Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash
My sabbatical is coming to a 1-year milestone next month. I set out to invest in myself to learn, to heal, to explore and experiment, and to grow as a person. I am lucky to be in one of the only times in life where I have no financial pressure or obligation (no kids, no mortgage, parents are healthy).
The entire journey is inspiring and liberating, but also in equal parts a constant struggle for motivation and momentum. After finishing a project or learning something, I often fall into a weeks-long funk when I am unsure what to focus on my energy next.
Anything worth doing, is worth doing badly
Since young, we have always been told that any job worth doing was worth doing well. This all-or-nothing attitude brings about an avoidance behavior - we always wait for the "perfect" moments and conditions to allow us to commit and do something perfectly, and yet never end up getting started.
Giving ourselves the permission to do things badly frees us up to take actions on things that are important but not urgent.
No motivation to do a full work-out? Do 20 push-ups, or tell your self to work out for 5 minutes. If you feel like doing more afterwards, great. Else, you still manage to put in some workout. (Inspired by my friend Jess's Instagram stories).
Too tired to start an online course? tell yourself to watch 5 minutes of video.
Don't think you are good enough to learn programming? Well any programming knowledge you pick up will be useful, you don't need to be great at it or code at a professional level.
Not inspired to write? Write a bad draft, and revise later.
Don't think you can commit to a perfectly healthy diet? Cutting out some soda or snacks will do for now.
Once you start being productive in little ways, it will snowball and start creating momentum of change.
More importantly, things do add up over time.