Setting Short Time Based Goals To Do The Things You Dread

Everyone is faced with doing things they’d rather not do. For some, that may just be going to work everyday. For others, it comes down to something a bit more serious and difficult to accomplish. Whatever the thing is you dread having to do, perhaps this will help.

Throughout my twenties, I was not well. I suffered from a number of illnesses, which I won’t go into during this article, but needless to say I was hospitalized frequently and spent an above average amount of time being poked and prodded with one test or another. I’m relatively healthy now and finding that some lessons I learned during that time can be applied to other situations. At the very least I can share things I’ve learned which can hopefully help others in similar situations.

Few people if any like going to the doctor, even when your well, perhaps even more so when you’re well. It’s not a cheery place and generally if you’re not well off, you leave feeling no better than when you arrived. Being tested for anything, be it a mere blood test or something more invasive is merely icing on the cake of awfulness. You already feel like rubbish and if you have any kind of aversion to blood, or depending on the test in question, some of the more colorful varieties of prep required before the test can be administered, than it just makes you feel all the more poorly.

There is no trick to getting through this. You just have to do it. There is however a better way to think about getting through it and that’s to stop thinking about the thing you dread and instead think about the time the task will take. Whatever qualms might hold you back from completing your task, time will not stop, baring some unlikely rupture of the space time continuum. Because of this, you can count on the finite certainty that the end of the day will eventually come and unless you put a stop to it or simply chicken out, the thing you dread will be completed.

So rather than focusing on the thing you dread, focus instead on the estimated time when it will be completed. If you’re having a wisdom tooth removed at noon and you know the procedure will take one hour, but you’re dreading it, than simply think to yourself, ‘by one O’Clock, it will be done and over with.’ Granted, their will be some after effects, but the worst of it will be over. And once you’ve reached the first short term goal, you can set another. Today the pain is bad, but tomorrow it will be a little less and the day after that it will be even less. When you break it down, this is the one day at a time scheme, focused down to minutes and hours if you want to get that precise.

Now granted, you still have to do the thing you dread for yourself. In many cases this falls onto your own ability to stand up and do what needs to be done. If you can’t do that, than this is practically meaningless. In a situation like mine though, where most of the time it wasn’t me doing something, but rather having something unpleasant done to me, this works like a charm. At least it did for me.

They say time waits for no man. I’m not sure who they are, but they are correct. Time will not stop and once you’ve started the thing you dread, it will be finished. Focus on the time it takes, rather than the task itself and you may just find what you need to get through it.


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