Many of the improvements we are trying to make in our lives are life-long improvements. When we decide to eat better, exercise, or lose weight, these are things we want to continue persevering at for the rest of our lives. But life-long goals can be very challenging because we can get bored, fall into ruts, and lose our motivation over time. When we begin to feel this way, it is time to review what our original goal was, and make revisions to help us gain much needed motivation and momentum to reach them.
I enjoy exercise, and my flavor palette is not real broad, so I’m fine with eating a pretty simple diet. Because of this, staying active and sticking to my eating plan is not extremely difficult for me. But learning how to play a musical instrument is an entirely different story. Three years ago I started to learn how to play Bluegrass Music on an upright bass. At the beginning, I felt like I picked it up pretty quickly and was able to play some basic stuff. I felt pretty good about it. But as I continued to take classes and lessons in the pursuit of playing better, it has become REALLY HARD, and very hard to stay motivated. I wrote in my blog a few months back that I felt like I had hit a wall this year with my bass. I can tell you that I am still trying to scale that wall, and I’m still working hard to move forward.
One simple tool has been key in helping me continue to move forward. I have created and utilized a goal picture. It is an exciting picture of what I want my goal to look like in the future. Here are a few more details:
- Why create a goal picture? When I started playing my bass, the picture of my end goal was of a group of friends and our significant others sitting around enjoying each other, eating, chatting and playing music. My goal was to learn to play my bass, to learn to play Bluegrass with others and enjoy my time with them. This picture of my future brought excitement and therefore motivation to continue. The pictures you envision in your mind will help you stay excited about your goal and motivated as well.
- How to create a goal picture. Take time to think and dream about what you want your goal to look like in the future, 5,10, even 20 years, and create in your mind an exciting picture of what that looks like. The picture you create in your mind must be realistic, but it’s important to stretch yourself and dream big. Take some time to write down your goal and your picture of the future. When I am tired and unmotivated, I go back to this written down “picture” to re-ignite my dream and motivation. You can also print a literal picture of your dream. If your goal is to save up money for your dream vacation, find a picture of your dream vacation and display it in a place that will keep you excited and motivated to continue to move towards that dream.
- When is it time to make changes to your goal picture? If you find your goal picture no longer motivates you, it is time to reevaluate your goals and change your goal picture. As I was driving to my bass lesson recently, I spent some time thinking about why I feel unmotivated, why I really wanted to put my bass in storage and forget about if for a while. There are times when our dreams need to be adjusted and our goal picture as well. With my bass, it was because I reached my initial goal and wanted to take my dream farther than what I originally thought. The next day, I took some time to write out my new goal and what that would look like in the future. There are many reasons why our goal picture may become out dated. Whatever the cause, don’t hesitate to adjust it.
Have you created a picture of your desired future? If not, it is worth the investment of time to do so. A picture brings life to our dreams and desires!
Here’s to dreaming big and moving forward towards a great picture of the future!