These lifeskills are based on an article in Psychology Today, “Lessons You Won’t Learn in School” by Jena Pincott.
Today’s lifeskill is about having a vision and how to take the steps to get there when your interest falters.
Let’s go back a few years in your life. I assume that you have been on at least one fun field trip during your school days. If not, maybe there was a vacation that you looked forward to or a week at camp. At the very least we can say that our birthday is a potentially great day, right? It may be easiest to think about a time when you were younger because as we get older there are all sorts of tasks that we have to complete before any big day and that can suck the life out of us.
Let’s try to pick a time when you were young. Get a feel for whatever that day was. How old were you? What was the big event that was going to happen the next morning? What did your bedroom look like? What did your pajamas look like? What was your outfit going to be for the next day? Going to sleep the night before the big event - was it hard to fall asleep? Were you awake with excitement? Now compare it to a normal, boring winter day and you have school the next day. You hate all of your clothes and your friends have been rude lately. You aren’t likely to want to get up early and spring into the car or bus and get to school. BUT on the morning of a big day you are probably up and at ‘em before the sun comes up. Ahhh that enthusiasm and energy! If only we could harness that power! What if we could?
The steps may look a little differently today than when you were a child but wanting to do something “from pure interest” and “not out of necessity” is called “intrinsic motivation”. That drive from deep inside to get you motivated to do what you need to do. Even if that is waking up at 4:30 a.m. to go on that field trip, as opposed to facing an Algebra test.
What if you gave some thought to a vision you have for this season of your life? It can be a literal season - this Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring. Maybe it’s a new season where your kids are going to preschool, middle school, high school or college. On the other hand, you may have experienced a loss and your life has changed in ways you never wanted. What do you want your life to look like? What do you want to do? Stop doing? Start? Change?
Ask yourself: “_________ (insert your name), what it is you NEED right now?” If I could wave my magic wand, what would you wish for? Is it something you think you could get if you worked for it?
The author of this article, Jena, reminds us that “second-person” self talk is super effective for encouraging ourselves. Remember from a previous podcast/blog - just saying out loud, “Pam, you can do this.” can trick my brain into thinking it is my biggest fan encouraging me. Try saying something similar to yourself out loud.
Let me insert here that sometimes we need to stop doing activities. Maybe you need to insert a nap in your day. I can’t tell you how many of my clients have renewed their energy and outlook simply by resting more.
Jena then suggests starting a new habit and carving out the time it would take to achieve your goal. Want to knit? You are going to need to buy some yarn and a needle and either read a how-to book, watch a YouTube video or sign up for a class in order to learn. I’m pretty sure you can’t just wing it and end up with a knitted blanket on your lap. If you can, let me know because I want one of those chunky knitted blankets. Do you want to learn to play the piano? What if you dedicated an hour a week to doing that? Want to feel less stiff? Would you be willing to get up a little earlier and exercise?
The real point of this vision is determining what it is your heart wants to do and then doing it. You will be so excited that you are doing something that you enjoy that you will be motivated internally and you won’t notice the pain of any sort of sacrifice you have to make.
Here’s the sad truth. Nothing is obtained without some sort of effort. You’ve never come home to a clean kitchen unless you did the work to get it clean before you left home (unless you paid a house cleaner). Do you see how this world works? It’s in a constant state of decline unless we do something to counter that. You’re 5 minutes older than you were when you started reading this blog. Where do you want to be in the next 5 minutes! You can do it!
If you need some help sorting through a vision in your life or getting over obstacles in your way, get in touch with me and let’s work together.