Working Alone

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I used to have a theory that if I just surrounded myself with people who were go-getters, I, too, would become a go-getter.  While good influences are wonderful, I think this theory is just not quite sufficient.  Here’s why.

My first example was with working out.  I would just take every opportunity to work out that came my way when people invited me.  So this added up to working out two times a week when friends were around, and sometimes it would just be once a week.  Since I need to work out at least 3 times a week to be in shape and have something to build on, working out with other people just isn’t enough.  I need to be motivated enough to work out alone sometimes.

My second example is happening today.  Sometimes I am motivated by the routine of getting into the office and the sound of clacking keyboards everywhere.  This  morning, no one was in the office.  No one was there because, it turns out, it’s a holiday.  For graduate students, the word “holiday” means “work from home” or “do an hour less work.”  So I need to be self-motivated in this moment to get things done because I’m not surrounded by the go-getters at this very moment.

I do, however, find that systematic habits and accountability are really useful in achieving goals.  For instance, I’m much more likely to work out if I do it first thing in the morning because I’ve made this habit of working out before fully waking up.  I also downloaded a Bible app to read the Bible every day.  I also have a habit of working while I’m at work.

If I develop a couple of more habits, I think they will help me to be much more goal-oriented.  So, to kick myself into shape, I’m going to very publicly announce that I will no longer be snoozing in the mornings.  I find snoozing to be a terrible waste of time, and it keeps me from getting things done in the morning.

How about you?  What habits do you need to develop or do away with in order to become more goal-oriented?  Have you ever tried to ride on the coat-tails of someone else’s good habits to only find that you need your own to get what you want?

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