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I've lost count of the times over the past few months when I've told someone that it's as if the biggest obstacles to my goals are slick and invisible. It's as if I start out toward what I want, but get turned aside by things I hardly even notice. One day I'm making steady progress -- and the next I'm doing something entirely meaningless, not even thinking about my goals.

I've tried to counter this by creating detailed to-do lists, and that's helped for a while -- but the invisible obstacles keep cropping up. I'll run my eyes down the list, but it's as if my mind just slides over the items rather than actually seeing and engaging with them.

So I'm trying a new technique. I'm taking each item on my list, writing it by hand on a new piece of paper, and then writing down all the obstacles, resistance, and other previously-silent "No's" and freak-outs that have been silently drowning my good intentions. And then I address each obstacle in turn: facing it, engaging with it, dealing with it. The goal is to come up with a constructive response and/or solution to each obstacle, so I can go on and complete the task.

So far so good. I've worked through the first two items on my list this evening, completed one long-delayed item (getting a second domain name) and took constructive steps to enlist assistance with the other. Two down, two dozen to go. . . .

As I'm working on this, I'm also re-prioritizing the list, so I can do a better job on focusing on the high impact items before the This-Isn't-Scary items. I'm also taking a page from Franklin Covey by being more conscious about the values each task relates to, and the long-term goals they support.

I'm also doing spiritual work focused on some of the deeper issues relating to this pattern, but I'm not ready to write about that yet.

I am sick and tired of being ineffectual unless there is some kind of external structure reinforcing my goals. I feel as if this is my golden opportunity to make some deep changes in myself, and that if I let it slip through my fingers it could have some very long-term negative consequences. I won't say it's my last chance; but I suspect that the longer this goes on the harder it will be to change.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 16th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
I am a fan of the index cards, myself. I can be motivated by a to-do list, but sometimes you need a system more like yours. Index cards rock.
Aug. 16th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
I was wondering about index cards. . . But I'm worried that they would just sit in a stack. At least with my new spreadsheet I can see multiple tasks at a time.

But I'll file it away for future consideration if this doesn't work.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Queen of Swords

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