Finding Your Motivation

Keep working toward your goal(s) and remember to celebrate the smaller steps along the way! The journey is part of getting to your destination.

White and black Newfoundland dog laying with head between paws and the paws are dirty from digging in the dirt.How’s your progress on your goal? Has Mr. Motivation shown up yet?

Need some kick starter ideas to get moving toward achieving your goal? Keep reading and grab from these 3 ideas to move forward. Find your real reason(s) you want to achieve your goal.

1  List all the reasons achieving your goal would be good for you. Whether your goal is to lose/gain weight, eat healthier, save money, get organized, or improve some other aspect of your life–start your written list. For example, eating healthier could possibly help you:

    • Be healthier
    • Achieve a healthy weight
    • Have more energy

Now, list one or two benefits to each item from the first list.

  • Be healthier: lower cholesterol, less illness
  • Achieve a healthy weight: clothes fit how you want them to, feel good about how you look
  • Have more energy: doing activities, exercise, housework; pursuing new interests

2  Make “posters” of your goal and  top 1-3 reasons for wanting to reach it. Put these reminders where you will see them throughout the day. Possible places could be the bathroom mirror, back of your phone, phone or computer screen saver, cabinet door, and the back of the door you leave your home by. You get the idea — find what will work for you.

3  When you have a choice to make that will impact working toward your goal, come up with a “check” to determine if your decision is worth it. Is it worth it to buy that extra tube of lipstick or music download when your goal is to save up for new car tires? Do you need or want the item? Will you want the item next week or have buyer’s remorse? How bad are your tires and how soon do you need to buy them?  Asking and answering such “checks” can put your desire into perspective and encourage you to make a wise choice for you. Check out this “A Life of Productivity” blog post, “Every Yes Is Also a No” written by Chris Bailey. I find this an encouragement to have these “checks” in my decision making.

Keep working toward your goal(s) and remember to celebrate the smaller steps along the way! The journey is part of getting to your destination.

Ideas to Help You Achieve Your Goals

Be patient, kind, but firm with yourself. If you veer from working on your goal, plan to get back on track.

Landseer dog on frozen and snow covered edge of Lake SuperiorIt is almost the end of February. How has your consistency been on working toward your new goal(s)?

Is it time to celebrate OR Do you feel defeated and disappointed?

Hooray if it is time to celebrate — and be sure to keep on working on your goals. If your feeling disappointed, consider the following:

  • Is the goal you set really important to you? If not, think about what you really want and how to go about achieving it. Revisit setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. If your original goal is important to you, keep reading for more ideas.
  • Do you need to chunk down your goal into multiple, smaller steps? If so, get busy and do it.
  • Do you need some extra support? Does your goal lend to have an accountability person or buddy who is working on a similar goal? If yes, then line up a goal buddy.
  • Do you need positive reinforcement and something to look forward to in the future? Set up a reward system for yourself. Maybe putting some money in a jar each week you achieve 80% of your weekly goals. You can then plan to treat yourself with your “earned” goal savings when you decide how to celebrate later. You could make a refrigerator chart with stickers marking your progress with a picture of the reward on your chart.
  • Do you need a motto or theme to remind yourself all your work toward your goal will pay off? Create or find your goal motto and write it on 3 x 5 cards. Post on your mirror, refrigerator, front or back door, and cabinet door. Anywhere you will see your goal motto for encouragement. You could even create a screensaver with your motto! Make your motto meaningful to you!
  • What will you receive from reaching your goal? Is it worth all the sweat, sacrifice, and work it will take to reach it. Write down ALL the benefits of accomplishing your goal. Put this list where you can see it every day.
  • Not feeling motivated? Schedule time to work on your goal. Do not let yourself “call off” on YOUR goal appointment. Show up, start your work on your goal, and before you know it you’ll be humming along toward finishing that day’s goal work. Schedule, show up, do the work, and repeat. All those appointment days will add up to progress toward your goal.
  • Be patient, kind, but firm with yourself. If you veer from working on your goal, plan to get back on track and begin to do what you need to do. Maybe you have to cut back on the time you can spend per day or week toward your goal, but you’ll still be moving forward. Life circumstances can interfere but it doesn’t mean life will always be like that.
  • Do you need to develop some new habits to support your work toward your goal? This could be a smaller goal to be achieved as part of the big goal. They say it takes 31 days of doing a new “thing” to make it a habit. If you go after a new habit, commit to it, do it every day, and write down that you did it every day for 31 days. Start over if you miss a day—not having to start over can be a big motivator!
  • Are you committed to achieving your goal? Is it so important to you that you are willing to do what it takes to accomplish it? If yes is your answer, figure out ways to consistently move toward meeting your goal and receiving the rewards it will bring you. Hopefully, the above suggestions will help you harness your efforts. Consistency in working on your goal is the key to conquering the challenge of achieving your goal. Remember, schedule-show up-do the work-repeat.

Make Consistency Your New Year’s Goal

Remember that racking up daily short term successes can result in long-term results. Consistency is key!

Picture of white and black Newfoundland dog looking up.Looking forward to 2018? Well it’s that time of year again. Most folks set their resolutions or goals for the new year. Losing weight, eating healthier, going to the gym, taking a class, and doing something on the “bucket list” are often popular targets. Usually we’re picking something we want to improve to make our life better. No matter what we pick to start or stop — consistency is key.

Let me interject one point here—before consistently working toward that goal, it is important to set a “good” goal. We can use the SMART acronym (see note below) to set up for success.

S   – specific
M – measurable
A   – attainable
R   – realistic
T   – time based

Eating healthier is a good goal. Will this general of a goal be met and can it be measured? No to both. How about eating one salad every day for two months? It is specific, measurable, and time based, but is it doable and realistic? It is doable but possibly not realistic. It would depend on one’s schedule and lifestyle. Let’s change the goal to eating 3 salads a week for 1 month. Is that better? What about eating 2 servings of fruits/vegetables 5 times a week for a month? The specific goal can be tweaked to compliment one’s goals, schedule, and lifestyle. Plan for success without making it too easy or too difficult. Next, evaluate what to do based on how much of the goal was reached.

Once a “good” goal is decided, planning step by step how to reach it is important. Having the healthy foods on hand to eat is one step. Preparing and cooking foods ahead is another step. Remember that racking up daily short term successes can result in long-term results. Consistency means doing something in a regularly scheduled way.

When consistently working toward a goal, it is not easy to see results on a daily basis. Results are often seen after weeks of consistent investment toward reaching that goal. All of the hard work, overcoming obstacles, and many times of getting back on track are worth it for the results that can be achieved. Consistency is key!

Note: According to Wikipedia, George Doran first used the SMART acronym. Doran, G. T. (1981). “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives”. Management Review. AMA FORUM. 70 (11): 35–36.