I picked the following quotes from a previously posted blog post, just to show you that same-old same-old thought processes have a way of resurfacing over and over again. And you have to be able to recognize when they creep up on you and try to enter into that mindset of yours, especially if they’re those unfavorable types of thought processes that you need to immediately squash before they succeed in wreaking havoc in your life. Check out the highlighted excerpts from “Writing Weekly Report 11 + Goal Disruption” (originally posted on December 16, 2019).
When you hit a roadblock (it could be writer’s block for the writer or some other type of block) with a goal, it makes it that much easier for a new idea to creep in and look more appealing to pursue than working to achieve the goal that seemingly has you stuck.
But . . .
It’s no use in thinking that ditching my current goal to pursue a new one will lead to a more smooth road than the one I’m already travelling on. I have a feeling that any path, leading to goal completion, will eventually present some roadblocks and giving up isn’t going to be the answer in most cases. I’ve decided to disregard this method as a go-to for handling obstacles. I don’t want to find myself starting a lot of things and never managing to complete much of anything.
And true to form, I was getting ready to switch gears when I started thinking about everything that I wanted to accomplish this year. (See the list below.) And while the list is a lot of creating — well specifically, writing — the goals or tasks involved are right up my alley in all actuality. I mean I love to write. So, that’s not the problem. Writing’s my jam, but the amount of content I’m looking to put out this year seems a bit daunting when I take a second glance. And all of the behind-the-scenes work to make the written work work is what’s really causing me a little anxiety when I stop to think about all I want to accomplish in 2021. But here’s the deal: when you break things down into bite-sized components that are easier to digest, then the overwhelm (of the work before you) seems a little more manageable.
So maybe I should look at the broken down list (below) and take in that framework for my goal-setting ways instead of telling myself that I have to get all of the following projects done this year: writing 5 – 6 books, creating a workbook to go with one of the books, creating a supplemental video to go with one of the books, blogging twice a week, and starting a newsletter that will go out twice a month.
Now, for the list. I shared in a previous post, entitled Writing Goals for a 2021 Fresh Start, that I had the following blogging, book writing, and newsletter distribution goals for 2021:
A free ebook on why we may need to incentivize our children to GET THINGS DONE (for Degrees of Maternity email subscribers).(I crossed this one out because I’ve accomplished this goal. I just released the ebook, entitled Why Does the Young Learner Need Incentives? If you’d like a copy, you can access it here.)
- A free ebook (for Degrees of Maternity email subscribers) to guide parents on ways to help their children GET THINGS DONE. (I’m currently working on this ebook and hoping to get it distributed to the email fam in March.)
- A freebie survey/questionnaire for parents to give to their children, regarding incentives (for Degrees of Maternity email subscribers)
- A paperback book and ebook about the rewards system process to incentivize children
- A paperback workbook to accompany the book above
- A paperback book and ebook about rewards systems for the young reader
- A paperback book and ebook about rewards systems for the young writer
- A video displaying some of the rewards system’s tools to use to incentivize children
- A Tuesday and Friday blogging schedule, to include content on my book writing journey, blogging experiences, and general writing goals. I didn’t cross this one off the list; however, it’s in the works and is an ongoing goal.
- A newsletter for Degrees of Maternity email subscribers. I didn’t cross this one off the list; however, it’s in the works and is an ongoing goal. Furthermore, I actually started up the newsletter in January and have distributed two issues thus far. (As a matter of fact, if you’d like to join the Degrees of Maternity email list so you can receive your semimonthly issues of the newsletters every 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month, you can clink on this link and you’ll automatically start receiving your semimonthly copies of the DOMinators News newsletter to your email inbox.)
Now, you would think that, after looking at this somewhat intimidating list of items to tackle, I’d recognize that I had enough on my plate already to where there’d be no possible way I should be eyeballing the buffet set up at another table. But, here’s where that new shiny object syndrome rears its unrelenting head.
Without fail, every time I start to take in the sheer enormity of the goal(s) before me, I want to fold a little inside. I go through some temporary changes that take me to a place of questioning the following:
- the length of time to goal completion
- the learning curve that needs to take place in accomplishing the goal, and
- my inadequacies in skills sets needed to accomplish the goal
- the funding and resources needed to financially see the goal through in its entirety
- the lack of physical assistance or moral support I might need from others to accomplish the goal
- the fear of the unknown in knowing exactly what results will follow after I accomplish the goal
- all the other stuff that I can’t remember at the moment
I totally think about pressing the PAUSE/STOP button on the task, ejecting the task, and putting it quietly away on a shelf somewhere until I’m ready to press PLAY again. Surely, there’s some easier goal I can accomplish — something that won’t be as complex with so many different moving components — that won’t take me as long to complete and that I possess the actual skills sets to perform now with no learning curve involved. Surely, I could stop the overwhelming task(s) (just for a little while) and start in on GETTING THINGS DONE with these easier goals more conveniently within my reach.
Why do we as human beings go through these kinds of mental games, when we know good and well that work needs to get done and the goal in question is not going to accomplish itself by itself?
Well, as a one-woman show, I know this one thing to be true – it does me absolutely no good to change dance partners in the middle of the song (unless I’m square dancing perhaps). I have to stick with the task before me, even if it creates some pain points I’m not ready to take on. That new shiny object syndrome is no joke and will easily suck you into its powerful vacuum when you have an undesirable task before you, so you can be carried away to that new and more likeable task gently calling your name.
And with time and experience, I’m learning to be sensitive (or highly aware) of when it looks like I’m being pulled to another big project that’s going to take me away from the project that I’m currently working on — a task that I know is important and needs to go forth. And my desire is not to change partners. I just need to stick with one thing at a time — one major goal that I’m trying to pursue (or it could be up to a group of 3 that I’m trying to pursue simultaneously) with the majority of my concentration going to those 1 to 3 goals for a determined period of time.
The whole idea is to get some real good footing with these 3 major goals before letting any other goals slip in and try to take over, stopping progress on the ones that are in the works. Applying a “first things first” mentality is just what the doctor ordered for the overwhelm. We’re going to be realistic about what we can handle, setting reachable goals that are doable. And we’re going to stick with what’s currently before us until we’ve arrived at our goal destination, unless the goal is truly one that needs to be ditched because it’s not in your best interest to pursue. What we’re not going to do is put unnecessary pressure on ourselves that leads to negative effects on our health and unfinished goals.
So, my goal-achieving priority for now is to concentrate on the major goals for the first half of the year, which include items 4 and 5 (as a two-part goal in one), item 9 (ongoing), and item 10 (ongoing). Those three are my major goals for now. I have some mini goals listed like the free ebooks mentioned in items 1 and 2, but such goals won’t take up a substantial amount of time in my list of goal to-dos; and therefore, I don’t count them as major goals. In fact, I truly believe that this incentives book writing (with accompanying workbook) goal is going to take every extra ounce of time and concentration I can muster up to get it completed for roll-out this summer. Because as you all know, spring is quickly approaching and will be knocking at winter’s door before you know it. No pressure, right?
With all that being said, I have to admit there is one new endeavor I’m getting ready to wholeheartedly pursue, and it’s a big one. But, it’s actually more of an elaborate version of a current, ongoing goal of mine. I’m just pursuing the goal from another angle. So technically, I’m not really breaking my rule to steer clear of the new shiny object syndrome, am I? Well, I guess you can’t properly answer the question until you know what I’m about to deep dive into. And that, my friend, is top-secret business. Only time will tell when and if I can reveal it to you. Let’s just say, I’ll let you know all the details if what I’m trying to pursue works out. I’ve been known to talk about a matter before it came into fruition; and then it didn’t pan out and I looked pretty silly for bringing it up in the first place. Therefore, I probably won’t spill the tea prematurely, just in case my plan is a great big flop — unless, of course, I just can’t help myself.