Those who know me well joke that I suffer from Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder (ADHD). They tell me that I am always doing or performing some sort of activity and that I don’t know how to relax.
My friends are correct in that I’m always doing something. In fact, that is actually an under exaggeration of the truth. I don’t know why, but I just have one of those personalities that’s just wired to keep itself busy. Even when I’m not physically busy, I’m always deep in thought.
I’m constantly accused of rudely ignoring people who speak to me in the morning as I walk pass them at work. But, in my defense, it’s because my conscious is usually focused on one of the several things that I have going on in my life. Although it happens, I don’t intentionally ignore people, no more than we ignore a wall clock that “ticks” when we are not focused on figuring out the time. We don’t hear it because our minds are occupied with other things.
Until recently, I had no idea why I keep myself busy. Now, I think I figured it out.
I think I stay busy just so that I don’t get bored with life. I guess?
Think about it. If we always give ourself something to look forward to, how can we ever get bored with life? It’s no different from goal setting, be it financial or physical.
A financial goal that is purposeful, realistic, and measurable is very effective at motivating someone to keep saving towards their goal. Likewise, a person who starts seeing results when they are trying to lose weight continues to be motivated to keep doing what they are doing to drop their pounds. So, if we give ourself something to look forward to, similar to setting a goal, we’ll give our life purpose and will continue to look forward to the days that will come.
For example, pregnant couples are super excited for the day that their babies will be born, engaged couples anticipate their wedding day, and people who set vacation plans find themselves unable to wait patiently until the day that it comes.
That being said, why shouldn’t we set up micro life goals to create this same effect?
I think that this is exactly what I do.
I look forward to living purposefully by using micro life goals
In no particular order, the following are only some of the things that I find myself looking forward to:
I’ve starting cooking meatless meals, Sunday through Wednesday: I’m always excited to find healthy recipes, which also serves to keep me interested in cooking new meals. I stumbled upon The Curvy Carrot and would love to cook every meal on her site that interest me.
I blog: My blog keeps me thinking and challenges me to continually reflect on life in order to populate this website. I don’t earn a living from this blog, but my focus on populating this site for my son and others to read my thoughts definitely keeps me motivated to share my ideas.
I continually read: Reading allows me to think critically about other people’s ideas so that I can apply them to my own life. I always look forward to reading a new book, magazine article, blog, etc. As long as I have a queue of reading material, I have something that I can do so that my life doesn’t get empty.
I regularly workout at the gym: I try to work out every day, except for Sundays. I’m aiming for about 12% body fat and then want to maintain it right around that percentage. The last time I checked in December 2012 I was at 16.5%. I try to maintain my work-out log and keep pictures to ”see” my progress using a mobile phone app called Jefit.
I create micro based family themes for me and my son: Tuesday is movie night and Thursday is restaurant night. It’s exciting to spend these evenings with my son. We use these evenings to just focus on spending time with each other. I definitely look forward to these weekdays.
Also, my son and I eat and wash dishes together: It’s amazing what you learn from your children when you are constantly in each other’s presence. I look forward to our dinner conversations so that I can hear how his thought processes have matured and how I can integrate a teachable moment into his life, and how he can teach me things from the younger generation’s perspective.
I set out to learn another language: Every day that I learn conversational Spanish is another day that I’m excited to learn even more. My goal is to be perfectly fluent in seven years. My micro goals within this goal are to complete as many Spanish language courses as I can, be it Michel Thomas Spanish audio recordings, Duolingo’s language app for the iPhone, BBC Spanish’s video courses, or whatever. Another micro goal is to immerse myself into the Spanish culture as many weekends as I can. This keeps me looking forward to the weekends where I can partipate in Spanish Karaoke night, or Salsa night at the local Spanish discos.
I continually upgrade and design rooms in my home: Planning out ideas to paint rooms and to make little tweaks to your home may be just what you need to get you through a long week at work. You’ll know that at least you’ll have something to look forward to on the weekend if you enjoy seeing your imagined designs come to life.
I plan and go on vacations: A vacation doesn’t have to be luxurious. It can be any place that breaks the monotony of your every day life. You can set a plan to do something as basic as traveling to another local city, or do something more such as exploring another country. Either way, you’ll be excited each day to know that your vacation will soon arrive.
I set a realistic plan to retire: What better motivation is there than to know that you have a set time in your life where you can actually stop working? When you set a plan to retire by a certain age, it should keep you motivated to either save or earn more by increasing your marketable skills, or by starting your own business. Each time you save money you will be closer to your retirement goal. I finally have found solace with my retirement plan and am motivated to keep it simple up until the day that I retire.
I’m constantly creating other micro goals for myself.
Life can pass us by if we spend it doing unproductive things that don’t challenge us to use our intellect, talents, and abilities. We all have something that we are good at, whether we know it yet, or not. This is why we must constantly strive to increase our knowledge.
When we don’t have things to look forward to, we may find ourselves questioning our life’s purpose. Set out to create your own micro goals and look forward to completing them, and add others every chance you get.
Have you set any goals for your life so that it doesn’t seem to get boring? Do you think that you can commit to a few micro life goals if you haven’t already?
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DisclaimerThe opinions expressed on this blog are mine and represent my views only. I have very strong opinions, but am also an open-minded individual. If you refute my view with supported, educated and well-argued points, I could very well change my opinion.