We’ve all had the feeling. That excited, determined feeling of starting fresh. This time is THE time, we tell ourselves. I can FEEL it! And we do GREAT! For the first couple weeks or even months. And then….. The newness starts to wear off and life sets in. We get busy. We get tired. We get bored. We get stressed. That determined feeling starts to slip away, and we let excuses creep in and block us from progressing towards our goals. HELP!!!!
Believe me when I tell you I know that feeling well!! So what do I do when my motivation starts to fade, and my old habits threaten to take over again?! Through learning how to approach long-lasting change, goal-setting has become my jam, and I do it often, not just at New Years. I’ve had to figure out how to keep my goals in sight until they are a reality. Here are some tips to help you push through those “motivational stalls” and take control of your life and goals!!
1. Make things easy! When we don’t have the super-human self-control we seemed to have possessed in the beginning, we need to take self-control out of the equation. Eliminate as many steps as possible. For example, if our goal is to exercise every morning, we can set our workout clothes out the night before, put our keys, wallet, water bottle and gym card all in the same place so our morning takes as little thought as possible. That way there’s no talking ourselves out of it!
2. Have someone hold you accountable. This is one reason why our BT groups are so successful! Not only do you have the accountability of your coach, but you have a whole team watching for your participation and inspiring you with theirs! Tell other people about your goal! Tell them WHY you’re doing it, and WHAT you’re doing to accomplish it!
3. Measure EFFORT, not results! Write down a weekly or daily goal and stick it by your bed. Every morning glance at your goal. Every night evaluate your effort in reaching that goal. On a scale of 1-10, how much EFFORT did you put towards accomplishing your goal today? Write down the number! And then try to beat it tomorrow. We can see improvement way faster when we measure our effort instead of our results, which renews motivation to keep going!
4. Write down questions for yourself. As a coach, I have a sticky note on my fridge that says: “What would you expect your team to do?” When I mindlessly wander over there, I ask myself that question and turn right around! Some questions you might ask yourself are: How will I feel after I eat this? Am I hungry? Will I be happy about this choice in an hour? Will this get me to my goals? Writing down reminders can serve as a mini-reality check that brings your focus back around to what matters to you.
5. Dream about your future. Close your eyes for a minute, and imagine the person you want to be… What is he or she like? What does he or she do every day? What words would you use to describe her or him? Maybe create a vision board of photos and words to hang next to your mirror, or create a Pinterest board that is full of ideas and dreams and goals for this year or for the next 5 years! You CAN be the person you want to become. Your daily effort gets you closer and closer.
As we say over and over again in Bod E Talk, “Strive for PROGRESS, not PERFECTION.” Once that becomes a part of you, you just took a huge bound forward.