Motivation and Goals

In the last week I found that I haven’t been able to find the time to write a blog post. In fact I’ve barely had time to get out with a gun. This got me thinking about what motivates me to write and shoot, and how this relates to my goals and what I want to achieve.
When I started questioning my motivation, the first thing I did was to find a resource to help me sort out my thoughts and get them in some kind of order. What I found was an article on sports Psychology (link below), written by Psychologist Jim Taylor Ph.D.


He makes some good points about the difference between what you want to achieve, the steps you are taking to meet those goals. And also lists some signs of low motivation (these are mainly aimed at athletes but I think it applies to shooting too):

  • A lack of desire to practice
  • Less than 100% effort in training
  • Skipping or shortening training
  • Effort that doesn’t match your goals

I thought it might be worth reading through the article, thinking about my goals and seeing if I need to approach them differently, and how I can do that. I did this for two topics; Writing this blog, and shooting HFT.

Writing the blog:
What are my goals?
My goal was to create a resource that people could look to for advice on getting into shooting. I wanted to contribute to the shooting community in some way. I like to read what other people write, and sometimes I have things I would like to share.

How motivated am I?
This varies. Sometimes I get an idea in my head and I have to start writing it down straight away. Other times, I will go a whole week without writing anything, because other activities will get priority.

Is the effort I put in consistent with my goals?
Yes, I think so. My goals are fairly low key, don’t necessarily require that much effort or dedication and have no deadline. I could write nothing for a month and it wouldn’t matter too much.

Shooting HFT
What are my goals?
This is a bit harder to define. Initially I just tried HFT for fun. However after I started to get into it, I decided I wanted to get good at it. I would like to be in the top few springer shooters at some competitions, and some day get a perfect 60/60 score.

How motivated am I?
Again this varies. I can find myself not shooting for a couple of weeks at a time. But when I get a chance to get out I take it. I have the option to shoot in my garden and do this once or twice a week.

Is the effort I put in consistent with my goals?
If I’m being honest with myself, no. I get to some casual competitions on Sundays, and practice a bit in the garden, but not in a serious way. Getting good at anything takes more effort than just a casual hobby.

So there is a definite disconnect between my goal of wanting to become very good at HFT, and the current level of effort I put into it. What are the options?

  1. Lower my goals to match my effort.
    This would mean changing my goal to be something more like, ‘Have fun shooting HFT when I can’
  2. Increase my effort to match my goals
    This would mean getting more organised. Having some kind of schedule for practising and making sure I have the time to practice properly. Also look into my lifestyle a bit more and adjust exercise or diet where needed

What am I going to do? I’m not sure yet. I need to think through the two options and re-evaluate my priorities. Possibly look at where I see myself in a years time, because option 2 would definitely impact other areas of my life.

If I decide to go with option 2, I’ll have another look at the article I linked above, and look how to get my motivation and effort up to where it needs to be. Decision time for me. Hopefully this will encourage other people to have a think about their goals. As always comments are appreciated. Maybe you have faced this decision before and have some advice for me?

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