We all make the best plans, set goals, sometimes even sleep in our gym clothes to ensure we get out the door when that 6 a.m. alarm goes off…then what happens? We fall back asleep, forget where we wrote down our yearly goals…. Motivation – there are times we have it in spades and other times it is a struggle to even think about. We are human, and it is natural for motivation to ebb and flow. Even the most motivated person you can think of struggles with finding the oomph every once in a while.
How can we regain motivation or keep it once we are feeling it? Here are some of the ways I have found have helped me, and I hope they will help you, too.
1. Set smaller goals that are easy to accomplish. Yes. Grand plans and goals are great to have, but it’s equally (if not more) important to set daily goals that you feel good about yourself for having reached. Once we notice how good accomplishing a goal we have set makes us feel, we then tend to have more motivation to feel that again and reach MORE of our goals.
2. Publicly share your goals. I have found that if I tell someone my goals, or send them out in a tweet or in a post on my Facebook wall, the more accountable I become for working towards them. The more people that know what we are trying to get done, the more people can be there for us as cheerleaders when we feel ourselves beginning to lose our drive. Having a support system has always helped me.
3. Put your goals in writing. I'd recommend writing each goal on a brightly colored Post-It note and then taping it somewhere you will see it at least twice each day. The more we look at what we have written, the less likely we are to ignore it. Taken literally, when we don’t lose sight of our goals, we don’t lose motivation for reaching them. Looking at our goals on paper each day is a good motivator.
4. Keep your eyes on the prize. Cliché perhaps, but I feel it is important to remind ourselves, especially when motivation is hard to find, why we are trying to reach our goals. Are we working towards getting healthier? Are we trying to save money for something we’ve always wanted? If you can’t get motivated by thinking about the end result of your goal, perhaps it’s time to reassess and see if that goal truly is worth it.
5. Give yourself a break. Anything that is worth having takes time. Overdoing it or pushing yourself too hard will just burn you out. If you need to go slowly to reach a specific goal, that is OK! It’s better to move slowly than not move forward at all. Sometimes a much needed break is all you need to feel that fire again.