Motivation Monday: How to Stay Motivated (Even When You Aren’t Motivated)
When you first set a goal, motivation is high. The reason you set your goal is easy to remember, your willpower tank is full, and the outcome (should you stick to your goal) is at the forefront of your mind. As time wears on, however, it becomes more difficult to stay engaged as the initial excitement wears off. You might have a highly specific goal and a detailed plan to reach it, but if your motivation to take consistent action begins to wane, you will quickly veer off track. Here are a few tips to regain motivation when you feel it flagging:
Remind yourself that you are the one who chose this goal. You wanted this. Remind yourself, over and over, why you chose this as a goal.
Do something for just 15 minutes. Set a timer for 15 minutes and give yourself permission to only work on your goal for this period of time. The magic? In just 15 minutes, you will gain momentum and you’ll likely find that you want to keep going. A lack of motivation is really just an unwillingness to start.
Take advantage of your high points. If your goal is to eat healthier, you may go to the grocery store super motivated and buy a bunch of fruit/vegetables/fresh food for the week. Continue riding this wave of motivation when you get home. Don’t just throw the food in the fridge and trust that you’ll eat it later. Instead, wash/cut the produce up, prep some meals, and take advantage of your motivation when it’s high. Then, when your motivation wanes later, you are prepared. Apply this to any goal you have.
Work on your goals when it is the best time to work on them and when it wouldn’t make sense to do anything else. Maybe 6:00am isn’t the best time for sales calls, but maybe it is the best time for the gym, sitting down for breakfast with your family, or reading self-development materials.
Have fun. Turn working on your goals into a game. Ask yourself, “How can I enjoy this? How can I make this something that is the best part of my day?”
Make the intangible tangible. If you have money-related goals and are saving for a big purchase (a car or home), take a test drive or go to an open house. See, touch, and witness your goals first hand rather than just visualizing them. Research and plan a vacation as if you are taking it next month. Know exactly what you will do when you go.
Remember that life is not a dress rehearsal. This is the only one you get. Our lives are really just the sum of thousands of daily battles and decisions to either give up or give it our all. Spend it in a way that will make you proud.