into a ton of very small, very accomplishable tasks, you can get anything done. It gets frustrating when I also realize that I fundamentally struggle with this approach to life and to daily tasks.
For what it’s worth I’d love to continue a series of posts detailing my progression on all of this, but chances are I’ll get very distracted, and break the good habit of writing about my struggle with sub-mediocrity. If anyone has any answers (non-medication preferably) I’d love to hear them.