New Year is often about new challenges, and for many of us the toughest part of any new endeavour is sticking to it. We have a natural drive at the start, and this gets us through the door of the gym to the first few weeks of training for the 10k, or planning meals rather making poor choices and eating on-the-run. But, sometimes, this drive wanes a bit; or life interrupts our initial great start, and we veer off the path towards success in whatever it is that we truly want to achieve. So, how can we get more motivated, and stay motivated enough to see any challenge through to completion? Luckily, there are some simple strategies that work a treat in this regard.
Find your ‘why?’
Identify why you want to achieve this goal. How will your life be different once you have reached your target? What benefits will it bring? How will it enhance your life more than if you stayed as you are now? Tune into your ‘why?’ as this is a very powerful driving force and can be a huge help in generating and keeping motivation going. Also, find a way to make your ‘why?’ visible to you on a daily basis so that it stays front and centre of your mind.
Tkay Maidza unsure thinking pondering tkay
Figure out your ‘how?’
Identify a very clear plan of how you will achieve this goal. What are the steps, the resources, the obstacles, the strategies for getting around, under, over or through them? Be specific, and be detailed when you look at your ‘how?’
reactions liz lemon lets do this its on
Cull unhelpful habits
You will know right away if there are habits that you tend to engage in that will not be conducive to achieving this goal. It may be staying up late watching TV, which will make it harder to get up for the gym; it could be always buying your paper in the shop that bakes fresh cookies that smell so good. Identify those habits, and break them by creating new, more useful daily habits; ones that will support rather than sabotage your goal.
aint nobody got time for that
Accept ebb and flow
In terms of your thoughts and feelings, accept now that there will be ebb and flow. Some days, you will be thinking positively and will feel like doing what you need to do in order to realise your goal; others, you won’t. That’s OK - it is part of the human condition. The best strategy here is to stop waiting for the feeling; do what you need to do first, and the feeling comes afterwards. This also holds for your actual progress in your endeavour; it is highly unlikely to be linear and more likely to ebb and flow to a degree. Accept that, and just keep going, learning, adapting, adjusting, just moving forwards one foot in front of the other.
Alex Trimpe 2016 trump usa help
Bank your successes
Most of us could not remember what we were doing on Monday two weeks ago at 11.46am; we have so much information being processed by our brains that we have to let some of it go into the deeper recesses, where it gets forgotten. The same can be true for our achievements - if we do not acknowledge them, we can forget them; yet, remembering the successes along the way is key to maintaining motivation.
So, it is vital to find a way to bank your successes, to mark those achievements. It could be a record of actual progress (kilometres run, kilos lost, etc.); a cent in a jar every time you complete a day; perhaps a few words in a journal each day; maybe a tick on a wall calendar. You just need something that will note the journey so that you can visually access it, thereby keeping the work you have done uppermost in your mind. When we have a large bank of work behind us, that drives us on to complete the task.
happy taylor swift yes yeah win
Mentally rehearse success
In a 2016 television programme on RTE called ‘Winning’, presented by Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin, they showed an experiment where electrodes were placed on Henry’s head while he physically picked up a sliotar and then visualised picking up a sliotar. The resulting graphs showed that the brain activity when we do an action mentally, mimics that of when we do it physically. Sport psychology has used this understanding for many years, and many a sports star will talk of having mentally rehearsed or visualised their success many times before they actually achieve it.
This strategy can add great dimension to any challenge that we set ourselves, as mentally rehearsing ways to overcome obstacles or what your life will be like once you have achieved your goal can be a huge help in maintaining motivation to keep going.
So, whatever challenge, target or endeavour that you may set yourself for 2017, consider utilising some of these proven strategies, as they can be powerful resources to help you stay on the path and realise your goals.
Final Thought:
“If I quit now, I will be right back to where I started; and when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now” ~ Unknown.
Performance and Life Coach