April 23, 2017

How to Stay Motivated

Those of you who have signed up for my newsletter (Not subscribed? Click here to join our community) will know that I’ve been working hard this past year, writing and editing my second book: Hack Your HEALTH Habits. Well folks, I’m happy to announce that the book is in its last rounds of editing and will hopefully be published before the end of this year. I REALLY want this book to make the Bestsellers List, so I’ve been working with an agent in the States to try to get the book published in the US (no small task for a French-Canadian like me).

I’m not going to lie; the whole process has been quite the undertaking. On some days, George Orwell’s sentiments summed up my experience perfectly: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting, struggle…” But, I never once thought of giving up. Throughout the process, I have been motivated by my patients, my followers, my family and friends, and my colleagues. My consistent motivation is what kept me plugging away on even the toughest days.

Because motivation has been such an integral part of the process, I decided to dedicate a whole chapter in the book to it. This week’s blog presents a few key takeaways from that chapter. Happy reading!

Why Motivation is Important?

Whether your goal is to write a bestselling book (like me), consistently hit the gym, get a promotion at work, or eat less fast food—it’s important to stay motivated! Why? Motivation brings on efficiency and productivity; it brings on the drive to create, to challenge ourselves and to cmotivationhange. It brings a desire to create the life we want, and prepares us for whatever it takes to achieve our goals, regardless of obstacles. The truth is, many of us lack this drive in certain areas of our lives, however, that does not have to be the case.

You are not meant to be like everyone else.  You create your own goals and ultimately, your own accomplishments. The desire to change and create is implicit in goal setting, it must be nurtured throughout the process in order to maintain motivation. Think of the difference between a person who jumps out of bed at the crack of dawn because they are motivated to start their day and the person who hits the snooze button continuously all morning. There are doers and there are wishers.

Motivation requires a certain amount of emotion; knowing something must get done is not enough to propel you into doing it. You must feel something on an emotional and physical level. This is what causes you to desire a certain outcome. As with any other skill, the more you practice and put it to use, the stronger you become at it, and the more easily it will come to you. The term motivation describes WHY a person thinks, acts, and behaves a certain way. Motivation causes us to act; it is a force that pushes us to do the things we do. When it comes to the source of motivation, you must have a big enough reason, motive, or why factor to keep you focused and determined to get it done. Our goals only drive us when they are important and valuable to us. “When your why is big enough, you will figure out how.”

When you feel as though you are not motivated, ask yourself:

• What is it that is stopping me?
• Is the task too difficult?
• Are you unclear about the outcome you want?
• Is the objective interfering with another goal?
• Do you believe that you truly have what it takes to get there?

How to Stay Motivated

Identify a Specific Goal – It can be big or small, but you must be able to visualize it before taking action. Find what excites you. What moves you. Your why factor needs to be significant to see the value and reward in realizing your goal. What are your objectives or the steps you must you take to achieve it?
Prioritize – Anything you want to accomplish in life will require you to commit yourself and focus your energy. Time and energy are limited resources. Properly managing your time will ensure that you are able to get things done. Set specific times to work on projects, and tackle the most challenging tasks first.
Take Action – The key to personal growth is pushing yourself to do things whether you feel ready or not. Anyone can set up a plan or a schedule, but it will only be effective with ACTION and consistent effort.

Accomplishing important goals often takes time. With time, it becomes easier to lose motivation and sight of your objectives. Allowing this to happen may result in a cycle of “wanting change” but not having the mental willpower to actually change. Keeping your eye on the prize, requires a strong mindset and consistent drive to action. Becoming the best version of yourself, (the one you envision) means going after the goals that support that vision. Remind yourself why you want this… what this goal means to you.  What value will it add to your life? Allow yourself downtime, days that you will be less productive, be flexible in your methods, but never with your goal.

To stay on track, there are a few things you can do to improve your overall mindset.

1. Create a positive environment that fosters your objectives – Your environment can greatly impact your way of thinking. Be sure to surround yourself with people that encourage your growth, and try to avoid negative influences as much as possible. Keep in mind, that not everyone wants to see you succeed. It is important to distinguish between your encouragers and the “envious ones”.
2. Find someone you admire – Either an individual who has accomplished goals similar to yours, or someone you can look up to as a mentor. Viewing situations from their perspective may help you make decisions congruent with your own goals.  Ask yourself “what would they do in this situation?”
3. Plan out three objectives for the day, week or month that you will fully dedicate yourself to accomplishing – Choose three primary or minor actions that will help bring you closer to your goal, and enjoy the progress that your efforts generate.
4. Create a mission statement – Just as organizations have mission statements, create your own personal one. What do you want to represent? What do you want to leave behind as your legacy? Having a clear idea of who you are and what you want will help drive your success.

Hope this helps you stay motivated and tackle your goals! Stay tuned for more information on Hack Your HEALTH Habits.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Nathalie

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