True motivation is one of the greatest tools that a human being can channel when we think about goal setting and reaching those goals successfully. Everyone knows that brilliant stage of any new exciting beginning when motivation is at the highest and all our actions seem to be effortless. But then, something happens.. The energy shifts, the excitement goes away, and more often than not, the motivation that was the fuel to our journey before, suddenly does not show it's presence anymore.
Let's face it, that's where majority of our goals and dreams are left behind. Sounds bad, and it truly is, because we rely on this emotion which sooner or later will either fade away or drop low, but that doesn't mean that you cannot train yourself to get it back and to turn it into successful habits that will carry you through the times when you will need them the most.
"MOTIVATION is a reason for acting in a certain way"
To understand how motivation actually works or should work, it can be broken down into very simple stages:
Activation - we set a goal that excites us and that we desperately want to reach
Persistence - we keep performing the right actions in order to reach our goal
Intensity - along the way this defines if our motivation starts dipping or no. The more time passes and more actions we perform, the journey to our goal might seem more demotivating than it is motivating and intensity with which we pursue it drops
So as you can see the first two steps are pretty much inevitable and always possible, however it is the 3rd step that people find the greatest struggle with. Sometimes we start struggling in the long run because it takes us longer than we thought to reach what we wanted. Or we are not supported by our family and friends. We want to relax and are tired of constant drive towards our goal. We have changed our mind altogether or any other reason that ever stopped you from your goal.
Many will think "Well that's life". But I don't agree that it has to be, especially now when we can have so much help and support in our journeys, so much information, guidance and tools to actually make the 3rd step as easy as possible, BUT, you need to take ownership, and you yourself need to act on it.
If you have a goal in mind, that you pursued recently and didn't manage to reach, or you have a new goal and don't know where to start, use this checklist to make sure that you are ready for the day when natural motivation goes low:
Break down your main goal into small, quickly achievable goals
MAIN GOAL : Lose 4 cm off my waist
SMALL GOALS : Learn to track my calories; walk outside at least 20min every day; perform core exercises 2 times/week etc.
Keep looking for things that inspire you daily
Books, music, other people, podcasts, gym class, social media accounts etc,
Surround yourself with positive people
Your family and friends will not always understand your goals, but that doesn't mean that you should stop pursuing them, expand your circle and connect with other people who are on the same journey as you are
Explore and find the activities that you like and which compliment your goal
Go to the gym; go dancing; go hiking; running; try aerial yoga; social walking club or any activity that is in your area - you can never know what you might truly like, you do not need to suffer doing something that you don't want to do!
Plan how you will measure your goal regularly to keep yourself accountable
Going back to the MAIN GOAL (4cm off my waist) measuring with a tape every 3-4weeks is the obvious choice as that will give my body time to take the changes in and I will know if what I have done so far has made a positive impact to this goal.
HOWEVER! Don't forget to also measure your small goals too!
- Being able to track my calories daily using apps or other tools
- Daily walks are carried out and feeling better than ever
- Logging weekly diary for my training sessions
And.. you get the idea right?
Be kind to yourself and keep trying
Left this for last even though this is the most important preparation tool that we all should master. Even though you do everything right and hit all your targets and small goals, sometimes we still lose track of that journey and get distracted with something else which can bring a lot of guilt and sudden self-doubt. But the idea is to not always do it perfectly, but to always look for ways to make it better. You can only do that by evaluating what works and what doesn't work, finding out reasons why you might have lost your way a little and reset your small goals to get you on the right path again!
So if you think about it, motivation should lead to creating your own discipline which then leads to success which again brings back the motivation!
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