Keep pushing yourself

It is always a good thing to have goals. They help you move forward and keep you action oriented by being goal oriented. Having goals that you adhere to also allows you to create a routine that enables you to reach your goals. Sometimes these routines are constructive and help you reach a goal, other times they can lead to complacency.

* The Casey Neistat paradox. He loves to make movies but he is also always pushing himself out of the comfort zone. Making movies everyday for YouTube becomes routine and he does not feel like he is pushing himself any longer. The desire to make movies is still there but he does not find that the processes he has implemented are pushing him out of the comfort zone and has lead him to become complacent. Therefor he is not able to enjoy doing what he loves (making movies) because the way that he implemented his goals as routine.

When something like this happens, it is important to look at where you want to go and what you are doing to get there. It is easy to fall into the trap of the Casey Neistat paradox. If your methods don’t match your ideal means to reaching your goals you can slow or even stop your progress toward reaching your goals.

* At times like this ^ it pays to re-asses your routine.
* Does it really PUSH you out of your comfort zone?
* Does the routine actually get you closer to your goal?
* Should something be removed or added to the routine to make it more effective? – Add/Remove
* What things are you ignoring or not doing that you could/should be doing? – Outside of what you are doing now; things you may not have thought of or looked at. This is good to do every once in a while to make sure that you are not missing anything or have discovered something along the way that you could include in your routine.
* Re-state your goal and re-write your routine – Affirmation of goal/routine.
* Are you having fun? – Or are you stressed out. A lot of the time these types of things and this type of planning can be very stressful. It should be fun and you should be having a good time.

The best way to push yourself farther is to go a little farther each day, week, month, year. This sounds simple but it can actually lead to a lot of effort. Try to add or expand upon what you are already doing on a regular basis. If you are working on Photoshop for instance, try to learn a new technique every week. Then add the creation of some output to it. Then make the output and post it to Instagram. So while you are still learning a new technique every week, and producing some output (a drawing for instance), you are also posting it to social media and you keep adding things to do every week until you have reached your goal.

If you do one more thing every once in a while then you will find that the things that you where originally doing, that you started with, are now happening automatically because you are not focusing on them anymore and the things you are focusing on are always progressing. By doing this, by focusing on the progressing thing, you can keep your focus over time because you don’t get stuck in the complacency of doing the same thing over and over again.

I keep coming back to the concept of making the things that you do every day into habits, thus allowing you to keep your focus on the present and future events. The idea that you can ‘automate’ the tedium or at the very least, relegate it to the back of your focus.

Maybe this is a little bit of escapism on my part. I wrestle with the idea that there is still a whole lot of work to get done if I am going to reach my ideal state. Personally, it is important to keep in mind that every little step forward counts. The nickels and dimes add up quick and you can end up wasting a lot of energy if you focus on the wrong things.

There is one thing that I know to be true: If you keep focusing on the future, if you have a forward facing mindset and outlook, then you will never be moving in the wrong direction. Only when you stop moving forward, when you stop progressing, do you have a problem.

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