When I ask patients what their biggest hurdle is in terms of achieving their goals, I often hear “staying motivated”. Not a lack of resources or support, but an inability to remain focused on accomplishing what they have set out to do. This makes sense, because without consistent motivation enthusiasm towards goals greatly diminishes, along with the drive to accomplish them.
Whether your goal is to lose 10 pounds, get promoted at work, or run a marathon—staying motivated is key! Why? Motivation brings on efficiency and productivity; it brings on the drive to create, to challenge ourselves and to change. It brings a desire to create the life we want, and prepares us for whatever it takes to achieve our goals, regardless of obstacles. That being said, we all know how hard it can be to stay motivated!
To help, here are the 3 steps you need to follow 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 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 downtimes, 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.
- 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”.
- 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?”
- 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.
- 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.
If and when your motivation weakens, ask yourself, “who is the ideal me?” Who do you envision yourself becoming? What are the habits and behaviours of that person within you? You can be who you want to be! The more you identify with the desired version of yourself, the bigger your why factor becomes, and the more likely you are to remain enthusiastic and motivated throughout the journey!