It is one thing to decide you are ready for a life change…it is another, however, to actually make that change and find the motivation to keep that ball rolling! Whether it’s a gluten free diet, increase in cardiovascular exercise or cutting out a negative habit that has been holding you back for years, the excitement of your new endeavor will eventually fade. Here are four simple steps you can take to fight through your plateaus, setbacks or just plain laziness when trying to reach and maintain your goals.
Knowing Your “Why”
What is your “why?” What I mean is, what is the reason you’ve decided on shedding some unwanted pounds or improving your relationship with your spouse? If it’s because you read an article or had a conversation that provoked you to think about it, that may not be quite enough. Here’s a classic example; every year, people make a new year’s resolution because we have conditioned to do so. The majority of us, however, fail to follow through with these plans and are in the same situation by the beginning of February.
Why is this you may ask? It is simply because our “why” is JUNK. Deciding to start your weight loss needs to be about enjoying a healthier life with your children, not fitting into old pair of jeans. A decision to eat healthier should not be because the ladies at work talk about it, but due the fact high cholesterol runs in your family and you need to make better choices to protect your heart. Raise the stakes, it will increase your chances for maintained success.
Who Are You Surrounded By
There is no “I” in motivation…well, actually there is two! The fact is, when you try to make changes, it helps to have some positive people in your corner. The first key to mastering this important step is to surround yourself with…um…positive people! Sometimes we need to take a good, long look at our friends and family and make some uncomfortable decisions. If there is anyone that will challenge your ideas in a negative way, it’s best to distance yourself from them if at all possible.
Try to talk to those in your inner circle that will be excited for you, enjoy challenges and will hold you accountable. For example, tell your best friends that you’re attempting to quit smoking and that you would appreciate their support in achieving this goal. If you have surrounded yourself with the right people, they will likely check in on your progress, provide you with encouraging feedback and help you avoid situations where you would be likely to falter. This network can prove to be crucial during those times you feel like giving up.
We live in a technology driven society. We can watch TV, write a blog on our laptop while checking our investments on our smartphone. At times, these luxuries can be amazing. When it comes to staying motivated, however, it can result in our ultimate downfall.
The fact is, the world we live in doesn’t always promote the most active of lifestyles. If we want to increase our exercise, we typically can’t do it from our home office. If we want to spend more quality time with our children, we might have to avoid checking our Facebook “statuses” every three minutes (oh yes, I could be guilty of that).
Although these examples seem very common sense, over time they will add up. Try to take time away from your devices and substitute it with activities that will increase your chances for success. This will not only allow you more opportunities to reach and maintain your goals, but put you in more situations where you can reflect on your “why” and interact with supportive people that will help you stay motivated.
Now share… there are just a few of hundreds of ways to stay motivated. How do you keep yourself motivated?
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