Big Life Goals Pt. 1

Some time ago, it occurred to me that there were some things that I would like to do in life.  These things were for me, and no one else.  They weren’t things I planned to do to help me make more money or get a better job.  They were just things I wanted to accomplish.   And that was when I came up with my list of four Big Life Goals, and they are, sort of in this order:

  1. Write a novel
  2. Learn to code
  3. Learn to play guitar
  4. Become fluent in French

Those are some pretty decent goals.  It’d be nice if I could get them done, in my limited time here on this rock hurling around the sun.  But, like I said, I’ve had this list for awhile.  And to be bluntly honest, I haven’t made a lot of progress on any of them.   Which is not to say that I haven’t done any work on them.   I’ve got about 27,000 words written of a rough draft of a novel.  I’ve got a couple other ideas for other novels, too.   I have picked up a bit here and a bit there of computer programming, especially in my job.  Every once in awhile, I pick the guitar that’s been laying about my house for the last 4 years, and I learn a simple tune.   And I became good enough at French to be able to find bathrooms before visiting Paris.

But a couple of weeks ago, while I was supposed to be studying for this online course I’m taking on Python (a computer programming language), I caught myself procrastinating by reading this article about procrastination.  I got there because I was on Facebook, and a friend of mine sent me a link to one of their other articles.  And thus the spiral began.  I’ve been down this road before.  One YouTube video leads to another.  Just one more tiny home.  Or one documentary on Netflix about Mortified leads to three more, and then it’s one o’clock in the morning, and I have to get up for work the next day, and I haven’t read a single paragraph of my text book, or learned any new code.

I procrastinate big time.   I always have.  And for most of my life, it hasn’t really been that big of a problem.  I got very good grades all through school by writing papers the day that they were due, usually starting them at six in the morning.  The pressure combined with caffeine and sugar helped me turn out some really smart, well supported theses with many typos.  I wrote them so last minute that I never had time to proofread them.  And like I said, I got very good grades.  So, I was never really motivated to do anything any differently.  It just kept paying off.

And it wasn’t just in school.  I played in bands where I learned my parts only when we had a gig coming up, and I had the fear of public embarrassment to motivate me.  At work, I always start things in the hours before they’re due.  I have a really hard time starting something ahead of time, and if I have a couple of weeks, there’s no way I’m starting it today.

It occurred to me, therefore, that on my list of Big Life Goals, getting this procrastinating thing under control ought to be number one, because those other goals aren’t the kind of thing that I can start at six a.m., and have possibly have finished by two in the afternoon.  If I’m going to write a novel, it’s going to take weeks, if not years.  I’m going to have to start working on it sooner, rather than later.   There is no way that it’ll get done if I keep putting it off every day to watch the latest upload to the Last Week Tonight feed on YouTube.

So my list Big Life Goals, as they stand right now, sort of in order, and subject to change whenever I see fit, without notice is:

  1. Learn to stop procrastinating
  2. Write a novel
  3. Learn to code
  4. Learn to play guitar
  5. Become fluent in French

Stay tuned for further updates on my progress on tackling challenges, staying motivated, and achieving my goals.

 

P.S. This is the beginning of the post I was going to write, and teased in the intro, of the post “Not Going According to Plan”

4 Responses to “Big Life Goals Pt. 1”


  1. 1 Ben August 4, 2014 at 8:19 am

    1) I love your writing
    2) It’s interesting that you look at these goals as “Statc,” when in reality, all of the things you want to do have no actual ending. Writing is never done, a new language is never fully mastered, understood, or appreciated in its full depth, learning a tune is learning to play guitar, so you’ve already done that, you’re presently learning to stop procrastinating, so that goal is done, and learning to code, like a language, is never fully completed, though after a while you get good enough to say “I’m better than 98% of people at this.
    Maybe part of the reason you procrastinate is you’re asking yourself to accomplish massive goals, goals so massive they aren’t real, just fantasies in your head, and this list can get pared down to “I’m going to play guitar for 15 minutes today” or “I’m going to read 10 pages of my Python textbook.”
    Food for thought.
    How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
    How was the Great Wall built? One brick at a time.
    The journey of a thousand miles starts from underneath your feet.

    • 2 peggyluwho August 4, 2014 at 9:06 am

      Thanks for the compliment. I’m glad you’re enjoying my writing.

      You’re definitely right. These are more like main categories of goals, that a bunch of smaller goals role up into. There’s a flow chart in my head. In my next installment of this Big Life Goals series, I’m going to go into tackling the procrastination, and one of the techniques is definitely looking at these as a series of smaller goals, I think. I haven’t written it, yet. It’s one of my goals for this week. 🙂

      • 3 peggyluwho August 4, 2014 at 9:12 am

        P.S. Maybe I’ll actually draw up that flow chart and include it in the post. That’d be exciting.

        P.P.S. Did you notice my link to your blog in the body of the post?


  1. 1 Big Life Goals Pt. 2 – Beating Procrastination | Peggy Lu Who's Just Sayin'! Trackback on August 10, 2014 at 2:14 pm

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