Everyone at some point in their lives has made a decision to do something to better themselves. They decide they are going to eat healthier, exercise, take up a hobby, learn a new language, etc.
And while it is great that we are all trying to better ourselves, we also have all probably experienced the set backs and the failures. Now, when I say “failure”, I am not talking about not being able to learn that new language or to master becoming a renowned watercolor artist. I mean that you gave up on even trying.
So, how do we stay motivated?
First off, make the goal attainable. Don’t set unrealistic goals like “I will lose 30 pounds in a month” (or even in a year) or “I will go to the gym every day” (especially if you never go to the gym to begin with) or “I will be able to converse fluently in [add your desired new language] by Christmas”. Set smaller, attainable goals. Something like … I will do some form of exercise for at least 15 minutes, every day. This could mean something as simple as taking a 15 minute walk outside. 7.5 minutes in one direction, and 7.5 minutes back. Or looked at another way … walking while listening to 5 or 6 songs on your phone/ipod.
They don’t have to necessarily be exercise or diet related, but in all circumstances, smaller goals that are easily accomplished lead to more small goals that can be accomplished.
Set your goal, but also set a consequence of not following through. Hold yourself truly accountable! Let the “consequence” of not accomplishing your goal be a tough one. Maybe something like this …
If you don’t follow through on your goals, donate to a charity that you do NOT support!
Yeah, that’s right, something that you really would hate to send money to! Talk about motivation to follow through!!!
But don’t forget to reward yourself if you do follow through! Get that mani-pedi, only if you went to the gym or did exercise at home 3 times that week. Buy yourself that cool new gadget you were looking at, only if you hung your pants back up (or put them in the hamper) every day after you got home from work, rather than tossing them over the back of the chair. ** These are only suggested goals and rewards. Find your own that will motivate you towards success. **
Positive reinforcement of success! Negative consequence of failure!