Issue #7 of The Get Some Victory Newsletter went out on Sunday, on the topic of making smarter New Year's Resolutions.
Stefanie Zobus weighted in with a smart reply, and kindly agreed to let me share it here -
I’d like to add one more thing to what you said. Often times, the resolutions made for the next year are not thought through properly, are quickly and thoughtlessly made, for vague reasons one sometimes doesn’t care about that much, or isn’t aware one cares much. That’s a problem. If one doesn’t think very, very carefully about what really matters, what one wants (!!) to change, and –why- it’s easy to say.. oh well, it doesn’t matter that much anyway. So things aren’t followed through. One needs to know the reasons very concretely, and the consequences of not following through. Instant gratification (gotten by quitting the resolution) is much more powerful than a vague goal stored at some far-end corner of the mind, uttered out loud once or twice during New Years.
You can get more good insights from Stefanie on her site - http://stefaniezobus.wordpress.com/
I'd like to bring attention to this ingenious comment by Stefanie Zobus. I'm adding bold on my favorite part -
It’s terribly easy to waste a day. It’s the evening, and I haven’t really done anything useful. I thought of planning the day when I got up, but in the end didn’t. I think books such as that one are really good in that they remind people their treacherous tendencies that take over when one doesn’t pay attention carefully enough. Old habits and all that. It would probably be a good idea to have something that forcefully reminds one of the whole business every day when one gets up, at least when one is still establishing new habits.
Something I thought about in that respect was that it would be useful to write some sort of ‘life manifest.’ Discussing how one wants ones’ life to be, what one wants to do in life, and very importantly: why – because when one doubts and falters, one could read that and be reminded of why one tries, and why one should keep going. You wrote something similar in that you had some post some time ago as to how many books you want to publish until then-and-then, and how much money you want to own at this or that point… which is a really good thing since it encourages and sets goals. There are so many methods and ways helping one to keep going… one just has to find and employ them. I’m afraid, the employing part is difficult. Reading a book like that brings one ‘back to earth’ I suppose, if one really cares. And if one doesn’t care, well, then things are pretty hopeless anyway.
Very smart stuff. I have some things that I live for, but I never thought to look at those when I was feeling demotivated. Great stuff. Stefanie just launched a site at http://stefaniezobus.wordpress.com/ - here's looking forward to good insights from her.
Lately I Haven't had much time to learn Japanese. A combination of intense socialization, reading of various books, and lack of motivation has prevented me from continuing my education. But I know I can't stop. My ain reasons for learning Japanese stems from my love for their culture, food, people and my presumed love for their land (since I have never actually gone to Japan). This lack of motivation has also made me realize one thing: The amount of things we miss out on cause we don't make a concrete decisions. In other words, I believe the majority of procrastination stems from a person's inability in making a decision. So many times we do something from a vague sense of motivation. Small things or thoughts such as "I should study some Kanji" or "I should run today". Since these thoughts are vague, abstract and somewhat detached from ourselves, We never take responsibility for them.
Read that again: We never take responsibility for them.
I'm sure, either through experience or through readings, you have seen how you and others are more likely to do something wrong or otherwise out of line with themselves through the veil of anonymity. Decisions work in a similar fashion. When you make a decision you should make yourself as accountable as possible for that decision so that you actually feel pressure to act. After thinking about it, the best way to stop procrastinating is simply to stop having abstract or weak thoughts. I have to stop wasting mental energy on thoughts, distractions, and chasing the magical pony. I must take responsibility for my thoughts, decisions, and goals and make then concrete, applicable ideas for which I can act upon. To sum it up.
1. Make the thought or decision specific and actionable. vague or abstract thought, goals and decisions such as " I want to learn Japanese" or " I am going to go running" do not stand for anything. Instead chose "I want to learn meaning for 20 JLPT 2 words" or " I want to run x miles today as fast as i can (or run for 20 minutes)"
2. after setting specific thoughts, Make sure you are conscious of them and that they do not become background information in the mind. This is life and one must try to live it as consciously as possible. The way I look at it the more power your give yourself, the less likely you are to blame it on others. But most of the time we blame it on others because we fail to see just how much power we have vested in our ourselves (new agey and cliche, I know). But speaking clearly, nothing is stopping you from ordering a book to read, or going for a walk, or searching up ways to learn Japanese, or from disconnecting from Facebook unlike its something physical like broken bones or blindness.