When January 1st rolls around its always full of possibilities and excitement, we get started with a goal and it looks like it’s going well However, by February most of us are back to square one and we don’t know how to get that “first of the year” motivation back. I have put together a few tips that help me to stay on track during those frustrating days and I hope they help you too!
Set Measurable Goals or Habits
I like to do this quarterly and I write down why I want to reach this goal. This means you create a goal that you can easily work toward. An example of a “bad goal” is to be skinny. Because that doesn’t mean anything. Skinny could mean lose 5 pounds or gain muscle or anything. You are unable to see if you have actually met the goal at the end.
However, the goal of losing 20 pounds is something you can measure and are able to see your progress. I also find writing down why you want to accomplish a goal is a good motivator. I’m not saying. “I want to lose 20 pounds to look good in those jeans”. I mean something along the lines of, “I want to lose 20 pounds to learn what makes my body feel its best and to live a healthier lifestyle”.
Create Actions Steps
Creating action steps to reach your goals gives you a point to start from when you are trying to create your goals. Having a list of action steps make it easy to fit those specific tasks into your schedule and start to consciously work toward your goals.
Give Yourself a Little Incentive
When writing out your goals, pairing them with rewards is a great motivator. Being able to celebrate your victories is a really important part of setting goals because you’ve earned it! I like to choose my goals based on how difficult they are to complete. Have you always wanted to try an expensive restaurant in town? Make that a reward for a smaller scale goal. Really need a vacation? Make a weekend away your reward for something that’s always been hard for you to stick to.
Get Into A Routine
You have a list of goals, rewards, and actions steps, now you need to take action! Scheduling tasks helps fit in tasks when most of us have jobs, kids, friends, and Netflix taking up our lives. Scheduling also helps create routines. Choosing a time and a place to do a specific task each day creates brain and muscle memory. After a while your body will expect to be doing that task whether it’s good or bad. For example, if I want to keep my house cleaner and more organized then one of my action steps would be to clean every day for 15 minutes. To accomplish this, I would schedule time to clean every morning at 8:00am until 8:15am until it becomes almost second nature and when 8am rolls around I am in my bedroom picking clothes up off the floor.
Get People Involved
In my experience, I have found I am more likely to accomplish things if people know what I am trying to accomplish. Specifically, when one of my goals was to get healthier I told my parents, my husband, my friends, and basically anyone else who would listen that I was trying to get fit and how I was trying to do it. This was a reminder to myself of what I was working toward as well as push myself to keep going because other people knew what I was trying to do.
Re-write your Goals
Nothing brings your goals back into focus like rewriting them when you need to be reminded of what you want to accomplish and why.
Don’t be Afraid of Change
Sometimes you think you want something, and then you start working towards it and realize that it is not for you. Stop doing it! Change your mindset and find something that gets you excited. For instance, I made one of my goals last year was to run a 10K and I realized that wasn’t what I wanted to focus my time on so I changed course and found something I liked doing more.
Learn from Mistakes and Missteps
If you make a misstep while moving towards your goals, that is completely normal. Learning from those mistakes is how you move forward. Figuring out what triggers you to stray from your goals is important so you can understand how to combat or avoid that behavior in the future.
Don’t Get Discouraged
If you get to the end of the month, quarter, or year, and you weren’t able to reach a goal you set for yourself, don’t give up. I am sure you are closer to your goal than you were when you started. That’s the point! When you start thinking about the next set of goals, set the finish line slightly farther away so you can push that much harder to accomplish your goals.
This is probably the hardest part because you feel like you need to feel motivated to start. However, just by starting something can create motivation. Even writing this blog post, I wasn’t in the mood to write it, but I just started. I took the small steps of opening my laptop and writing a few sentences. Then I started really enjoying it. Now I am almost done writing it. That is one more thing off my list, and one more step closer to a bigger, better goal.