Here is a list of goals that I laid out a while ago. I still strive to do these things and will continue to do so. This will be the last post before I begin 7 Days to Change Your Ways and report back on Day 1 with a blog post on Sunday. It is important to have these goals, but as I will cover in my next blog post, it is equally as important to know when you have set impossible goals.
I have put together this article not because I do all of the things outlined. Quite to the contrary, this is more an attempt to shock my system into performing such tasks. All too often it is easy to set forth a plan that makes total sense, only to fail shortly after starting. I’ve been there and I’ve written about it. Clearly I still struggle with it as is evidenced by the large gap in writing productivity that I’ve recently had. So, this post is more a call to arms for myself to get on the right track to the life I would prefer.
But enough jabbering bullshit.
If I were to have an ideal day/week, all of the things that I list below would be essential. Perhaps you will agree.
1) 6am Rise Time
This has long been a goal of mine. As a lifelong night owl, it has been especially hard for me to convert my nocturnal ways. Some folks prefer to work at night, but I’ve found that after a full day of going, by the time I sit down to be productive in a creative manner, I’m bushed. Early rise would allow me to perform creative tasks while my mind is still fresh and up to it.
It is hard for me to push myself to incorporate meditation into my day. I have done it before and know of the benefits and it is universally known that clearing one’s mind of clutter is as refreshing as a hot shower. Ideally, 15 minutes would be all I would need each day to set my mind right. My preference would be shortly after waking, but right before slumber would work just as well.
For an entire decade, my day job was to lift heavy items. I was a furniture mover and then I went on to lug around heavy barrels of powder. In my new role as an Archivist, I have found myself working at a desk more then ever before in my entire life. My body had started to show the effects as I’ve put on some sittin’ weight in my new position. A morning run followed by push-ups and sit-ups would be an easy cure to this problem and leave me feeling energized.
4) Avoid Excess Caffeine
I love coffee. I enjoy the aroma and the flavor. Of course, I also enjoy the rush that comes with consuming the drug within it, Caffeine. Keeping a lock on the amount of it entering my body will allow for a more sustainable energy level throughout the day. Not too long ago I was hitting Energy Drinks pretty hard to keep my levels up only to feel the drain that it put on my overtaxed system. Getting a hold on Caffeine consumption has allowed me to avoid the crash associated with over consumption.
5) Game Plan
Planning out your day is tedious. It’s also necessary. I can’t count the number of times I have started to implement this positive habit, only to have it fall by the wayside. One thing to avoid is stuffing your schedule so full that you feel overwhelmed just looking at it. Shoot for achievable goals that you can set aside the proper amount of time to accomplish. You can’t walk up the staircase in one step, you must take it one step at a time.
6) Keep Up On Every day Things
In the rush to accomplish as much as possible towards your ultimate goal, you might start to let every day tasks and chores fall by the wayside. I know that I am guilty of this, but these are the very things that can add to your stress level if you don’t keep them under wraps. Do the dishes before you write. Get that bill in the mail and then keep editing. Some people say that writing must trump all, but small stones can bury you just as well as big stones.
7) Track Success
It is easy to get disheartened when you are working on a big, long term project. You might feel like you are not getting anywhere and that what you are trying to accomplish is either impossible or pointless. This is where setting goals comes into play. Though I already talked about setting goals in No.5, it is equally important to take time to celebrate achieving those goals. Make it a goal that is feasible and when you hit it, celebrate! Maybe it’s writing the first 10,000 words of your novel or getting through your first edit. Either way, remember to enjoy it along the way.
8) Write Every Day
Writing needs to become as much a part of your life as eating and sleeping. At some point in the day, every day, writing needs to occur. Whenever I let this slip, I can feel it when I come back. Usually I can shake off the cobwebs fast, but there is definitely a lack of flow after taking a hiatus from writing. The main reason for an early rise would to be able to implement this effectively. Writing in the morning, writing at night, whenever works for you, just make sure you write.
It is hard to calm you mind and that is what meditation is for. You should also take some time out of every day to do something you enjoy in order to relax and slip into the right mind state. This could be playing music or taking a walk outside. It should be something that is completely away from your concerns when it comes to life or writing. I prefer to play music or go disc golfing. This will lift your spirits and allow you to come back to the work of life refreshed.
10) Get Enough Sleep
I probably struggle with this more than any of the others on this list. I always feel like time spent sleeping is time wasted when you could be watching that movie you’ve been waiting for or, of course, writing. Not everyone requires the same amount of sleep, so it is up to you to find your ideal time. Nickola Tesla only slept two hours a night! He did take a lot of naps though. Either way, make sure you get enough sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for another day of building a better life.
I do not practice all of these things. This is merely an outline of where I would like to be. A blueprint for a better me, if you will. Some of these suggestions may resonate and others may not, but my goal is to enact all of them in order to succeed at this quest we call life.
Did this list resonate with you? Do you think there are things I missed that you would do? Let me know by commenting or shooting me an e-mail.
Until Next Time,