How to Take Back Control on a Goal

Dear Blog,

I thought about skipping my article today since I don’t really have anything to say, but then I got to thinking about how I set out to write twice a week no matter what. Some days, I get distracted and forget to write a post. Other days, after days and days of not writing, I just don’t have any tips to share (or the enthusiasm to sit down and write about my lack of progress).

How many of us set a goal and then fail to follow through? I bet the percentage is pretty high. There’s always something that gets in the way. Always something that distracts us.

For instance, I was on a 60+ day roll with studying French daily the other month, but then I got distracted. My husband and I had rented a floor sander that day and we were rushing to get the work done so we could take it back early the next morning. Well, about thirty minutes past midnight, I realized I had forgotten all about my daily study and that I had lost my 60-day streak. Just like that – poof! (Duolingo doesn’t realize some people stay up past midnight)

I haven’t really touched it since. I lost my enthusiasm for studying.

It’s happened before, too, with a different language. I lost the streak and then I stopped studying.

What is it with needing to make daily progress? What is it with needing to see a long-standing streak? Why can’t we be happy without the screen that says we’re on a roll? Why can’t we cut ourselves some slack and not be mad when we see a day with no progress?

Here’s what I propose: why don’t we track our progress on paper instead? Screw the programs that cut us off at midnight. If it takes us until two in the morning to reach a goal, who’s to tell us we failed and lost our streak?

Over the next week, I’ll be designing my own little “streak” screen. I’m the one in charge of my goals and tracking my progress. I’m the one who gets to decide if I failed or not.

Who is with me?

Jody Calkins
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