I've subscribed to Flylady's emails off and on. But I've gotten them often enough to understand a principle called, "Paralyzed Perfectionism." For those who haven't heard of it, it's pretty self-explanatory. You're so worried about doing something RIGHT and PERFECTLY that you don't even know where to start, so you don't do anything at all.
That's me to a T.
It happens when I sit down to write a scene in my book. It happens when I look at my sink full of dirty dishes. It happens when the kids get home from school and want to play and I know they really have to read and do homework and practice the piano and do chores. It happens when I decide I want to start an exercise and diet plan. It all just feels so overwhelming that I just get a chocolate bar and go read a book in my bed.
But the thing I'm mostly thinking of right now is that it happens when I set a daily wordcount goal for myself.
Part of why I set unrealistic expectations is because I've performed at high levels of efficiency in all of the above areas in the past at some point. I've kept my house clean every day when it was on the market. I've followed a rigorous diet and exercise plan, felt great, and lost 20 pounds in a few months. I took on the NaNoWriMo challenge and wrote 50,000 words in 1 month. Etc., etc., etc.
But a couple days ago as I was falling farther and farther behind on my words every day, I just thought, "Why don't I change it to writing 500 words a day instead of 1,000. Who cares if I went a whole month writing almost 2,000 words a day 6 days a week? What matters right now is that every day I fall behind, I feel more and more hopeless of being able to catch back up and stay on target to meet my goal.
So I changed my spreadsheet (yes, I'm obsessive about spreadsheets) to reflect a 500 words a day goal instead of a 1000 words a day one. And it feels awesome! 500 words a day feels do-able to me right now. Partly because I'm having a hard time writing every day, hence the falling behind. But if I write 1,000 words one day and then miss the next day, I'm still on track! I love the feeling of being on track. :o)
How do YOU set reasonable goals and keep yourself on track? I'd love any extra tips you guys have for me.