Updated: Dec 30, 2022
Hello beautiful humans!
"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant." ~Robert Louis Stevenson
Are you disappointed when you don't get immediate results?
Maybe you started a diet and a month in you've only lost 4 lbs and expected to lose 10. Maybe you've been working on moving up in your career and haven't been able to advance past your current position. Maybe you started a business and you haven't been able to build the clientele you were hoping to have. Or maybe you have been working on mending a relationship but feels like the progress has stale mated.
My questions to anyone who poses these or similar problems is; how fast can you make a garden grow? Does it happen overnight? Will you be able to reap your harvest tomorrow if you plant the seeds today?
We have become a society that wants things right now. We want results quickly and have convinced ourselves that we don't have time to wait. Because of this we often quit trying to obtain the goals that we set for ourselves. We give up before we even truly get started.
I enjoy making things with my hands, artsy-crafty stuff. I especially enjoy creating miniatures like scenery and dollhouse furniture. Just before COVID locked us down in March 2020, my husband bought me a dollhouse kit. I loved it! I had always wanted to build one, make the furnishings myself, creating them true to scale, furnish and decorate it and make it as realistic as possible.
I had the kit together in no time and immediately started making the furnishing and furniture that went into. Then I came to the kitchen. I wanted the drawers and cabinets to open, the refrigerator to light up when you opened the door, the stove would have tiny little red lights for the burners and inside the oven and so on. When it came time to work on the cabinet doors, I tried making hinges, but they weren't working to my satisfaction, so I ordered some online. Their estimated arrival time was 6 weeks.
Six long agonizing weeks of waiting.
I didn't want to wait and I didn't. I tried making hinges again and again and again and eventually I had to remake the kitchen cabinets THREE TIMES because my efforts to create hinges had damaged what I had already done. I became so frustrated that it was taking so long that I began avoiding working on a project that I had found so much enjoyment in previously.
Recently, my husband asked me how the dollhouse was coming and I was ashamed to say that I haven't worked on it in over a month. (BTW, 8 months later and the hinges still haven't arrived!)
Because I couldn't have what I wanted right then, my work had become shotty and less than what I wanted it to be. It didn't have the realism that I had been working towards. It became a chore that was put aside for some other time. An unfinished project that I gave up on because I was too impatient to see it through.
We do this all the time as a society. If we have to wait more than 3 minutes at a fast food drive thru, we become intolerant and agitated, as if we could produce the same product (or even better) at home in only 2 minutes.
The problem is you cannot grow a garden overnight. It takes time, hard work, diligence, patience, commitment, etc. We compromise these things because somewhere a long the way we have learned to believe that if we can't have it right now then it isn't worth our time when the exact opposite is true.
The same thing happens when we set out to change ourselves or some area of our life that we want to improve. The longer that it takes to complete the task, the more we lose motivation to complete it and we fail to hold ourselves accountable.
How can we solve this problem? Start making goals that are more reasonable. Goals that we can confidently.
If we want to plant a garden, then our goal should not be focused on reaping the fruit. It should be placed on mapping out the garden. Once that goal is reached, till the soil. Once that is completed, plant the seeds. When that's done, water and weed it and so on.
When we focus on taking the baby steps to complete our long term goal then we can look back and say, "Wow! Look what I've accomplished. Look how far I've come."
So the next time you want to set a long-term goal of losing 50 lbs, set a baby step goal to drink one more glass of water each day for a week. Then exercise for 15 minutes a day for one week. Each week that you complete a baby step goal, add another and another.
The same thing goes for self improvement, relationships, careers, anything. Set the long-term goal and then set baby step goals. With each one completed the accomplishment of reaching that goal will help to keep you motivated to complete the next one. Force yourself to have patience and commitment and you will succeed.
Morals of the Story:
Quality changes don't happen over night
Change takes patience, hard work, diligence and commitment
Set a long-term goal and break it down into baby steps