Friday, March 21, 2014

Cows and Aliens

For an artist I lead a rather practical life. In high school I got an internship my junior year, I had a part time data entry job during my senior year. I saved money, I got good grades, I planned my life. All of that work in high school lead to a great part time job in college and savings to pay for school with. I actually escaped college with only one semester of debt. It was great. All of my planning got me what I wanted.

I have learned that when I really want something, I can be awesome at achieving those long terms goals. I take a rather logical approach to everything when it comes to goals. All of that planning is great, but for the most part it isn't what actually gets me to the end. I have learned that for me I have to give myself something back in order to find the motivation to get to the end.

I like most people love a little instant gratification. It is kind of a spirit lifter when you are in the middle of a long term goal that seems to stretch out into the unforeseeable future. I can get a little over whelmed when I look at just how much further I have to go before I get to the prize at the bottom of the box. There is just so much that I have to get through before I get there, and I am tired. That road can be horribly discouraging when you are ready to give up.

It has been like this for me when it comes to many of my longer term goals. Like my weight loss. I have been desperately trying to get to my goal weight. Like most of the world I am not satisfied with my progress. I keep to the rules, I check in, and continually try to keep up morale.

Instant gratification is my way to keep that morale up. Every week I make a deal with myself, if I keep my rules and don't put any weight on by the end of the week I get a portion size of Hot Tamales. This for me is a source of instant gratification that I look forward to every week. I still follow the rules that day and aside for that little package of sugary goodness I keep to my plan. It helps me keep my spirits high.

Long term goals can be hard. When I decided I was going to go to college I was 8. It may have been a little earlier than the average person to make this kind of life plan. It was over 10 years before I was even going to get into college let alone the extra 4.5 years it took me to actually graduate. I actually asked my mom to help me open up a bank account that year when I realized my goals and I wanted to start saving then. 

Though all that hard work eventually paid off, it was the little moments of instant gratifications that got me through all of those years and still have the savings needed to pay for school. A movie with friends here, a top there, they all helped me to keep up the morale to keep working towards my goals.

And this is where the Cows and Aliens come in. Last month was hard when it came to completing my goal for this year. I have the goal to finish one thrift store piece and one watercolor piece each month. I had trouble with my last thrift store piece. I lost faith in myself, I got down and lost some of my motivation. Then I picked a difficult subject for my water color right after. I put in lots of work on these two pieces. I have started running out of steam on my goal.

So I decided that what I needed was a little instant gratification to get back into my work again. Since I started making thrift store paintings I have wanted to do an alien and cow painting. I didn't know what it was going to be about but I did know that I wanted a farm, cows and some kind of interaction with the standard gray aliens. So this month I found myself a picture of cows to work on. I am so excited to work on this and it is renewing my excitement for my work.

Though instant gratification can be looked down on by people as being immature, or shallow, for me it is a tool. I make goals, and stay productive if I just use it as a moral builder when I am losing steam. So this month we are all about the instant gratification of doing something I want to do right now, but also letting it be a part of the end goal.

Here are the results of instant gratification 

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