Getting motivated is tough. Staying motivated is even harder. It is easy to get off track with the pressures of everyday life and all of the demands. However there are things that can help you stay on course and not only reach, but exceed your goals.
What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to lose weight, find a new career, or better your financial situation? After you decide what your goals are write them down. Putting things on paper makes them real. Your goals should be achievable, but lofty. If you make your goals too difficult it is easy to give up, and if you make your goals too easy you won’t feel like you accomplished anything.
After you set your goals, write down why these goals are important to you. Maybe by saving more money you will be able to buy a new house, or if you find a new job you won’t have to travel. With each goal you should have smaller goals to achieve the end goal. So if you want to lose 30 pounds, start with a five pound goal. Also if you try to do too many things at once, it will become overwhelming and you will stop working on all of them. Once I feel like I start seeing some progress I always add another goal to start working on. Lists for me are so satisfying. Nothing feels better than crossing something off – big or small.
Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Energy is contagious whether it is good or bad. If you can’t remove yourself from the negativity, do your best to not let it affect you. If you have toxic people in your life, remove them immediately. Keep a positive attitude. Make it a point to have friends who inspire you and pick you up. And don’t forget to ask for help. That was something that was always hard for me, but I learned that by asking for help you build a trust and a bond with someone, as well as give a boost to another person’s self-confidence.
Eliminate distractions. Find a place to work where you feel energized and comfortable. One big distraction for me was my cell phone. It was way too easy to read emails, get on Facebook, or play a ridiculous video game that was a huge time suck. I decided to delete all the time-wasters on my phone, and I don’t miss them at all. Procrastination can take away some of the wind in your sails. To help with this, one thing I do is take my least favorite tasks for the day and do them first. So if you have some hard phone calls to make or paperwork isn’t your thing, put it on your to-do list first thing in the morning. Not only will you get it out of the way, it will give you a sense of accomplishment to start your day off right and help keep the ball rolling.
Don’t beat yourself up. Not only should you not beat yourself up if you don’t stay on track, you should expect it. You can’t be perfect all the time. Failures are mistakes you should learn from and use as stepping stones. Expect great things of yourself. If you think you are going to fail you will. If you think you can do something then you will – just like that little train. Also, just because you slip up doesn’t mean you should quit. If you are on a diet plan and you eat a huge piece of cake, it doesn’t mean the whole diet is off. It just means that tomorrow is a fresh day and you need to keep working toward your goals.
Reward yourself. Plan out what your rewards are and when you will receive them. The rewards should be appropriate and often. Just because you hit a savings goal, you shouldn’t go out and waste a chunk of change as a reward. Don’t make your reward sabotage your goals. For me some of my rewards are if I hit a weight goal, I can go buy a new book or a pair of earrings. Your goals should be something you look forward to and keep you motivated.
Take a break. Walking away from a task can give you renewed energy. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Nothing is better than clearing your head and getting some of those natural endorphins flowing! For me a great way to get refreshed is to get outside and get some air and sunshine. Every day at 3 pm my co-workers and I go outside for a short walk. It clears your mind and gives you a boost to get through the end of your day.
Habits, good and bad, are hard to break or start. One rule of thumb is that it takes time to form a new habit or break a bad one. Most of the research suggests that breaking a bad habit is usually easier by replacing it with a healthy habit, not just stopping the bad habit all together. Also there is research that varies on the amount of time is takes to make something a habit, but most of what I have read suggests that on average it takes a couple months. So if you want to get up every day at 5 am it will take a few months for it to become natural.
Volunteering. Volunteering is a fabulous way to give you a sense of purpose and pride. For me this is one of the most positive mood boosters. When you give back it is a win-win. It can be small gestures like taking your neighbor’s dog for a walk or helping at fundraiser. It is amazing what a good deed can do for your self-confidence.
Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Eat healthy foods and move around. Push yourself beyond your limits. Let go of the things you can’t control. Plan a vacation. Be kind to yourself.
Remember no matter how far you stray from your goals today, tomorrow is a new day.
Holly has been with Aureus Group since November 2016 and is currently an IT Recruiter. With more than 10 years of experience in the staffing industry, she is passionate about changing people’s lives. Holly is married with a 9 year old son and loves anything you can do outdoors – camping, hiking, swimming, and fishing. She is originally from Wisconsin so she is a die hard Packers and Badgers fan.