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Sail On, Dear Captain

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I’m a writer.

I repeat this line in my head over and over again as I work up the motivation to turn thoughts into words late in the night when my brain wants to go to sleep or early in the morning when I immediately want to jump on social media or on my days off when I want to binge watch a show. I stare at those blank pages or whatever I wrote a few days ago and many times I ask myself the same thing.

What am I doing?

I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. I was a kid who loved books and playing in my backyard, reading Treasure Island and pretending a cardboard box was my pirate ship, daydreaming of the day I would one day get my own galleon. Now I’m an adult and I still feel like I’m on that boat, still daydreaming of the day I’ll sail off into the deep. Anchored in the harbor and fearing the waves.

What is the point?

I was never one to put off hard work. My parents raised me in the belief that if you wanted something, you had to be willing to do the work for it. But I guess what has daunted me all these years was not that I just didn’t want to work for it, but rather that I was crippled by the fear of failing.

What if I’m actually not good?

I look at everyone else. Their ships are tall and sturdy. They plow through waves and storms. They don’t fear the winds. They tell tales of the dangers they faced and show their scars with pride. And it’s in those times I think maybe it’s not the sea, maybe it’s just my boat. Maybe I’m not cut out to face what lurks out there in deep.

What if I drown?

I see bits and pieces of other ships who weren’t able to hold out, wrecked and damaged beyond repair. Some now resting at the bottom of the sea, never to sail again. And I can’t help but wonder if this is to be my fate. So I remain in the harbor, anchor lowered and sails fastened down.

But what if I tried?

I realize that my ship might not be as big or bright. It might not seem like much but a boat is a boat. And a boat is not meant to linger aimless in the harbor but has a purpose out in the deep. The sea isn’t going to move for me, that’s what my ship is for.

The course I chart is my own decision. I can’t blame the weather around me or the ocean I’m in. I can be smart and adapt to the conditions, but if I let it stop me from doing what I was meant to do then whose fault is it? I was not meant for the safety of a dock but for the brutality of the seas. Regardless of storm or waves or whatever lurks in the deep, my dream was made for sailing and sail on I will.

I am the captain

We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.

Aristotle Onassis

Six Ways To Actually Accomplish Your Goals When You Just Don’t Have the Motivation

Personal goals are important and should be practiced more than just at the beginning of the year. But let’s be honest, like every New Years resolution we all have trouble achieving accomplishment.

1: Keep your goals simple and realistic

The problem many people have is that they are overachievers. You feel a spurt of inspiration and you feel like you can climb Everest, pay off your student loans, raise a family, start a law firm, and break the record for the how many push-ups one can do- all in one day.

The way I see it is that flow of inspiration you feel now, that’s not for you to use in one day. It might be all the inspiration you get until you accomplish your goal, so it has to last you however long that might take. Don’t waste it all by giving yourself a thousand things you want to do, instead, make one or two goals every six months and keep them simple. Whether it’s that you’re going to run an extra mile every day or work a little harder on a project, it’s important you know your limits.

2: Make a plan

Don’t just set a goal, map it out. Don’t just say I’m going to take the next six months to get in shape. Instead plan out exactly how you are going to accomplish this task. Schedule appoints before hand to go to the gym or with a personal trainer. Find a workout plan online and mark it down on your calendar. If your goal is to eat healthy, start meal planning or if you want to spend more hours on your project to further your career then by yourself a planner and make a schedule.

I recommend you plan it all ahead before you set the deadline. Create steps. Start small and then slowly increase. When you have a clear path in mind trust me, you’ll find it much easier to stick to that routine than if you just try to wing it. Which leads me to step 3.

3: Get a routine going

Structure and organization is important and consistency is key. One of the ways to remain consistent is to get yourself a daily routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same, try to eat each meal within the same time frame. You may not be the type of person who likes predictability but trust me. I went through a faze in life where I simply lived day to day. It left me overwhelmed and stressed out all the time.

Once you get a routine, you’ll find the predictability (although maybe boring) leaves you with a sense that you’re in control and you know what’s going on. Stress tends to lead to discouragement which leads you to abandoning those goals. The more stress you eliminate the more likely you are to stick to your plans.

4: Find a partner

Sometimes you just need someone to give you a push. Sometimes you get lonely and need someone to make the journey with you. I recommend you do one of two things.

A) Find someone with a similar goal and make the journey together

And/Or

B) Find someone who already accomplished a similar goal and have them routinely check up on you.

When searching for someone though, remember to find someone who is encouraging and yet honest. Someone who won’t let you slack but who also understands that you are human. Having more than one person can also be good, that way you’re all sharing the load.

5: Keep a log

Every time you make progress or each time you felt like you slacked off, write it down. You can do this daily, weekly, or monthly depending on what sort of goal you set and what the time frame is. But writing it down will help you not only find motivation in times of doubt, it will also help you keep track on what is going, where your short comings are, and where your best strengths are. It can also be helpful for your partners to be able to review what’s going on.

6: Set an hour aside to be internet free

In this day in age everything seems to be on our phones. As convenient as it is, the internet is a distraction. Try putting your phone in another room for one hour to focus on other things. Read a book or take a walk and listen to nature. This will help you clear your mind which will alleviate stress which will again help you regain your motivation.

* * *

Some days your just not going to feel like you have it in you. Pushing past that feeling even though it feels like its reality is important. Don’t give yourself excuses. Think about the future. Think how you’re going to feel when you finally achieve your goal. Make a plan, stick to it, and go out there and get what you want.

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts

Winston Churchill