When you’re someone with soaring dreams and BIG goals, you’re also someone who knows that goals require action. Knowing is the easy part. It’s the doing that often encounters one too many hiccups along the way.
What do you do when you don’t feel like showing up?
My brother is a huge Spider-Man fan. One night at dinner, he sat at the table flexing a full-on Spider-Man costume. You can imagine what happened next. “If you really are Spider-Man, show us some web action,” I teased.
He smiled and scratched his head, “Being a hero is easy. Being super is hard.”
That’s when it hit me.
We get so consumed in the periphery that we lose focus of the core.
My brother may never sling across hundred-feet tall buildings to fight a giant lizard (that’s pretty dangerous) or hold together a ship that’s been lasered in half with nothing but the strength of his bare hands, but he can always show up to help anyone at any day however he can.
When we show up, we don’t do it to be perfect. We do it because it is what needs to be done. Anything that needs to be done gets better as we go along the process.
Committing to something—a personal goal or a project you feel is important—means that you choose it every single day, whether you feel like it or not.
On days when writing feels like trying to remove a boulder from the toilet with nothing but a plunger, I allow myself to write poorly written hundred-word sentiments and keep these 8 reminders in my head.
1. You are allowed to have bad hair days.
I think you should make room for bad hair days. Things don’t always work out as they usually do. Sometimes, getting out of bed feels like a task as heavy as when Atlas was condemned to bear the world on his shoulders. On those days, remember that flawless isn’t the goal. The goal is showing up.
2. The Mona Lisa wasn’t painted in a day.
It took Leonardo da Vinci four years to finish what would become the world’s most prized artworks. Why are you judging yourself over a day’s work? Many of us want to get it right on the first try. News flash, that’s rarely the case, even for people with a thousand hours of experience behind them. Of course, the first draft is going to be junk. The portrait is going to look more like a clumsy banana than a human being the first time. Do it anyway.
3. Consistency is key.
When I decided to put out an article every Thursday, I planned my days to make time for creating the content that needed to go out on Thursday. This is the bit that often gets lost when talking about consistency. Consistency isn’t the result of doing one action on an assigned day. It is the result of doing all the little actions leading up to the day and then repeating it.
4. Learn to tango with the tangle.
This line is a takeaway from one of the greatest films ever to grace the screens. “If you get all tangled up, just tango on,” said the dashing Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade. What I mean by this is when things start to pile up at your feet and trip you up, learn to dance with the flow. Regain your rhythm and keep doing what you do. If you fall down, it’s not your fault. But if you stay down that is another story.
5. YES, SCHEDULING NO-WORK DAYS IS A MUST.
Scheduling no-work days protects you from burning out. Set aside dates for slow days. Who knows, maybe this is the break you needed to get your creative juices flowing. You choose what a no-work day looks like to you. I spend it watching my favorite films, getting artsy on my vision board, or sleeping.
6. Don’t miss it twice.
No matter how hard you try, things won’t always go the way you planned them. An urgent meeting can come up anytime. If you’re a student like me, school work can eat up your hours. One solid piece of advice I got from reading Atomic Habits is not to miss it twice. Missing something the second time around may open the gateways of a destructive pattern. To err is human; to get back on track is super.
7. Keep the simple things simple.
Planning to exercise? You don’t need the gym for that. Change your eating habits to a healthier one? Stop buying junk and keeping them in your fridge where you have to fight the urge to eat them every second of your life. Want to be more consistent with your new habit? Start small. Keep the simple things simple. Pro tip? Learn about environment design and how you can use your surroundings to help you win.
8. Remember your ‘Why’
I came across this quote seven years ago as I was scrolling through Facebook, “Whenever you feel like quitting, remember why you started.” Let’s get this straight, learning to quit is important. But knowing when NOT to quit is more important. Why do you do what you do? Don’t lose sight of that.