Monday, November 16, 2015

Goals and Staying Motivated, Not a Contradiction

It is possible to set goals, work at them, and stay motivated. And even create art in the process.
The maps over at Map Your Progress* are great tools for keeping the finish line in sight.

I learned about them in the summer. I blogged about them here and, yes, I was a little excited over the prospect of creating something pretty while working on my goals. And for good reason. I love having something to show for my effort. I've been using this map for my exercise goals. I knew if I could work out at least five days a week for several months, it could become a habit and I might see some results. This map has sixty swirls, I've colored in one swirl for every workout. In an effort to keep it simple, I decided not to use different colors for different workouts. I wanted the first few months to be about rewarding myself for every effort. So in the mix are short and long cardio workouts, light weight-lifting sessions, as well as 30 minute yoga and 60 minute yoga practices. This print is in a frame without the glass, sits on my nightstand and the markers are nearby. Every day I can see, SEE, the progress. Theoretically if I exercise well enough I will begin to see results reflected in my own body, but (this is no news flash) results from old fashioned exercise (and eating right) are slow to show--so this swirl of color reminds me I'm creating a healthier (and fitter-looking) body. It's helped me visualize some of the less tangible, but no less beneficial, results of exercise--like elevated mood, better sleep, lower blood pressure, better regulated blood sugar, etc.
Another added benefit to the map is that is there as a reminder of all the work I've put in, so on a day when I'm sick or miss the gym, I don't feel like all is lost.
"Small efforts over time can produce significant results." ~D. Durrant
I'm looking forward to trying out the other designs for some of my other goals (like writing a certain sequel to a certain Christmas novel.) I'll let you know how that goes, too!

*I have no connection to Map Your Progress, other than as a satisfied customer. I receive no compensation for this blog post. I love sharing creative things, or things that help creativity, or creative things that help the other areas of life!

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