Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Dreaded White-Board

I present to you the source of my motivation (and sometimes pain) : My white-board.

About six months ago, I began to feel like I needed more job satisfaction at the end of each day. I needed some sense that I was accomplishing something concrete as opposed to just having a vague feeling of "getting better".

I started setting pool, fitness and mental-training goals for myself in two-month increments. I attempt to learn new skills or refine existing skills during this time by a choosing a set number of appropriate exercises (e.g. pool drills, running, relaxation exercises) I want to accomplish.

Each night, I check off everything that I did that day on the white-board. It is very satisfying to my obsessive-compulsive brain, and is concrete proof of how much work I am doing. (Not included in the checklist are my other daily activities like "Watch Dr. Phil" and "Drink Jagermeister".)

To avoid the emotional roller-coaster of basing my worth as a player on my most recent tournament results, I try to schedule my deadlines for a week or two after a big event. This ensures that my sense of satisfaction depends on my continuing hard work and not on one performance.

At the end of the two months, I reward myself, usually at the mall, based on how hard I worked and how many of my goals I completed.

Unfortunately, I have always been a procrastinator (hem, hem.. notice how often I update my blog) and am usually behind in my own made-up world of pool goals. I try set my goals a little higher than I can comfortably achieve, because I know that even if I fall a little short, I have still accomplished more than if I had set easier goals.

So, of course I am behind this month. Time to start multi-tasking by jogging in place at the table and meditating between shots. Drinking Jagermeister while I watch Dr. Phil. I am brilliant.

Smugly self-satisfied,


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