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Goals are strange creatures. My personal relationship with them is best described as tenuous. Frequently, hostile.

Not professional goals. Those are easy enough to handle.

Personal goals. Those little daily tasks I set myself. Write 300 words a day. Read for an hour a day. Walk 10,000 steps. So far, I’ve completed those tasks (and perhaps part of the problem is labeling them as tasks) on less than 50% of my days.

I’m not entirely sure what it is about personal goals makes them so contentious. Perhaps it’s because they don’t have deadlines, so they appear nebulous and uncertain. I can always rationalize that I can read or write “later”, which makes putting it off palatable. I would quality palatable with “more” but I can’t, because it does generally make me feel uncomfortable.

Keeping good habits can be easy, if you put yourself in the right position. I don’t watch a lot of television, so I stopped paying for cable. I don’t particularly get anything out of drinking juice, so now I only drink tea and water. What I’m saying is, in these situations, from my point of view, I didn’t lose anything valuable.

Problematically, free time is an issue. If my friends want me to come in and spend the evening with them, that means, in my head, I’ve lost the night. Internally, there isn’t any way I have yet found to translate time spent socially into time I’d rather spend reading or writing. Which isn’t to say that I’d rather not go out or spend time with my friends, but for me it’s definitely a lost evening. Put it another way, my current ability to handle disruptions in my life returns a negative result. It’s not merely “not efficient” it’s actively inefficient.

Missing one day isn’t a problem. It’s that one day turns in to 3 and then 5, so on and so on. The next thing I know, I’ve missed two weeks without skipping a beat. By that point it’s just a crushing sense of guilt and failure.

I need to take a moment and reset. I need to make “do it now” my ally instead of my enemy. Small steps.

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