Recently I deleted a bunch of old notes I had in Evernote. Some of the notes were almost immediately unneeded, like old receipts and confirmations.
Much of the rest was notes related to goals ("Checklist to move out of MD Apartment", "Planning trip to Buenos Aires") or to projects I had. ("Set up personal website", "Outline book on overcoming fear of lead climbing", etc).
Some of the things I've been working on in the last few weeks I've been thinking about for over a year. Whoa. Why did I wait until now to do something that I'd obviously wanted to do over a year ago?
"Now" is a good time to do something, but "later" isn't always bad.
I've tried to find a different way of saying this, but anything else isn't honest. I've felt tremendous guilt lately at not accomplishing some of the projects I've laid out for myself.
- I've not studied any Spanish, even though I've been living in Buenos Aires, fumbling around with my terrible Spanish skills.
- I've not taken measurable steps on either of two side projects I've been meaning to accomplish (and have been wanting to do them for years.)
- I've spent time reading mostly pointless fiction rather than more meaty non-fiction/histories/biographies, even though I'd much rather spend time in the latter.
- I've only in the last few days feel like I've made significant progress with projects at work.
- I've not done a single physically challenging act in two months. No climbing, no exercise.
All of these things will be accomplished in time. While I shouldn't sit around until I magically feel motivated to do all of the undone things in my life, I can respect the ebb and flow of motivation, and peg the right projects to the right time.
I do this at a daily and weekly level (I.E. certain kinds of work when I'm feeling high/low energy, and I keep work limited to mostly-normal working hours), so it is no stretch to extend the principle to a monthly/yearly schedule. (Except for the exercise bit - I feel way better with exercise in my life, and allowed the current inaccessibility of climbing to derail that habit.)
It's hard for me to not succumb to the Instagram/Hacker News effect. (I just made that up. It's the endless viewing of other people's beautiful lives/successful products makes me think that I am a dismal failure, just because I'm not currently launching something elegent/successful/lucrative/world-changing or having a fabulous time in a beautiful place.)
How does this matter to you?
The same way that it matters to me. Do things that matter. But don't lose sleep over not doing everything as quickly as you originally thought you might, and don't be beholden to doing things that you no longer need to do.