This month we’re talking about pushing limits, going that extra distance and accomplishing things you didn’t think possible. But what is a limit?
In calculus, a limit is a line that an equation approaches, getting infinitely closer without ever crossing. Now, I haven’t taken a math class since I was a senior in high school, so I won’t go much deeper than this. But from this basic definition, we can draw a clear metaphor between limits on a graph and our own personal limits.
We can get closer and closer to our limit, but really, we never pass it. This means we never really run out of steam, but we also can’t surpass it. Unless, of course, we push the limit farther. How do we do that though?
Set a Goal
One way to push your limits is to set a goal. But not just any goal! In order to work, goals need to be specific and measurable, so you can hold yourself accountable and actually accomplish what you set out to do. Part of the reason why so many people ditch their New Year’s resolutions halfway through January is because they only said, “I want to write more.”
How much more do you want to write? For how long? How will you measure your progress or success in accomplishing this goal? To be able to push limits, we have to understand what that actually means for us and how we intend to do it.
Some of our writing limits include our energy, motivation, creativity, or how much time we have. To push these limits, we need a strong, specific goal that takes these things into account so we don’t get trapped by them. Let’s take the goal, “I want to write more.” This is a great starting point, something most people can relate to. But now you need to make it specific to what you want to accomplish. Try using specific numbers or times, like “I will write for one hour a day” or “I’ll write 500 words a day.” This way, you have something to measure, which leads me to my next point...
Measure Your Progress
Now that you have a specific goal, you need a way to measure it. So write it down! If you set a word count for yourself, make a note of how many words you wrote that day. Same goes for the time limit. Set a timer or check the clock and make note of how long you write for. Make a spreadsheet or use a blank calendar to mark everything down, even if you were under your intended amount. Writing for 10 minutes when you wanted to do 30 is still better than not writing at all!
By tracking your progress, you’ll be able to see your growth in real time and feel proud of what you accomplish.
Understand that You’re Human