Motivation: A How To Guide In Keeping At It
Motivation is what keeps us striving for our goals. It gives us the drive to get things accomplished and gives us satisfaction. But, sometimes it’s hard to get motivated and to motivate ourselves. Many of us don’t know where to start or just need some reminders of how to get motivated.
What is motivation and why is it important?
Like I said above, motivation is a drive to reach an achievable goal that you have set for yourself. An example is setting a goal of going for a walk twice a week.
Having the ability to be motivated is extremely important for many reasons. The most significant reason being giving you something to work towards. Something that you are passionate about and will better your life in some way. Giving you that sense of accomplishment when it’s done and that motivation to get it done.
Becoming motivated can be tricky because it can be hard to gain that feeling to get things started.
The first step to tackle when getting on the motivation train is to set that realistic and achievable goal. Something you can easily do, incorporate into your life, and most imperatively, something that you look forward to doing.
Only set one goal at a time, especially if you are just starting out, because you don’t want to over do it. That will just cause you to want to quit and then it becomes more of a burden than a goal.
I suggest writing it down somewhere. In a special notebook or on a piece of paper. Writing things down makes them more concrete.
Next, figure out how you will achieve that goal. Do this by writing down steps under your goal or writing down suggestions of where you can fit it into your day to day life.
An extra fun idea for this is to draw little boxes beside the steps because as you go you can check them off, which is very satisfying. It also shows you’re on the right track.
My goal: Lose 10 pounds
- Go to the gym twice a week. – Looking at my schedule, Monday and Thursday look like the best days for that (put that in my planner)
- Make a meal plan at the beginning of the week (so I don’t eat out)
- Choose healthier options if you decide to go out with friends
- Talk to significant other and get them to help me stay on track
Get going on those steps!
You can start and do it however you want, but once you have a goal and a plan down the next step is to take the leap!
Keeping Yourself Motivated
Now that you have a goal and a plan set up, start working towards that goal. Easier said than done I know. Sometimes you can get motivated enough by just setting a goal, and while that might work for the first little bit, that steam wears out fast. So how do you keep yourself motivated?
Everyone needs reinforcement to stay on track. Positive affirmations are commodities that are actually very strong, especially when you need that little extra push.
Make one your lockscreen on your device so that every time you open your phone you read it. Or write them out on a few sticky notes and place them around your house in places that you’ll see everyday.
Having a support group to help you along the way is crucial. People need others to lean on every once in a while. So, like in my example above, communicate with loved ones, friends and family and they will for sure help you in whatever journey you are about to embark on.
Find a mentor even instead of those close to you. Someone that is there to keep you accountable and motivated.
Having a record of your progress or setting up meetings with your support, again, gives you that accountability of having to report to someone how you’re doing. So you’re on the hook for progress and that will help motivate you to keep going.
Recurrently, write it in a journal about how that week went for you. Was it good? Or bad? Is there something you can change that might make it better?
Set a To Do List
For some, visually seeing something makes it much easier to achieve and planning doesn’t make it seem so scary.
So, make a list of all the things that need to get done so you can successfully achieve the goal that you have set. Seeing that list slowly get smaller and smaller gives you the delight of actually achieving your goals, and seeing the end coming closer.
Keeping on Track
This is a little different than staying motivated. Sometimes life gets in the way and you are still motivated to work on those goals, but other things in life keep getting in the way. This happens to all of us. You had a busy day at work so you come home to rest for a minute, then all of a sudden it’s bedtime and you realize you forgot about your to dos.
This happens, and if you find yourself forgetting or not finding the time here are a few tips to stay on track.
- Set reminders in your phone to alert you to do it
- Write it down on your calendar
- Reward yourself, either at certain milestones of your goal or at the end
- Talk to your support group or find others in the same boat as you
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Positive self talk is key
At some point you may get to a place where you are really struggling to get motivated and/or stay motivated. Where your goal just seems too far out of reach. That’s okay, this happens to so many people, especially with the colder months approaching.
Reassess Your Goal
Is it realistic and achievable? Is there something that you could do differently so you can achieve that goal? Is there somewhere else you can start?
If it’s no to any of the above questions then you need to reevaluate your goal. That doesn’t mean giving up on it, it means tabling it for now and shifting your attention to something that is easier at this point in your life or something that will get you a step closer to the other goal you had set.
Remember Why You Started?
You started this journey for some reason. Whether that be personal growth, a step forward in life, or just so you can prove it to yourself. So when things do get tough, remember why you wanted to do it in the first place. That will for sure help you motivate yourself to keep going.
Take A Break
Sometimes life is just too crazy and you get preoccupied or maybe you just need a day off. Whatever it is, it is okay to take a few days off away from your goals to recharge.
Just know yourself. You don’t want to take too much time off because the likelihood of you going back to it is slim to none. But if you are a person that takes a few extra days to recharge that’s okay too.
I have to take the opportunity to mention counseling. I go to counseling and have been for about a year and a half and it is the best thing.
In some cases, struggling to get yourself motivated can be because of other things than just lacking the motivation at the moment. That’s where counseling comes in handy because they are there to help you figure out what is happening and what can be done to help.
A counselor also works as your support. And you can go talk to them however many times feels right to you.
We all need motivation in our lives to get things done. To achieve the things we want in life and to get to where we want to be. Sometimes that’s a struggle and that’s okay because just know that we all struggle at some point.
What do you do to get and stay motivated?
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