While we all want to be better at something, it always seems like we do more day-dreaming than anything else. Maybe one day we catch wind of some “target” or “status” that we’d like to reach, then we stop dreaming and take action. For example, we realize that we’re 10 pounds overweight so we set that target and go for it. Or maybe we have a friend that’s started to run 5K races and we want to join in, so we get up to speed on that.
All of these are fine! You actually do something and you just might catch a fever for something and then BOOM! there’s the lifestyle change you’ve been wanting.
What if that never occurs? Or, what if it occurs then the 10 pounds creeps back over 4 years and by then it’s much more difficult to work off … again. See, we need lasting change. We need real motivation to drive us and keep us in the right state of mind. And I don’t believe that constantly striving towards new and bigger goals is the only way.
For me, I’ve known two things that have kept me going towards a better me and it’s been effortless to stay focused:
- I know what my life should look like in 20 years. The sights, the sounds, all of it … I day-dreamed it and it’s there.
- I know what that guy does and doesn’t do. The guy who lives my life in 20 years does not spend time watching meaningless programming. And, that guy really does have the good habits to eat better and exercise.
The process of knowing what you expect in 20 years and then modeling “that guy” is much easier than constantly setting new goals and striving to reach them. That wears me out! Just try it: figure out who you want to be in 20 years, then slowly form new GOOD habits to become that person.
If your 20-year-older self is playing on an amateur golf circuit, then, your new habit IS NOT applying for tournaments every weekend or even expensive golf lessons. Your new habit might be hitting the driving range 3 times per week for 6 months. Think about what that new GOOD habit is replacing, and you’ll start to see your life fill-up with new, GOOD habits that will inch you towards “that guy” who’s at the other end of this long, winding road.