By Ana Snyder, M.S., Exercise Physiology; CPT, FNS
There’s nothing worse than feeling yourself slide into the couch when you know you have a giant to-do list to get through. Even when you have a goal in mind, figuring out how to stay motivated can be difficult. But, at some point, you have to turn off Netflix, get up, and get something done.
Life is tough, and to achieve long-term success, you need to stay motivated. Whatever your dreams, aspirations, or goals are, you need to put in the work and time to make it happen. When your motivation starts to drop, that big picture starts to feel a lot further away. No matter where you are on your journey, it’s time to dust yourself off, get up, and keep your eyes on the prize.
I’m the first to admit that my lazy days can take my procrastination to never-before-seen heights. But generally, all I need is a little push to get me going. Once the ball starts rolling, I fall back into a motivated rhythm. These nine small shifts in mindset have helped me stay motivated, and they can help set you up for long-term motivation and success.
Think about one of your goals. Do you want to lose weight and tone up? Is there a promotion you’ve always wanted?
Whatever your goal is, break it down into smaller, manageable tasks with rewards. Set a deadline for each of those tasks. This process can make even the biggest of goals feel more manageable and achievable, giving you more control.
To maintain motivation, think about the bigger picture and visualize the results. When setting goals for the new year—or any time, for that matter—think about what it will feel like to reach your goal. Consider the effort and hard work it will take to get there, but then imagine the excitement and relief you will feel when you’ve achieved your goal. This is the fuel that will drive you to keep going, no matter what.
Consistency is a key ingredient to success and staying motivated. As humans, we’re creatures of habit. Those habits, whether beneficial or not, breed success or failure. Think about weight loss. It’s not sustainable to lose weight suddenly in a short amount of time. It requires a shift in lifestyle to find out the techniques that work for your body, and then practicing them consistently.
There will come a time when you might have to do things you don’t enjoy to achieve your goals. Even the most successful people will get knocked down and face multiple obstacles. When you feel overwhelmed and anxious, take a few moments to step back and look back at why you set your goal in the first place. Thinking about your purpose can help you find clarity in the darkest moments.
Fill your mind with positive and inspirational information. Positive thoughts lead to positive self-affirmations that help you be your best. A positive mindset helps you to seek happiness and health. When negative thoughts start to overwhelm your mind, it can begin to impact your physical and mental health.
If negative thoughts are a regular occurrence for you, it can be tough to feel happy, balanced, and confident. To help you prioritize self-care, try one of these five mindfulness retreats to get back on track.
We all put off work or tasks from time to time. Making a stressful phone call or going to the gym can end up at the bottom of the to-do list. Don’t make excuses; tackle procrastination head-on. Instead of doing it tomorrow, do it now. Think about the real reason you’re trying to delay your task. Sometimes just starting it is the best thing to do. Often, it’s not as bad once you’re doing it.
It’s easy to blame everyone else for your problems or failures. But in order to get back up when you feel knocked down, you need to hold yourself accountable. You’re the only person who can make your life better. Be in control of your life, take responsibility, and stop making excuses. Accept your mistakes with grace, and always move forward.
Have you ever noticed that you push yourself harder at the gym when you go with a friend? Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is one of the best things you can do to stay motivated. Do you have people in your life who inspire you and motivate you? Whether it’s in business or other topics you’re passionate about, we are constantly giving and receiving inspiration and energy. So choose your circle of friends carefully.
Motivation is a powerful but tricky beast. By building better rituals, you can make motivation a habit. Treat motivation like any other habit you’re trying to develop. Work on your mindset every day, and set up a morning routine like a killer morning workout or meditation session before you start your day.
When things aren’t going your way, what do you do? Do you throw your hands in the air and give up?
No, you pick yourself up, focus on the bigger picture, realign your goals, and keep going. A positive and resilient mindset sets you up for success and gives you the ability to dig deep to reignite your motivation.
Staying motivated is 100 percent possible and within your reach. Often, to stay motivated, you need to keep your end goal in mind, visualizing how you will feel when you achieve it. By breaking your goals down into smaller, manageable steps, you can maintain motivation and accomplish your goals. Motivation starts within, so find what works for you and keep hold of it.