As someone who has undertaken quite a few interests in my short life, I am always asked how I do it.
And the simple answer is I try to keep myself accountable. Now full disclosure sometimes I don’t always win this battle but I really do try. Now the trick I’ve found that really helps (cue the cliché)….is to pencil in something that would be a reasonable accomplishment in a reasonable timeframe. Now your probably asking ” But what is going to keep me honest to that date?” And this is where I take my accountability one step further.
Make the accomplishment one that is public, and I don’t mean just telling your friends and family, which I also recommend if they are supportive of your pursuits. When I mean public I mean registering yourself for a public event, signing up for a contest, etc.
Let me give you an example. Back when I wanted to start running more and farther, I jumped the bullet and registered myself for a half-marathon. Full disclosure, I am a relatively active individual but had NEVER run past 5-6 miles in any single session. Now I didn’t kick it into high gear and start running everyday, this isn’t that kind of story. I could have trained more and probably wasn’t the best prepared, but I reached my goal of finishing in just less than 2.5 hours.
Another example and in a way kind of the origin story of this blog. I was intrigued by learning to code and if you read older posts you’ll see I by no means had a great plan of attack jumping languages. However, I kept learning whatever I could and figured my strengths and interests would find themselves. Then I realized I just needed to make something, no matter bad it would be I just needed to make something, anything. So I say a Game Jam on Itch.io and registered, figuring it was better than nothing.
And out of that came two apps, now these apps aren’t going to win any awards, but they kept me accountable and kept me learning, and there is this saying I live by, not sure where I heard it or who said it (so if you know leave a comment), but it goes,
“Your only bad, until your good”