Motivation is one of the most important factors for success in humans. Why would some people be more motivated than others at work or in their life in general? What are the habits that boost our daily motivation? What makes it easier and faster for us to reach our goals by adopting new habits?
Achieving goals is not related to having “discipline”. It’s more about motivating yourself and staying focused on your goal. Follow these habits every day, or any combination of habits that works the best for you, and you should have the motivation and focus you need.
# 1: Trace Your Progress
Recently, I created a chart to track my progress toward each of my goals. This chart is not just for informational purposes, or to allow me to look back and see how I’m doing. It motivates me to stick to my goals. If I apply and check my chart every day, and score points (I have succeeded) or crosses (I have failed), then I want to be sure to fill it with points. I’ll think “I’ll do better today if I want to score a point.” Well, it’s a small motivation, but it helps, believe me. Some people prefer to put golden stars. Others have a workout journal, which works just great as well. No matter how you do it, track your progress, and give yourself some pride every time you give yourself a plus point. Well, you might have some bad marks on your board. It’s OK. Do not let some bad marks stop your progression. Instead, stick to having good marks next time.
# 2: Use your personal breaks
When I start a new exercise program or any other goal, I want to start a quarter turn. I am excited, and my enthusiasm knows no bounds. Just like my sense of limitations. I think I can do everything. It does not take much time before I learn that I have limits, and my motivation begins to fade. Well, a big motivator I learned is that when you have so much energy at the beginning of a program and want to go everywhere – USE YOUR PERSONAL BREAKS. Do not be fooled by anything you want. Do only 50-75% of what you want to do. And prepare a plan of action where you will slowly increase what you do over time. For example, if I want to go running, I can think that I can run 5 miles to start. But instead of letting myself do that, I start running only 1 mile and a half. When I did it, I told myself that I can do even more! But I do not let myself follow my ego. After each session, I prepare for the next, where I will allow myself to run for 2 extra miles.
# 3: Join an online group to help you stay focused and motivated
When I first started running more than a year ago, I joined a few different forums, at different times, on different sites, such as Running, Jogging International, and Passion Running. I did the same thing when I quit smoking.
Every time I registered on a forum, it helped me stay on track. Not only did I meet a lot of people who were experiencing the same things as me, or had already lived them, but I could also report to them my progress (and failures) as I progressed. They were there to give me great advice, encouragement, and help me keep going when I wanted to quit.
# 4: Place an image of your goal in a visible place – near your desk or on the fridge
Visualize your goal, exactly as you think it will be when you finish, whether it’s a financial goal or an emotional one; like taking a trip to the Maldives or building the house of your dreams, or physical goals like running a marathon or having a flat stomach, it is an excellent motivator and one of the best ways to update your goals.
Find a magazine photo or an online image and hang it somewhere where you can see it not only daily, but every hour if possible. Set it as wallpaper on your desktop, or on your browser’s home page. Use the power of your visual senses to help you stay focused on your goal. Because this focus is what will keep you motivated in the long run – once you lose focus, you lose motivation, so having something that helps you keep your focus on your goal will also help keep you motivated.
# 5: Find a partner or a friend who has the same purpose
Staying motivated by yourself is difficult. But if you find someone with similar goals (running, dieting, finances, etc.), see if he or she would like to partner up with you. Or associate with your spouse, siblings or best friends on whatever goal they are trying to reach. You do not have to want to achieve the same goal – as long as you push and encourage each other for everyone to succeed.
# 6: Just start
There are days when you just do not feel able to open the door and go out for a run, run through your financial budget, or do anything that you are supposed to do today for your goal. Well, instead of thinking about how difficult it is, and how long it will take, tell you that you just have to start.
I have a rule (which is not original) that makes me just want to put on my running shoes and close the door behind me. After that, everything flows naturally. It’s when I’m sitting in my house, thinking about running and feeling tired, that it seems difficult. Once you have started, it’s never as difficult as you would have thought it would be. This trick works for me all the time.
# 7: Make it a pleasure
One of the reasons we can postpone something that helps us move towards our goal, such as physical exercise, is because it seems like hard work. Well, that may be true, but the key is to find a way to make it fun or enjoyable. If your goal becomes a treat, you will want it and continue to do it. And it’s a good thing.
If you choose to follow these habits to motivate yourself, you will get the best results for sure. I have lost 30 pounds of fat in just 5 months thanks to these habits that keep me motivated! And if you want to know a secret, I never thought I could do it. The key is to start doing what you are aiming at and you will get there through love, commitment, devotion and never giving up.