Moderation is not my strong suit. I’ll put that out there right off the bat. I am either all-in on something–be it a band, a book, a food, a video game–or I am 1000% disinterested. I have basically stopped watching all TV over the past year or so because I refuse to let myself get sucked into a weeks-long multi-season binge and I apparently cannot portion-control myself.
My inability to do things in moderation is a blessing and a curse. It makes me be super productive! I set goals and I go at them hard and fast (hehehe). I don’t let myself get distracted. I am single-minded on my goal until it is achieved.
…or until I burn out.
You know how, the faster you’re going in a car, the harder it is to control the vehicle in the event of an unexpected ice patch or pothole or deer or bad driver? So if you go fast and boom, suddenly a deer!, things aren’t going to end well.
I’m like that with my goals. I fly at them with blinders on, determined to meet them in an efficient and timely manner. In order to meet them, I ignore ALL OTHER THINGS. I want to finish every goal as soon as possible so I can move onto the next one. If I start reading a book, I will binge that book until it’s done–days off, evenings, lunch breaks at work, I am reading. If I start revising a draft or writing a new story, all reading is forgotten. My husband won’t see me for weeks except in passing. “Hi, I’m home. Okay I’m going upstairs to write.”
When this is how you operate, sometimes all it takes is a little bump from Life and suddenly you’re spiraling into deep space, trajectory lost, instruments non-responsive, no idea how to find your path again. Should you be reading? Writing? Revising? Binge watching every season of every series of Star Trek to ever air? YOU JUST DON’T KNOW. So you drift, aimless, not particularly passionate about any of your goals. That’s where I am now.
And oooooh buddy, it sucks.
Life just gave me a little tap–okay, a couple little taps in quick succession over the course of a week–and now I am floating in oblivion without road signs or any sense of direction. Just drifting in space. I have lost interest in the goal I was working towards, but I am loathe to set it aside and start on something else.
And yet… they say “everything in moderation.” So perhaps I need to learn that working towards and single goal and neglecting all else is, perhaps, not a good idea? Not healthy? Perhaps, maybe, I should be okay with working a bit more slowly on multiple goals at once, so that this burn-out doesn’t happen…? MAYBE I should let myself have a few hours of mindless, non-goal-related entertainment every once in a while? IT’S OKAY TO RELAX, LEIGH.
I’m not sure about all that, but for now I think I must set aside the goal I fizzled out on and work towards a different one. I have plenty of goals. I just need to pick one and take off…
How do you guys manage your goals? Do you believe in “everything in moderation” or are you a “burn twice as bright for half as long” kind of person?