Whether it's losing weight, reading more books, getting married or making more money (just to name a few)- we all have dreams and goals we want to accomplish in life.
It's pretty easy to come up with a list of things we want to achieve.
The hard part? Following through.
Many things derail chances of achieving goals, but probably the biggest obstacle is yourself and your ability to stay motivated to accomplish your dreams. If you don't want to do something, you won't make time or put in effort to making it happen. Many goals take time to obtain, and here are 7 ways you can keep yourself motivated on the journey to achieving them.
1. Set Goals
While you probably have your big picture “end game” in mind, it helps to set actual goals as part of the process. Rather than say your goal is to “get healthy,” make it tangible. Outline how many pounds you'd like to lose, how many times you want to exercise on a weekly basis, and what foods you are eliminating.
It sounds silly to even mention, but many people lose their motivation for accomplishing something because they really don't know what their true goal is.
Setting goals and reflecting on them is integral to staying motivated.
2. Be Internally Motivated
Studies of human behavior over centuries have identified that we are motivated in two ways: by external or internal factors.
External (extrinsic) motivation happens when we engage in behavior in order to receive a reward or avoid punishment, and is usually short-lived. An example of this would be competing in an activity that will earn you a prize at the end, with the prize being your main motivation for participating.
Internal (intrinsic) motivators come from within ourselves and encourage us to behave in ways that are personally rewarding. Internal motivation is often found to have deeper and longer lasting effects. An example of an internal motivator would to change your lifestyle habits to become healthy and feel better about yourself.
If your motivation for doing something lies within someone else's approval, you will be susceptible to losing interest and not have a true sense of satisfaction if you achieve your goal in the end. If you are losing weight to look better in the eyes of a boyfriend, what happens if you break up? Your motivation has left the building. Try and attach internal motivation to every type of goal you have, to give it staying power and make it worth all that hard work.
3. Surround Yourself With The Positive
It's hard under any circumstances to achieve goals, and even more so if you are in a negative environment. Toxic people and ideas have a way of thwarting our efforts.
Make changes in your life to add more positive. Take a step back from negative people, places and influences. Find individuals who will encourage you, read books that are inspiring, and visit places that give you perspective. Outside influences really have power over our internal goals. Let them be positive ones.
Countless studies have been done that demonstrate the power of writing. People are much more likely to achieve their goals when they take time to write them down, as opposed to just keeping them confined to their thoughts. Get a journal that makes you excited to use, and jot down goals, progress and achievements. It will be a great motivator and also a memento when you look back years from now. This journal is a great one and you can grab it over on Amazon!
5. Have Accountability
Depending on your goal, it may take months and years to accomplish. That's a long time to stay motivated and focused, and there's no need to do it alone. Share your ambitions with family and friends, and pick someone who can give you some tough love when you need it. Give them status updates and ask for feedback on your efforts. Not only will you have someone who can keep you on track, but someone who will celebrate with you in the end.
6. Have Fun
Some goals take a lot of blood, sweat and tears to accomplish but that doesn't mean you can't have any fun. Losing weight is a lot of hard work, but you don't have to torture yourself in the process. If you hate being inside the gym, then don't get a gym membership and spend all day in front of the weight room mirror. Take up activities that you enjoy doing outside.
It's possible to find a way to have fun doing almost anything, it just takes some work. The reward of having fun will carry you all the way to your destination, not hinder you from getting there in the first place.
7. Celebrate Accomplishments
Never take even the smallest celebration of accomplishments for granted. They will give you a breath of fresh air and remind you of why you have your goals in the first place. Taking time to acknowledge and celebrate even the smallest of milestones can pay off big when it comes to staying motivated. Everyone needs some kudos along the way!
What keeps you motivated? We've love to hear about it in the comments below.
I’m a born and bred Southern California native who will likely never leave our gorgeous weather and beaches. I’m currently the Editor for LifeAsMama.com. I get to share my life with my husband of 10 years and our beautiful, 3-year old daughter. In my free time you’ll catch me cheering for the Dodgers, cooking, baking, reading, crafting and probably watching a little HGTV.