Having problems staying motivated? You are probably focusing on the wrong things.
Getting motivated is easy, STAYING motivated is NOT
Have you noticed that motivation doesn’t last?
You may be motivated to do something, but somehow that motivation goes the way of the dodo bird and fizzles away. All you need to encounter is:
a road block (there is NOTHING in the refrigerator)
an excuse (I have writer’s block)
a temptation (oh yay … doughnuts)
a reason to put it off (it is so bloody COLD outside)
a bargain (I’ll write twice as much tomorrow)
temporary uncertainty (is this really the best way to go?)
a fleeting thought (hmmmm maybe …)
POOF all your motivation, determination and self-discipline is GONE.
I write in my journal every single day. When I’m writing, I am motivated. I see the possibilities. I know that if I do XXX then YYY will happen. I am motivated and can’t wait to get started.
But then my day starts. I open my inbox and clear it out. Where is the motivation to write 1000 words now? Magically it has managed to shift, morph and change into the desire to read Nora Roberts latest novel.
Yes. I say … I AM motivated to stick to my diet.
BUT here comes my “friend” (a lose term that needs to be examined) with a freshly baked sugar glazed doughnut. Where did my motivation to stick to my diet go? How come it was INSTANTLY replaced by a stronger motivation to eat the doughnut?
1. You need a WHY.
ONE of the challenges with motivation is that it can be nebulous notion that often has NO substance.
Sticking to my diet is really hard to grasp when faced with a doughnut. You need to put some oomph behind it.
Motivation reframe: Why do I want to stick to my diet?
I want to lose 10 more pounds
I want to keep my blood sugar under control, so my Dr. doesn’t roll his eyes at me and my excuses.
I want to feel better — get rid of the overwhelming brain fog
Now that you have your WHY …
2. You need a HOW
In order to lose weight, keep my blood sugars down and get rid of the brain fog I will NOT eat anything with sugar or flour in it. I will choose low-carb foods that are not packaged in boxes or bags.
OR In order to write 100 words a day, I will …
3. Make it Easy
Eliminate the temptations and the excuses.
It is way way easier to stay motivated when a doughnut is NOT staring you in the face. ASK your doughnut eating friend to eat her doughnut before she comes over for coffee.
Place your workout gear OUT where you will see it (trip over it) first thing in the morning. Check the weather forecast the night before. If it is going to be freaking cold and you know that is your go-t0 excuse … put the walking video into your playback machine and decide you will do an indoor walking routine instead.
4. Make it DO-ABLE
Having a “shoot for the moon” goal CAN be motivating. But it can end up being discouraging, and de-motivating simply because you can’t DO it (right now).
You’ve just read five articles on how to make $500 a month on your blog. All you have to do is write an article a day and post it. You are PUMPED and motivated.
But wait … you don’t HAVE a blog and the last time you wrote something over 300 words was for your lit teacher in high school.
It’s time for a Re-Frame.
5. Call on the GOD of Self -Discipline
Self-discipline is about knowing what you have to do and doing it even when you don’t want to.
Like going to the gym when it has just started to snow. It’s about gritting you teeth, girding your loins, and getting on with it – even if you don’t want to.
Think Navy Seals, think martial arts, think about the power that comes from keeping a promise to yourself.
Print this out and put it up where it will make a difference … your refrigerator, the bathroom mirror, the middle of your desk.
“Do something today
that your future self
will thank you for.”
I don’t know who said that but it motivates me. And it helps me be more disciplined. What we do or don’t do today may not change the here and now, but it will change what happens to us tomorrow, the day after and the day after that.
… the results will catch up.
One day someone will say to you “WOW, you are looking great, what are you doing?” And on that day you will get a BIG boost to your motivation and you will realize that gutting it out day after day is the KEY.
Like saving money today for the house you’ll buy tomorrow.
Like the entrepreneur who works 16 hour days today for the business that will make her a millionaire in the future.
Like the medical student studying until 4am in the morning to achieve his dream of becoming a brain surgeon.
Like choosing a daily fasting plan and then sticking to it.
Like doing a daily 10 minute HIIT routine to become stronger, look great … sexy even!
If that resonates with you and if you’re serious about cracking on and making REAL changes in your life then I strongly recommend you DO these five things:
1. Set a MEASURABLE goal. (I will remove 2 inches of fat off my belly by the end of this year). You need to know where you’re going and you need to be able to measure how close you are to your goal.
2.Choose a DAILY repeatable action. Something that if you repeat it consistently will help you get there. I will walk 5000 steps a day.
3. Take measurements, keep score and review frequently. This is a really important part of the process and keeping track, checking off the DONE box every day can add to your motivation. Often it can be the fact that you will be able to tick off 30 DONE boxes in a row that becomes the motivation to just do it.
Online tracking programs really help some, while a physical “bullet journal” is the key for others. Try out different ways of tracking until you find something that really inspires and works for you.
4. Find an accountability partner someone you can rely on and share the journey with. The pressure of having someone there to report to can drastically increase your chances of success. You need to find someone who will not accept your excuses. What you do need is someone who will ask that you be ACCOUNTABLE. They want the SAME from you.
5. Ramp it up by being accountable to a group. Announce your intentions to your Facebook friends and ASK them for regular encouragement. Groups work … look at the success of Weight Watchers IN person meetings, or the success and popularity of boot camps.
Boot camps are not just an exercise class; they’re an exercise group. The fact that everyone is working towards a common goal becomes a major part of the process. You work HARD because you don’t want to be weakest link. You push yourself to keep pace with with the group and to avoid being yelled at by the instructor.
Getting motivated for a day or two is easy. The hard part is STAYING motivated to the point where you just do it, day after day, week after week, month after month. These things will help you stay motivated until you achieve your goals and more.
- Write down your goals
- Choose a daily repeatable action
- Track your daily actions.
- Find an accountability partner.
- Join or become accountable to a group.
Simple … right? The best advice always is!
Have you ever seen or tried physical action planner? The process of writing and tracking your goals on paper where you can see it on your desk or kitchen counter can really make a difference.
Here’s a planner that helps you keep track … It has room for monthly and weekly goals and daily action steps. If nothing else it will make you laugh every time you look at it.
If you have trouble sticking to your goals … try mini goals. Mini goals are so easy and stupidly simple you simply can’t fail. Daily success can be ONE sit up a day, or a 1/4 glass of water in the morning, or putting on your runners and opening the door, or eating one teaspoon of Chia seeds.