One of the ways we can materialise our goals is to keep them foremost in our consciousness. Image courtesy of bplanet at freedigitalphotos.net
Whether it’s sticking to a new health or exercise regimen, quitting smoking, having a healthier life balance or extending yourself to a new endeavour, motivation is key. Our enthusiasm may ebb and wane as a natural outcome of many factors, such as stress. Here are some tips to stay inspired:
1. Keep reminding yourself of why your goal is important to you.
For example, you are studying to obtain qualifications which will ultimately lead to a job you want to keep exercising because you enjoy others’ company at a fitness class, you are quitting smoking to lower your blood pressure. When you think of about the rewards to be reaped by reaching your goal, it can be easier to stay on track.
2. Break up your goal into workable components.
Say you want to run the Brisbane Marathon, but you currently can only walk two kilometres – obviously you have to increase your exercise load slowly.
3. Mentally picture yourself reaching your goal, as well as rehearsing the process.
By doing this, you are making it real and tangible to yourself. By rehearsing the process and end-product in your mind it is like doing a mental affirmation that works to build confidence. !
4. Hire your own cheersquad.
Not literally! However, if you have a few people you can really trust to encourage and support your efforts it can act as positive validation to keep going, and to ‘get up again’ if you stumble.
5. If you get off track, get on again straight away!
If you break that diet, miss a week of exercise or start smoking again, DON’T beat yourself up; you’re human. However, if you wait too long before getting on track again, you may have lost more confidence.
6. Think about how many other goals you have.
If you want to run the Brisbane Marathon, learn the salsa and a new language, you may find you give up! If you just pick one ambition that is the most important to you, you can devote your mental and physical energy to that.
7. Anticipate and troubleshoot interruptions or problems.
For example, if you're on a diet but invited to a party, consider how much you will allow yourself, or whether you'll snack on healthier options, if present.
8. Make your journey to your goal as easy as possible for yourself.
For example if you want to exercise, a fun group exercise may be easier to maintain than a rigid gym schedule, but of course it’s very individual and some people may prefer the opposite.
9. Give yourself rewards along the way.
For example, one week after quitting smoking you could shout yourself to a restaurant with the money you saved. Even stickers on a calender can be self-affirming.
10. Look after yourself. Whether it be a sporting, study or career goal, you will give yourself the best shot if both your body and mind are well-rested and receiving adequate nutrition.