Distractions, or, Why Goal-Setting is Important

If you’ve been reading lately, you’ll know that I’ve been setting daily goals, with rewards tied to them, for the past several days.  It’s helped keep me on track with my studying, which is very important when you’re writing 10 exams in a row.  It’s also helped to keep me focused, away from the internet, and fairly organized.

Last night, though, per this post, I didn’t set any goals for today.  And then I didn’t set any goals when I started out this morning, either.  What happened?  Well, it took me a little while to get going, while I putzed around getting breakfast ready, did some random surfing, and watched part of an Indiana Jones movie with my son.  Not so good.

I finally did get down to the studying and am happy to report that I had a pretty darn productive day.  I even took a break and went out for lunch with my family, and I got through the oral pathology material I wanted to.  A big pat on the back for me.

It reminded me, though, that when I’m really crunched for time, setting goals is essential for me, and tying everything to rewards is actually very motivating.  Not necessarily cheap, but it really makes a difference when I’m sitting at my computer, looking up something school-related, but I’m tempted to see what Kate Middleton…er, Princess Catherine?… is wearing to the grocery store these days.  It’s just a mouse-click away, but the thought of achieving my goal and treating myself to something I want is enough for me not to hop over to that tempting, tempting website.

So, on that note, here’s what’s on tap tomorrow:

1. Healthy breakfast – actually, scratch that, because I think my kids might be “surprising” me with breakfast in bed. 🙂

2. Study oral pathology.  I have 20 more pages to get through in detail before I start reviewing.

3. Visit with my mom when she comes to pick up the kids.  It is Mother’s Day,after all.  My husband has major work commitments this week and I’m overloaded with exams, so my parents are stepping up to the plate (again) and helping us out with the kids.

4. Study diagnosis for 2 hours, and then fixed prosthodontics for 2 hours.

5. Study oral pathology – review of everything.

6. Try to get to bed early, like before 11pm.

7. Email my prof back – must do this!

8. Rewards for:

– the morning: add Tina Fey’s Bossypants to my amazon.ca cart for post-finals reading

– the afternoon: spend 5 minutes foam rolling and watching TV

– the evening: take a bath (maybe right before bed?)

– the day: download The King’s Speech to watch after finals

I’ve got a little more reading to do before bed, but it’ll be a reasonable bedtime for me tonight.

Also, I just want to note that my husband brought home a gigantic sundae and offered to share it with me and after one delicious, creamy, chocolatey bite, I declined.  Another pat on the back for that, I’m telling ya.

Any suggestions for cheap or free things I can reward myself with?  Must be quick to do, i.e. should definitely take less than 10 minutes, and preferably less than 5 minutes.  


3 thoughts on “Distractions, or, Why Goal-Setting is Important

  1. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) says:

    I am glad to hear you had a productive day. Give yourself another pat on the back from me!

    Cheap/quick ways to reward yourself:

    – Give yourself a facial (buy one of those little packets from Shopper’s drug mart to use)
    – Paint your toe nails
    – Read a book for fun for 10-15 minutes before bed
    – Take a loooooong, HOT shower


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