5 Tips For Staying Motivated
Life can be tough sometimes, so how can you stay motivated and on track when you have something you want to achieve or, perhaps, just get through a particularly difficult day?
As someone who’s had to dig deep myself on more than a few occasions, here are 5 of my favourite tips.
Set realistic goals
I’m the first to have big goals in life, but I’ve learned the hard way that unless they’re big and realistic, they’re going to be tough to hit. And it’s incredibly de-motivating to aim for a goal that just can’t be reached.
Check that your goals and targets are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
And if you want to set a big goal, that’s admirable – but perhaps make it the end result of a number of smaller goals.
Acknowledge the day by day changes rather than the end result
We all focus on the end result of what we want, don’t we? Losing weight, getting fit enough to run a marathon, getting that amazing new job, starting a new business, going travelling; whatever it might be that you’ve set your heart on.
The thing is, as we’re the ones who are on the journey to achieving those goals we don’t always see the day to day successes that get us there; we only see the end. This means that when we hit a hard spot, we focus only on the result we want (and how we might never reach it, can’t do it, won’t do it) rather than what we’ve achieved thus far.
If it’s a visually apparent thing that you want to achieve, i.e. losing weight, take photos of yourself every day to look back on. If it’s an intangible thing, start writing a daily journal listing your achievements.
That way when you’re flagging a bit, and can’t see how far you’ve come, you can motivate yourself again by seeing that, actually, you’ve done so much more than you might have realised!
Your challenges aren’t unique
When we’re in the depths of despair, and feeling unmotivated, how easy it is for us to think that we’re the only ones struggling. However, in reality, we’re just one of many. There are no unique problems, no unique situations, no unique challenges; everything that you have faced, and will face, has been faced by someone before.
Knowing that someone else has been there, and come through it, can sometimes be the edge you need to pick yourself up and get back on the journey. Remember that the next time you’re not feeling as bright and breezy as you might be ordinarily; and think about whether you might know one of those people. If you do?…
Talk to someone
…Ask them for help. A problem shared is a problem halved. It’s true. Nothing ever seems as bad when you say it out loud as it does when you keep it in your head.
And whether you talk to someone in your family, immediate circle, work group, or even a stranger, it helps. Sometimes it’s best to take your challenge to someone you don’t know, and seek their perspective. Often hearing someone else pick through you how far you’ve come and then give you some advice on moving forwards can be the boost you need to hear.
Other people always seems to have a different perspective on your challenges, don’t they? Taking advice, and talking things through, is a great way to pep up your problem-solving skills, and get motivated again.
Remember why you started
I have set myself several big value goals over the years. I do it because, not least, I need my children to see that no matter the challenges we face, we can still be who we want to be. I believe in myself, my boys believe in me, and that’s all that matters. When you set yourself big value goals, the challenges that accompany them tend to be big value too; so when they hit, they tower over you. When I’m facing one of those towers, I remind myself that I’m doing this for my boys, and I’m doing this for me. And that nothing, and no-one will distract me. I might stumble, I might sway, I might even fall, but I’ll never be done. I’ll always get back up.
When you’re facing a challenge that leaves you unsure and de-motivated, remind yourself why you started and why you want to reach that end goal. Be proud of how far you’ve come, and view the rest of the journey with optimism not pessimism – we all fall occasionally, but our falls don’t signify the end of our quest.