Oooops, I missed yesterday’s post or what to do when you didn’t do what you were supposed to do when you were supposed to do it.

I missed posting yesterday. I could go into all of the justifications, and there are a few, but thing is, I’d set myself a goal to be consistent so I could build a habit and I missed a deadline. I have a few ways, at least, to approach this event. Here are some of the obvious ones. You may see others. Post them in the comments, if you would, along with what you’d do.

Approach One: I could beat myself up for being disorganized, habitually lazy, or chronically unable to keep to a plan. I have, in fact, taken this approach before. So have nearly all of the rest of us. It’s not terribly helpful. It takes a lot of energy to beat someone up, especially myself, and it provides nothing in return.

Approach Two: I could list all the reasons that it was impossible to post yesterday and give myself an excuse. This overcomes the problems of the energy suck associated with self beatings but has some drawbacks of its own. This approach allows us to pass responsibility off onto forces beyond our control. It makes us victims; it makes us helpless children. We become victims or children because most of us stop there. We don’t look at the things that got in our way and evaluate what we could have done to allow us to meet the deadline or goal in spite of the obstacles. Usually there are things we could have done. Very rarely there are not. Like most of the rest of you, I have done this too.

Approach Three: I could take the first opportunity to write a post and get it up on the web page. Often that means setting aside something other, perhaps something not work related, aside and just getting it done. This is kind of a meditative approach. At least, that’s where I learned to develop the habit. In meditation, when your mind wanders, and it will wander, the skill is to come back to the center of meditation without judgement. By taking that approach, coming back to the center, to my object when I lost focus, I move forward towards my desired outcome. This approach accepts that we are not perfect. It accepts that we will fall away from our focus. It provides a simple answer. Come back to focus and do what you did not do so that you are ready to do the thing that follows it. In meditation practice this is known as coming back to center.

I use this third approach often when I am studying even if I missed an inflexible deadline because I need the knowledge. So, the reward is the knowledge, not the grade or the reward of the deadline. Here, in my blog, the reward is the knowledge I gain as I research for the blog, the habit of blogging, the practice of writing, and the opportunity to (hopefully) help others.

If you have other ways of dealing with missed deadlines I look forward to reading about them in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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