Stuck in a goal: Starting & continuing ambitions Published April 9, 2020 By Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- As I tediously sit in my home after having second breakfast, watching three back-to-back movie marathons and admiring my stubbly telework beard, I realize these are things I used to get excited about before the coronavirus disease 2019 restrictions were implemented. Yes, I was able to finally watch those shows everyone has been talking about for months. I finally found time to unpack those boxes from when I PCS’d here last year. Then, I found myself wondering about those goals I constantly say I’m too busy to start. You know those goals, the ones you never start because “works been crazy lately,” or “I need to find someone to do it with me,” and my personal favorite, “I’ll get on it next month.” With many of us having already exhausted ourselves at home, maybe we should stop abusing our time and finally work on ourselves? We live in a time where the world’s largest library of knowledge can be found in our homes and our pockets. There are collections of starter videos for people wanting to learn a new language, art style, how to travel or for me, an instrument. If you can’t start that goal because of restrictions, then planning could be your next step. A goal should make you feel like a more complete person or the person you want others to see you as. I’ve wanted to learn an instrument for years and after several friends and I decided we wanted to stop talking about different music and create our own, I decided I’d be the bass player for our dream band. Once you’ve made a goal it helps to write it down and tell others about it. If you keep your goal to yourself, you can easily back out of it and you only have yourself to sponsor it. Once I told several friends of my plan to learn the bass, they were able to tell me where I could find a local teacher. Also, others that already knew how to play told me equipment I may need and places online I can take beginner classes at. Having my friends know about my goal gave me a positive peer pressure in my life. Yet goal is nothing without a plan. Break the goal apart and find milestones and mini-goals to give yourself more vision. For now, I’m taking lessons online and designating a set amount of time to work on it uninterrupted but I’ve looked up music teachers to work with later. One of the first challenges is starting. This is where I’ve been stuck with my goal. I’ve had a bass sitting in my living room for months now but I have yet to call a music instructor. Taking that jump toward your goal can help you gain motivation and resources that’ll project you further. Once you’ve started, it’s important to remember a few things: you’re probably not a hidden prodigy and there will probably be embarrassing moments. But if you do mess up, people usually don’t notice or remember. I’ve personally become discouraged when I’m not perfect right away or get embarrassed that others are progressing quicker than me. Every time I’ve gone out and tried to learn a new skill I get upset with myself for not being a hidden savant. I see people much younger than myself, much farther along and don’t realize they’ve had months if not years of experience on me. Goals vanish when we lose motivation because of failures. Using failures as learning experiences allow us to sharpen our skills and build confidence. Maintaining your drive is essential in achieving goals. At the end of the day, it's important you feel good about yourself, so celebrate your accomplishments and milestones. Have pride in the hard work you’ve put in and map out what’s your next step! Having constant goals helps build motivation within our lives, something to be excited about and look forward to. It provides a structure and a break from the mundane. Maybe you’re like me, today you’re going to pick up that instrument you’ve always wanted to learn, or maybe you’ll research a class or course you’ve always been curious about. Now is not the time to act like the world is ending, rather start creating the next chapter of our lives.