Keeping the long term goal in sight: 7 ways to stay focused!

I’m blogging to you with my stiff fingers around a pen. Somewhere that used to be very familiar, especially in high school when I couldn’t even write essays directly on the computer without at least jotting my draft in pen – for some reason, the screen would make my mind blank. And since university and the demands for things to be done faster, I’ve been so steeped in technology that I now feel stifled at the slowness of my hand and the pen.

But this impatience (that is seemingly inherent in my personality) finds many creative ways to manifest itself. For example:

  • Getting impatient with myself when I don’t remember how to do absolutely everything at my new jobs (and this summer, I’ve had many – refer to the Chronicles of a Jobless Student)
  • Getting impatient with the job market’s unwillingness to hire me

and most of all…

  • IMPATIENT to leave Canada and FINALLY go on exchange!

I am here to share with whoever is reading this my own coping mechanisms for staying focused and kicking impatience in the butt. Here’s what I am doing to keep myself sane and prepared for my loooooooong (like, lifelong) awaited trip.

1. Brush up on the photography skills. The walk to work at the golf course I work at is very pretty (aside from the slowly decaying roadkill, rusty bridge and the gravelly shoulder of the highway I walk past to get there) so I’m thinking of coming a couple hours early so I can see if I can capture it. I can practice the basic composition and lighting rules I learned from high school photography classes, edit the shots when I’m home and be all prepped to take killer shots of my amazing time in Europe.

2. Get a job. Easier said that done, I know. I have all new troubles with 2 jobs now, but the fact of the matter is that the quality of my trip abroad depends on how many hours I can cram in right now. So when I get home pissed, sad or discouraged, I convert my days’ earnings into something I would buy in France. For instance, I’m earning myself ($8.5 x 3 hours) $25.5, or a french lunch of a panini, coffee and pastry at a nice bistro in Paris. Yum.

3. Keep doing what you love. Now that I’m back in my hometown, I took up karate classes again and couldn’t have made a better decision. Through the swirl of the new jobs and stress of mastering new skills, it’s a HUGE relief to do something I’m already good at, and get some form of exercise in to score more points in the hopes of reaching Project Get Hot (I’ll blog about this project too).

4. Do something for the LONG long term goal. I eventually want to work in tourism, so I keep on top of the tourism job posts in Canada ( and the blog posts of my idols on Twitter. My marketing internship stimulates my rather underused cognitive abilities and keeps me engaged in my long long term goal too, and I learn so much from constantly looking up ways that Canadian students can study abroad. Another plus is that it gives me something to chat about when I meet people, and you never know who might find the information interesting.

5. Blog about it! I really need to take my own advice here and write more often, but I’m usually too exhausted after doing what I can on my to-do list and working. So my new plan is to blog while I’m at work, whether I have a computer or not! And so far, so good 🙂

6. Spend your time creatively. I’m lucky to have really cool friends who like trying new things with me, like a new cafe or that weird dish on a menu we can’t pronounce. But since we’re all students, we think of other ways to amuse ourselves that require the least amount of spending. Cheap activities I’ve partaken of/will do are:

  • Trying new recipes
  • Going out for photo shoots
  • Walking around downtown
  • Window shopping
  • Sniffing as many teas in a tea shop as possible
  • Nerf gun fights

My friend Britt (​ comes up with material for her fashion blog this way, and I get to be a bit of a tourist in my own city 🙂

7. Keep learning! Is there such a thing as researching too much? I would start looking up internships in France, and somehow end up watching Youtube videos like this  and vowing to eat a Chinese crepe before I die. The internet is as useful or mindless as you want it to be.

I hope some of this is useful! And if it isn’t, I’d love to hear your suggestions on how to keep occupied while you wait for the day of the thing you’ve been looking forward to the most 🙂


Shiv 🙂


3 responses to “Keeping the long term goal in sight: 7 ways to stay focused!

  1. nomnomnom chinese crepes are amazing!!!!

    one thing i do is to find small things to look forward to – like the weekend, seeing friends, a good meal, etc. – it makes the wait much more bearable!

    • Very true! And OMG I think I need to go to China JUST for the food. I also need to stop watching torturous food videos on Youtube.

  2. I agree with Laundryonsundaes short terms goals can provide instant gratification and does make waiting for the big prize bearable. It’s important to do the simple things you like. Hobbies are important …

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