When does dedication turn into pure dread? When does good enough become simply enough? The moment your motivation to complete your biggest goals turn into this long, overwhelming task — almost too daunting to even think about. If you’re anything like me, you have let the burden of everyday like slowly kill your dedication for any goal you may have laid out for your future.
If you would have met ‘pre-college Ashley’ you would have known one of the hardest working girls. A girl who knew an acceptance letter from any of her top schools was coming, or the girl who knew she would land that stubborn cheer stunt, and she was right! Pre-college (and even college-ashley) was confident and determined enough to accomplish anything she set her mind to. But somewhere along the way, my good enough became good enough and everyday tasks enlightened me as much as the glee from a lifelong accomplishment. Too dramatic? Barely.
It wasn’t until fairly recent when I realized how little I was accomplishing compared to the accomplishment won over by my younger self. After all, don’t they say that the only competition should be with yourself. And my best self was definitely left in the past with the momentum gathered to become the young adult I am today. So when did my dedication fade? Was it when I accomplished the goals I had set prior to college? Was it when I no longer had a cookie-cutter path to follow – the high school, college, dream job path? Maybe.
But that shouldn’t determine the motivation I force upon myself. Without the push, there is no growth and the end of the cookie-cutter path definitely wasn’t going to be the end of my growth. I still hope to go back to grad school. I hope to move up in my career. And I want one day start a family. However, as much as I ‘want’ these things, I wasn’t setting up timelines or notes on how to tackles these goals. I wasn’t really doing anything specific to get anything done. All my goals truly were just dreams. And the reason behind this: I forgot what the definition of dedication was.
Sometimes it takes endless photos on Instagram to wake you up and realize that you aren’t pushing yourself to your highest potential (and people say social media is all bad — puhhleaase). But I finally had the epiphany I needed to take out my pen & paper and write out exactly what I wanted to accomplish. Okay, maybe that one was a little too dramatic. But when you write out your goals and set benchmarks for the ones actually in your control (we all can’t plan weddings & babies and that’s okay, but you can set your education & career goals) then you realize dedication isn’t the only thing missing. Sometimes you need actual determination for the days you want to give up. Sometimes you need a person who will remind you that you are fit for the best future as long as you keep work for it.
Below are a few ways to keep your determination going when your dedication is absent:
Below are a few ways to keep your dedication going when your determination is absent:
- Write it down. There’s something about putting pen to paper that really seems to kick the whole plan into action.
- Set some benchmarks for yourself Set up smaller benchmarks along the way to keep you motivated. Plus it’s the perfect checkpoint to make sure you are still on track.
- Reevaluate as you continue to grow My goals are always evolving based on the opportunities and jobs I take on. I never want to let those moments deter me from moving forward with the dreams I have set my self to accomplish. But it is okay to look back and re-route as you see fit.
- Practice some ‘R&R’ For me this means Rest & Reward. Rest to avoid the burnout and Reward yourself along the way for the smaller achievements that bring your big picture together.