Personality and meeting goals

It occurred to me, as I was driving back from Wal-Mart feeling a little dizzy and in danger of falling asleep at any moment, that I’m kind of an all-or-nothing person.

On days when I “get stuff done”, I tend to do a lot. Overdo it, my friends would say. And that might be true…but it makes up for the other days, the days when I don’t seem to do anything.

I have always had trouble pacing myself. It shows in the procrastination-fueled all-nighters that characterized my college career. It shows in the way I started to run up a huge flight of stairs when I felt a renewed burst of energy during the hike through the temples on Hieizan, to which Todd and Jason each yelled his own version of, “Don’t go so fast, you’ll wear yourself out!” It shows in my cleaning habits, which are simply: when it starts to really annoy me, I scrub the hell out of it. (Don’t be fooled by the cleanliness in these apartment photos. Sure, the place looks tidy. But it wasn’t clean.)

I’m not sure if this is something I can change, or if it’s just a part of who I am. But I think it does help to explain why I can’t seem to meet my long-term goals.

To meet a goal, you have to work at it bit by bit. My most successful projects have been things I accomplished in one sitting, or at most a couple of days. Everyone always says that if you really want to accomplish a long term goal, you have to work a little bit at it every day. Every time I’ve tried to start a habit of doing that, with anything–be it exercise, or Japanese study, or writing a stupid novel–I’ve ultimately failed.

I’m starting to wonder, though, if I couldn’t just change that to a weekly thing. Surely I can find a day every week to work a little on a long-term goal. And having seven days to do something takes a lot of the pressure off.

Of course, I might end up putting it all off until the very last day of the week…but at least then I could have six days to recover until the next time ;P