I have a confession to make. From around mid-September to mid/late-October I failed horribly at my daily goals. I missed 3+ days in a row with some of them, other ones I did the ‘minimum work’ to complete the goal but it was sloppy and shouldn’t have counted. There was however a few that didn’t suffer, with these goals I still felt motivated and completed them on time in the way I wanted to. Which to me is a good sign that those things are closer to actual habits. I have been recently struggling to get these daily goals back in place and at the same time I have been doing some self reflection to see if there is anything that caused this lapse in meeting my daily goals. (Small caveat, my personal habits have struggled and I have made slow progress on my goals, but I am still in a good place with my friends, emotions, spirituality, etc. )
There is two categories of things that keep you from doing something “actual obstacles” and excuses. I am hoping to draw out actual obstacles, the things that actually stop me from being successful and not just list excuses to make it feel like “it wasn’t my fault” that I failed.
This I would say is the main cause of my failures. What happened is that I stayed up late, because I had to to catch-up on some of my favourite media/stories. Then the next day I was super tired so I had extra caffeine and that caused me to stay up late again and so on and so on. Sleep is super important and when I am super tired I mess up and perform worse than I should. Then I would eat unhealthy food and not feel motivated to be active. The only thing I have found helpful is to have a reset day(s) where I feel horribly tired and spend a long time being unproductive but I then go to bed early and wake up on time the next day then once I am back on the sleep schedule everything else becomes a little bit easier.
The other problem I experienced is that my “setup” wasn’t work with me it was working against me. “Setup” in this context is referring to my digital and physical space and equipment/tools. One thing that was off with my setup was my phone. Essentially I had changed how notifications work on my phone and I would receive a lot of notifications about things I thought were “good” ideas or “aspirations” or “inessential info” but not about things that are essential, so what started to happen is that my notification badges (the little red numbers by app icons) started to pile up and get bigger and eventually were always there. So where before a badge would be something I clear because it is a reminder for me to complete a task, the badges became a permanent fixture on my devices. So I simply forgot to do certain tasks, which created further problems. This was true not only of my phone but also my physical space, it was harder to do certain habits than it should have been and it was easier to do the wrong things. So my setup was fighting against me instead of pushing me towards my goals.
Another issue I run into all the time, not just in the failures I experienced recently, is me giving up because I “failed already”. In short what happens to me is I will miss one goal or do one action that I don’t want to do (e.g. buy ice cream🍦) then realize I have failed reaching a particular goal and then give up for the day and say I will try hard again tomorrow. So instead of me just making one mistake I end up failing the majority of my habits simply because I felt like I already had. A healthier approach (which I am trying to implement) is that I don’t need to wait until the next day to “reset” and start making good decisions I can do it in the next 10 minutes or the next 10 seconds and have an overall great day, with more wins than failures. I do this with some things (like vegetarianism or social interactions), if I make a mistake I shake it off and move on with my life. However, with other categories of things I give up so much quicker and end up failing more. I am still not good at this one, so far what was helped me the most is realizing that this happens to me and deciding to reset in the moment. This is one of those things which feels a lot like an excuse… And it is an excuse, but it is one that gets me so often. I am trying to not use this excuse, but so far I am still bad at doing that.
There is a lot of things I could have done better last month to be more successful, but I can’t change what I did then, I can only try to affect my future.