The key to keeping motivated
Many of us take on a challenge or start something new and then find ourselves losing motivation. What is the key to keeping motivated and continuing with something even when it seems too hard, too time consuming or just not as exciting as you hoped it may have been?
The first thing is to think about why you had this goal or task in mind. Is it that you want to go to the gym to get fit and lose weight? Is it that you are going on an overseas trip and wanted to learn some of the native language before you go? There are many things that we decide we are going to do and then lose focus on the outcome we wanted to achieve.
How many times have you started something and not completed it? Write a list of some of these things and then try to identify the reasons why you stopped before you reached the goal. Often the best idea in setting a clear goal is to work out the personal benefit to you. If you want to improve your health for example, what are going to be the positive outcomes? Think of all the ways your life will change once you have reached the goal and how everyday life will look when the new actions become routine.
Visualising your goal is the first step in keeping motivated
The first step in keeping motivated is to have the end result clearly visualised. You can then also set some time frames and smaller benchmarks within the main goal to monitor your progress and to keep moving forward.
Often you will find that you go off track, if your goal is to go for a walk on the beach every day, but there was a big rainstorm and you could not go for a few days, this does not mean you have to stop completely. Instead of being discouraged and letting your negative self-talk take over, and seeing this as a failure, take external factors into account and then just begin again the next time the weather is good. This is another key to keeping motivated.
Doing something is better than doing nothing to keep you motivated
Do not make excuses, just get out there and start over. Even if you can not match your original goal doing something is better than doing nothing. Maintaining a schedule is not always possible when life gets in the way, he outcome and beginning again at the next possible opportunity will rebuild the motivation. See this as a detour not as defeat.
Bring a sense of curiosity and imagination to the new concepts and practices you are trying to implement. You may have preconceived ideas about the things that you need to do to reach the goal. Expand on these concepts and think of other activities you enjoy that have a similar outcome. Think of a range of ways that you can incorporate these items into life.
If you are learning the new language, think about how you would order your coffee in French when you go to the café to get your daily caffeine fix. If you are thinking of practising more exercise to build fitness, think about what you can do to accomplish this. Going to the gym, taking a long walk, playing with the kids at the park rather than just watching or playing on your phone. All of these things will bring a sense of variety and give you more options. If the gym is closed then you can do something else just as practical towards reaching your end goal.
The trick to motivation is to keep going
I think the most valuable take away from this is that when we are starting something new, it will be hard, there are times when we can not see the progress we are making, times when we just want to give up and times when our motivation is at an all-time low. The trick is to just keep going. Soon you will be unconsciously doing the new things and activities without these barriers. There are all sorts of ideas about how long it takes to create a new habit or to change a behaviour. The result is the same in the end though. You are doing the new thing without even thinking about it and it is now part of your everyday life.
Having a healthy positive mindset and remembering not to judge yourself will ensure that you stay on track. The best way to keep the motivated is to reward yourself for the successes along the way. Do not wait until you reach the final goal. Set benchmarks and when you succeed at each of these take the time to reflect on the journey so far with the new challenge and how well you have done. Take time to celebrate the accomplishments and maintain that sense of achievement.
If you would like help unlocking the key to keeping motivated, I can help you with coaching and positive mindset.