I made a list of goals for this summer:
- Write every day.
- Learn how to play "Clair de Lune" by the end of the summer.
- Exercise at least three times a week.
- Read. A lot.
- Stay off of my Instagram until August.
- Pay off half of my Sallie Mae student loan.
These are just a few of the things that I have chosen to busy myself with over the next two months that I am at home. Some of them are easy goals in terms of them only taking a couple of hours a day to complete, but others, like my desire to play one of my favorite pieces of music on the piano, will take daily time and require discipline in order for me to complete it.
Netflix has robbed me of my ability to self-discipline, and it's disheartening. Not that I blame "The Office" for causing me to be lazy, but it's true. I spend more time in front of the TV watching inspiring people (like Michael Scott) do inspiring stuff (like start The Michael Scott Paper Company) and less time pushing myself to do the inspiring stuff that I want to achieve.
How do we correct the laziness that seems to hit hard, especially during the summer for us students?
It will be the battle of waking up daily and saying, "I will dedicate time to making this goal happen." That won't be easy. I have mornings where my laziness is so obvious that I don't even want to make my bed.
Our goals require discipline. It's like when someone wants to lose weight: you don't tell yourself one day, "I'm going to lose weight," and then never have to remind yourself of that goal again. It takes other people holding you accountable and you holding yourself accountable to that declaration. It takes a lot of sweat and tears.
Let's hold ourselves to that same standard in other parts of our lives, too. I want to write a book, and I've started one several times, but I don't discipline myself and set apart time where I work on my goal. So, I have brought other people into this part of my life and have asked that they "check in" on my progress. Once we pop our personal bubbles around our goals and expand the bubbles to include our accountability partners and helpers, we are more likely to finish what we've started.
Where in your life have you set goals and haven't experienced the harvest from the labor? Is it because there are only spurts of labor and not consistent watering and growing and (my favorite word) cultivating of the effort?
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Ugh.
I hate failing, but sometimes we will. Actually, a lot of times, we will. I haven't even started practicing "Clair de Lune." BIG failure on my part, since I'll be playing catch up for the rest of the summer. But, I have not lost sight of the goal yet. It's okay to fail, as long as we don't allow the failure to end the pursuit of our achievements.
There is something so satisfying about seeing your efforts come to fruition, achieving that goal that you've been working on for a summer, a year, a decade, even.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the showstopper "Hamilton: An American Musical" worked on his masterpiece for seven years before getting to see it onstage. Well, he didn't actually get to see it because he was "Alexander Hamilton", but his project grew for years. Years of endurance. Years of scrapping material he had put his effort in. Years of pulling other extremely gifted people to help him. Years of wondering when he would be done.
That opening night must have been a dream for Miranda and his team.