How are those goals coming along for the new year? Good, I hope! Although…is that motivation and excitement you had on January 1st starting to wane? If so, don’t fret! That is completely normal! Perhaps you have found yourself following these emotions when approaching a new goal…
Anyone out there relate?
I have experienced this myself many times and see it time and time again in others. Making positive changes and maintaining the motivation to make those changes can be HARD. Really hard! A lot of times it comes with altering habits and lifestyles that can’t be overhauled as though just flipping a switch. It takes hard work, dedication, and CONSISTENCY.
The excitement over something new and the hopes and dreams for the outcome help motivate us at the beginning, but when those changes don’t come quickly we may find it harder and harder to keep that commitment and consistency going. Then, one step back into old habits leads to another and another, until we’re fighting to break those habits again.
I don’t believe that means we have to start from scratch (as we can always learn something and move forward), but I also think we can find ways to help prevent this cycle from happening. For me, I know that positive rewards along the way for small victories and successes can play a key role in keeping motivation levels high.
Figure out your main goal, then determine the steps to reach that goal. List out everything you can think of that can move towards your goal. Then use those to guide and mark your mini successes.And to keep motivation going it helps to reward those small victories along the way. Choose a healthy and positive motivator. Make it a reward. Establish what you have to do from your mini actions to EARN that reward.
Let’s say you have a goal of getting more sleep. You could establish going to bed earlier at night as a way to achieve that goal. You set a reward for hitting your bed time goal at least 5 nights out of the week for 2 weeks. Or you could have a goal to eat less processed food. You could set a goal to eat fresh fruit or vegetables with at least 3 meals/snacks out of the day. Then, you choose a reward for eating your servings of produce every day for that week. The REWARD keeps the motivation, so that scenario at the beginning of the post doesn’t have to happen. Here are a few of my personal favorite rewards ideas:
- a manicure/pedicure
- a massage
- a new workout top/outfit
- a new piece of fit gear you have had your eye on
- a date with a friend
- a half an hour to an hour for myself (I get Peter on board to reward me this way by taking the kids)
- a date night with Peter
- a special treat (I know rewarding with food isn’t recommended, but let’s be real – sometimes it can be motivating, especially if part of balance)
- a new book
- downloading new workout music
- put a dollar aside for every workout or other mini goal to use on whatever you feel like!
There are tons of options! It’s all about establishing the main goal, determining the steps to that goal, and maintaining the motivation along the way. That will help you get to where you want to go.
Your Turn: What would you choose for a motivational reward?