If you can stick with a goal for long enough, you’ll almost always get there eventually. It just takes patience, and motivation.
So motivation, in its best form, is a way for you to want to do something. There may be times, for example, when you don’t feel like getting up early, and in those times you may seriously just want to sleep in
(not that there’s anything wrong with that). But if you have a reason to want to get up early, something you really really want to do, you’ll jump up out of bed with excitement.
Ways to Motivate Yourself From the Beginning
Don’t start out big! Start out with a ridiculously easy goal, and then grow from there. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No
— instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you’ve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps.
Too many people start with too many goals at once, and try to do too much. And it saps energy and motivation. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal ( or that one goal becomes you habit).
Really,really want it.
it’s not enough to think it would be cool to achieve something. It has to be something you’re passionate about, something you’re super excited about, something you want deeply. Make sure that your goal meets these criteria, or you won’t stick with it for long.
If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar.
Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. Because by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.
Ways to Sustain Motivation
There are some days when you don’t feel like heading out the door for a run. Well, instead of thinking about how hard it is, and how long it will take, tell yourself that you just have to start. I have a rule that I just have to put on my running shoes and close the door behind me. After that, it all flows naturally. It’s when you’re sitting in your house, thinking about running and feeling tired, that it seems hard. Once you start, it is never as hard as you thought it would be.
Read about it.
When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books,
magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories.
Chart your progress.
This can be as simple as marking an X on your calendar, or creating a simple spreadsheet, or logging your goal using online software. But it can be vastly rewarding to look back on your progress and to see how far you’ve come, and it can help you to keep going
Reward yourself often.
For every little step along the way, celebrate your success, and give yourself a reward. It helps to write
down appropriate rewards for each step, so that you can look forward to those rewards. By appropriate, I mean 1) it’s proportionate to the size of the goal (don’t reward going on a 1-mile run with a luxury cruise in the Bahamas); and 2) it doesn’t ruin your goal — if you are trying to lose weight, don’t reward a day of healthy eating with a dessert binge. It’s self-defeating.
Never skip two days in a row.
So, you missed one day … now the second day is upon you and you are feeling lazy … tell yourself NO! You
will not miss two days in a row!