Have you been feeling down or lazier than usual? Or just not feeling it at all?
Is it taking you longer to get up and moving in the mornings and that fire under your butt seems to have fizzled out?
Well, you and me both.
The good news is, you can change it.
With the new year coming up and an array of goals and resolutions to be achieved in 2019, these tips will help you reach your goals throughout the year, even when you feel close to giving up.
Take time to think about where you are currently at in life or health or career, and determine where you want to go in the future. This will help give you a clear image and something to work towards which will help fuel your motivation and drive.
Set goals for yourself. Goals give you a direction to go and something to focus on. Set SMART goals;
Make sure the goal is specific, as vague goals don’t provide adequate direction. Make them measurable and attainable, allowing you to measure your progress up until fulfillment. Goals that are unrealistic can cause more harm to your self confidence and self esteem by not achieving them, but remember to also make sure the goal isn’t too easy. (The Goldilocks rule. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.) You also want the goal to be relevant to your life and the direction you want to be going. Unrelated goals can often cause more stress than necessary and give you the lack of direction that can be disastrous to motivation. Finally, adding a deadline has been proven to increase productivity. If there is no end in sight, it can lead to a “what is the point” mentality.
Record Your Progress. A lot of times we bust our asses to do things, only to look back and think we did very little. This is a motivation killer. But, if you record your progress and create to-do lists and mark things off as you go, when you are feeling discouraged, you will have the physical pages to flip through and physically see all that you have done.
Use Activation Energy. Activation energy is defined as the minimum quantity of energy that the reacting species must possess in order to undergo a specified reaction. When it comes to motivation in people, this translates to starting off by doing the minimal amount of work required for a task/goal. For example, if you have to write a paper, start by creating the word document and writing your name and date. The same goes for an email, or homework, or taxes etc. The idea is once you are there and have started, you do a little more, like write the first paragraph. Then, this can lead to great progress and can make large tasks seem much smaller, making it more likely to complete them. I personally live by this. I use it at the gym by saying “I’ll just do 10 minutes of cardio” and then once I am on the elliptical i think to myself “I can do 5 more” and then 5 more until I’m at my goal of 40 minutes. I use it when making dinner. I will go into the kitchen and plan to just lay out the ingredients I need to cook with later, and then when I’m there I just say what the heck, I can just do it all now that way I can get it out of the way and not have it lingering in the back of my mind to do.
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Use Rewards. Working towards something can be hard, especially when the light at the end of the tunnel is faint, if you can even see it at all. Using rewards for reaching milestones and completing those smaller tasks can be just what you need to keep you going. It satisfies the reward part of the brain and studies show that positive reinforcement goes a lot further than negative reinforcement.
Remember Discomfort is Temporary. Like the old saying goes “I’d rather be uncomfortable in the gym for 2 hours than uncomfortable at the beach all summer.” I use gym references often because exercising and reaching physical goals can be extremely hard and discouraging. But it is possible. And discomfort when having to study instead of watching Netflix, or having to stay in instead of going out. You have to look at the big picture and realize your discomfort now will pay off in the end. (But balance is key- don’t completely deprive yourself from having fun.)
With the new year right around the corner, new goals and resolutions are going to be made. Save this post for a reminder when you’re just not feeling it, and your motivation feels like its at an all time low. We will conquer 2019 and we will achieve our goals, together!