Aurora Arlt – @Aurora_HealthyFit
“According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February…” (Business Insider, 2017).
Well, we are officially into that second week of February, and I am here to offer some tips and tricks to help us stay motivated so that we don’t end up as a statistic.
Remind yourself of your vision and your goals on a daily basis.
It is so easy to lose sight of the goals that we set for ourselves or the vision we want to achieve. Life gets busy and stressful and overwhelming…which sometimes leaves us in a state of survival. When we are in this state, it is almost impossible to see past these everyday struggles. So, something that I recommend doing is writing down and/or hanging up your goals in a place where you will be forced to look them every single day. This practice will serve as a reminder of what you want to achieve and what you are working so hard for. When we lose sight of the bigger picture, putting in the extra work to achieve our goals becomes incredibly daunting. We lose our motivation.
Another piece I would recommend that goes along with this is to make sure the goals you set are things you actually want – things you are seriously determined to have or achieve. Reevaluate if needed, because otherwise, there will be no motivation to begin with. When you really want something, you become passionate about having it. It becomes a driving force in your life, providing yourself with a greater purpose. That alone will ensure you have the motivation you need to carry you through to the end. Make sure your goals provide that driving force.
Breakdown your long-term goals into weekly and daily goals.
Again, losing sight of our goals is the easiest way to lose our motivation. When we set long-term goals, we don’t often think about them on the day-to-day. So, another strategy is to breakdown your long-term goals into weekly and daily goals. Create a daily strategy in which you have broken down your goals into attainable daily habits. These habits completed over time will compound and push you towards that long-term goal.
Something I used to do is list out my daily habits in my planner. I called it my “habit tracker.” Each time I completed one of my daily habits, I got to check it off. It gave me daily satisfaction and a feeling of achievement that kept me focused and feeling motivated. Today, I use something called “The Power List” (from Andy Frisella). Every morning, on a post-it note, I write down the top 5 things I must do that day to win the day. If I don’t complete all 5 tasks, I have to write a big “L” on that note. But, if I get everything on the Power List complete, I get to write a “W”. Being able to get a “W’ everyday of the week is something I strive for that keeps pushing me forward.
There needs to be some sort of activation that comes from the satisfaction of getting something done that will ultimately benefit you in your pursuit. Being able to constantly recognize the progress you are making by checking off a daily habit or putting a “W” down for the day will definitely help with that.
Look for external sources of motivation (videos, books, stories).
Some days, no matter how hard I try or how determined I am, all I want to do is stay under the covers in my safe space and sleep the world away. On those days, all I really need is a slap in the face, snap out of it moment to pull me out. Sometimes I turn to highlighted captions in books that I have been inspired by or I’ll go to my saved videos in YouTube that I know will light that fire under me.
Here are some of my favorite “pep talks” when I am feeling low on motivation:
- Eric Thomas – You OWE You
- CT Fletcher – Clever Talks
- Arnold Schwarzenegger – Life’s 6 Rules
- Gary Varynerchuck – Monday Morning Motivation
- A Pep Talk from Kid President
The passion from these individuals feeds into my own and pushes me over the edge to take action. Once I can take that first step, that positive momentum starts to pick back up and get rolling. It’s all about riding that positive momentum!
I think it is incredibly important to recognize and reward progress. The key is to not overindulge or reward ourselves in a way that damages all the work we have done. But, if we don’t stop to take the time to recognize our own accomplishments, I think it might take away from some of the fire that keeps us going. Sometimes adding in some external gratification, like rewarding yourself with a shopping spree or a vacation, can be all the push that is needed to follow-through. By breaking down your long-term goals into monthly or quarterly intervals, you can set specific rewards when you reach the end of each interval. It gives you something tangible to look forward to and keep working towards. It’s okay to need extrinsic motivation sometimes to get you to your goals.
Important Side Note: Be patient with your pursuit. Oftentimes we lose motivation and give up because we don’t instantly see the results we were hoping for. Things take time…sometimes LOTS of time! In the long-run, it would obviously be more beneficial if we could rewire our brains to be more receptive for delayed gratification. It would give us the patience and grit needed to keep grinding away. However, these mini-rewards can help to combat that desire for instant gratification and give us the boost we need to keep trekking along.
Don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself a break.
Lastly, stop being so hard on yourself. We are not perfect. Life will get the best of us sometimes. That doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of achieving our goals and should just give up trying. It simply means we need to take a step back for a second and give ourselves a small break. This break isn’t meant to dwell on any failures or shortcomings for too long, but to give us the perspective we need to realize that we have all of the tools we need to accomplish our goals. We are fully capable of becoming the vision of ourselves that we strive to become. We just needed to take a second to remind ourselves of that. Trust me, you got this.
I hope these tips provide you with a strategy to keep pushing towards the goals you set for yourself on January 1 (or whenever). We have made it this far! We can keep it up. Go be great!
My personal mantra: Be relentlessly consistent. Be fiercely determined. Do Work.
Until next time,
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