{Tech Thursday} How to Stick with Your Goals

Artemis & Leto, Artemis and Leto, Tech Thursday, {Tech Thursday}, stick with your goals, iOS app development

It can be discouraging to stop doing something you want to do, like learning how to code. You get down on yourself and ask: What’s the point now, I haven’t practiced in weeks (or months)?!? If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.

After a big cross-country move, I realized that I hadn’t done any coding practice in almost a month! I was not only way behind in my learning goals, but also way behind in our A&L Studio goal of coming out with a simple app sometime in September. It was all falling apart, I thought dramatically. I nearly just said: Screw it. I suck. Let’s just give up on this whole app thing.

I then remembered that I have often felt the same way when trying to start a consistent exercise habit: I start off great for a few weeks or months, then something happens and I stop for a while. I then feel like a failure and become discouraged. This usually means I don’t start again for a very long time.

Adopt a Long-Term Perspective

This pattern was broken when I starting thinking about an exercise habit as a very long-term project. I’m talking decades, rest-of-my-life sort of time-frame. This meant that a few weeks (or even a few months or a year) seemed less devastating. I came to view these breaks not as permanent conditions, but as temporary hiccups in a much longer project.

Now I just ride out my breaks from exercising like the small, temporary things they are. When I am motivated to work out again, I just pick up where I left off, like the break was totally normal and not a problem at all.

Be Self-Compassionate

And the proof is in the pudding: I’ve had this attitude now for over a year and a half. In that time I’ve taken 3 or 4 long breaks (2-3 months each usually). After each I’ve simply started back up again with minimal if any self-criticism. I’ve also completed a 5km race, a sprint-distance triathlon, and a half-marathon (plus a non-official long trail run of 15 miles). All very slowly, of course, but my goal for all of them was only to finish. This is more physical activity than I think I’ve ever done in my life, let alone in just under 2 years! All because I didn’t beat myself up for not sticking to a perfect daily schedule.

Why You Started in the First Place

Back to nerd stuff: When I finally got my computer unpacked and I was thinking about how much I sucked for not coding for the last month, I had to remind myself that these feelings were the same as with exercise. I had to be more self-compassionate and adopt a long-term perspective. Soon I was unpacking my iOS app development text books and remembering how much I actually enjoyed it. I like the feeling of seeing something come alive on the screen, something that I created and programmed. I immediately fired up Xcode and started practicing. And it was like I’d never taken the time off at all.

The Takeaways: Adopt a long-term time horizon, be self-compassionate, and remind yourself why you wanted to start the project in the first place.

     —You’re Never Too Anything to Learn Tech

Need some motivation for starting (or continuing) to learn iOS app development? Check out this {Tech Thursday} article!

If you have any questions about learning to code, post them below in the Reply section!

Feature Image Credit: Mak

Comments 2

  1. Pingback: {Tech Thursday} The Importance of Pencil and Paper to App Development | Artemis and Leto

  2. Pingback: {Tech Thursday} Staying Motivated in the Face of Setbacks | Artemis and Leto

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