Why Do We Neglect Our Progress?
🎧 911 / Mr. Lonley x Tyler, The Creator
Everyday is a new journey to tackle long strides in hopes of progress, progress, progress… simply that. Not even perfection, progress - yet, one simple mistake, one moment of falling out of routine, and all of that progress we just made goes out the window.
Why do we neglect our progress when our journeys aren’t perfect? Especially when perfection is what we aren’t striving for.
We create an unnecessary battle in our minds, being our toughest critic, and beating ourselves up… in comes the negative self-talk, when we simply fall off track.
Self-discipline is my biggest personal goal right now. Doing the things that hurt so good, so that I can live a life that I am proud of, and not ashamed. I have a few micro-goals under my umbrella of self-discipline, and one of them is: going to bed on time.
I am a night owl. I also have a chronic problem with waking up early. I am the farthest thing from a morning person. And until I am in a position where I can stay up til 3:00a, wake up around 11:00a and continue on with my day… I will have to conform.
My journey of figuring out how to become a morning person has been years, YEARS in the making. I have found many successes and many failures, but I believe that I have finally found a formula that works.
Now, sticking to that formula (and not being stubborn, believing that I can hold onto my college days of ‘all-nighters’) = success.
Welp, one day this week I got off track. I need to be in the bed and falling asleep by 1:30a at the latest, or I will not wake up on time. No ifs, ands or buts about it. That’s how my body has been functioning these past few months with my demanding schedule.
So what did I do Thursday night? I stayed up until 2:30a, thinking everything would be fine. So much so that I spoke outloud as I was rechecking my alarms and volume for the morning for 6:00a, that, “I am going to rise early at 6:00a, do yoga, eat breakfast at home, and arrive to school early.”
My phone was across the room and charging. I was all the way prepared.
Friday morning comes. I wake up without my alarm. Walk over to my phone… 10:08a.
Class started at 9:00a.
Needless to say, I was devastated and disappointed in myself. Mind you, I had gone 9 days of sticking to my bedtime and rising early, having pretty productive days, at that. But here I was, Friday morning, angry with myself over one mishap.
Typically, when things don’t go as planned like this Friday morning, I like to think that this was the way things were supposed to happen. And there is really nothing that I could have done different to avoid this outcome. The reality is, my days are jam packed with school and work from 8:00a-11:00p and sometimes later. My body needs rest, simply put.
But this day I was over it.
I made it to school and a few hours went by, I started to feel a bit better and not let my morning damper on my mood.
Now, on Sunday, as I plan my upcoming week, and review the last, I wrote down in my review: “made hella progress with sleep/wake schedule”.
But it dawned on me in that moment how pissed I was in the moment, and how normally, when I fail at a goal, or fall off track in my self-discipline, I harper on everything that went wrong, all that I didn’t or couldn’t do, instead of looking at what all I did well.
I went to bed on time, 6/7 days. I woke up early and stayed up for productive mornings 5/7 days. That’s more than half of the week where I succeeded. Why must I neglect all of that beautiful progress because of one bad moment?
In that bad moment I even learned a lesson. I learned that staying up past my 1:30a cut-off is a definite no for me in my life right now. It is a sacrifice that I will have to make until I finish school which is just a few weeks out. Had I not stayed up this late, I would’ve assumed that my “all-nighter” days were still alive and well, and I would’ve found this out later instead of sooner, which might not of been in my best interest.
On this path of self-discipline, I am learning that being disciplined can be very hard and it’s not always fun making sacrifices. But, these sacrifices make us feel much better when we accomplish the things we want to do, instead of waking up everyday in a frenzy because we didn’t listen to ourselves.
Next time instead of stressing over what didn’t go as planned, I will be more intentional about acknowledging how far I’ve come, and not be so hard on myself. What's the point of progress if we only give energy to our mistakes?