2. Set One or Two Goals
Someone wise once said that if you are working on more than three goals at any time, you really have none. Spread yourself too thin and you can’t focus on anything to truly accomplish it well. Declutter your brain so it can focus on learning and growing in one of two highly focused goals. You’ll find you’re more motivated and successful.
Write down your goals and an action plan you can track so you stay accountable to yourself. Make a card displaying your written goals and put it by your bed or on your bathroom mirror as a daily reminder. Use a habit-forming app in combination with a to-do list app – I use Way of Life, but there are loads to choose from in both categories. Feel your motivation and confidence increase as you complete tasks and watch your routines become established.
3. Gradually Increase Momentum
While your ultimate goal may be to exercise daily, you’re unlikely to achieve that right away. Allow yourself time to build up a routine and willpower, and you won’t become discouraged about missing days early on. Begin gradually for a more consistent and successful habit to take root in your life.
Set weekly goals to stay motivated without overwhelming yourself or setting yourself up for failure. Aim for three days the first week, then add a day each week thereafter. As your body becomes more energised from the regular exercise, it will embrace the increased number of exercise sessions, and you will find they become easier to schedule into your day. Once you’ve established your regular routine, stay consistent in it to keep your motivation well nourished.
4. Visualize Success to Stay Motivated
Every day, and especially when your motivation is low, focus on the impact of your ultimate achievement.
A great way to motivate yourself is to create a Vision Board with inspirational pictures. For example, if your goal is to reach a target weight and feel better, choose images that represent the outfits you might wear, the food you will enjoy in the process of getting to that goal, the activities you will be able to do once at that healthier weight, and the balanced emotions you will feel.
Motivational quotes, talks and song playlists also help to rev up our inner drive. There are endless podcasts, YouTube videos, apps, blogs and ready-made playlists to inspire you out there – but be careful you don’t get so absorbed in exploring them that you become distracted from your goal!!
5. Surround Yourself with Inspiring, Motivating People
The people we associate with influence who we become, and who we become determines our future success.
Identify a mentor or accountability buddy to help you stick to your goals and follow through on your plans to achieve them. Share your goals and plans with close friends and ask for their encouragement and support. Many habit-forming apps and to-do list apps have friend-sharing capabilities to aid accountability.
Remember that often, staying energised and motivated is also about who we stay away from. Life is too short to allow toxic relationships to drain our precious energy and enthusiasm.
6. Record and Monitor Your Progress
Writing down your goals and specific tasks to achieve them is vital so you can monitor your progress in accomplishing them. Use one of the many habit-forming apps and to-do list apps to help with this process. You’ll be amazed at how motivating it is to see your progress grow, and many of the tools can be updated in just a minute or two each day.
7. Be Patient with Yourself and Others
When you’ve chosen your goal and revved up your motivation, it can be quite dispiriting to not achieve it very rapidly. Many experts say it takes 21 days to form a habit, but that isn’t always true. How long it takes depends on the habit you are aiming to form, and on you as an individual (your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing).
Avoid the mistake of jumping head-first into your goal and burning out after two weeks. Ease into your goal steadily. Just like any good athlete, warm up for the long-distance run and build up your motivation to a consistent daily dose. This warm up may take a few weeks or a couple of months, depending on the goal and the individual, and it’s time well invested for long-term success. Once you’ve turned your New Year Resolution goal into a habit, the action will come naturally as part of your regular routine.
Recognize also that setbacks are a regular part of life, and each can create progress if viewed in the right way. Instead of saying “this is a waste of time” or “I should have done X by now”, look at what you can do to change things moving forward to continue achieving the goals you’ve set yourself.
Life is beautiful because every day is a blank canvas, a new opportunity to grow and develop and explore how we can do things differently to succeed. What can we do today to become more efficient, generous towards ourselves, patient, resilient, re-motivated?
So set your goal – aim for the moon, and if you don’t reach it, you will land among the stars! There’s no better way to celebrate the rebirth of time and the spirit of freedom and opportunity than to invest in yourself and see just how high you can fly in 2016.
What are your resolutions for 2016?