It’s a new year!!! 2012 here we come! Time for resolutions that people won’t keep. Promises that won’t be kept. Motivation that won’t last…or will this year be different? Like most people, every year on January 1 I would set my resolution. Usually it would be in the category of losing weight and eating healthier. I’d get a week or two (on a good year it might be a month) into the new year and then my motivation would dwindle and I’d be right back to all my old habits. So how do we make this year different? How do we stay motivated enough to stick to these goals and accomplish the things that we really want to accomplish? Well I found this quote recently and absolutely love it:
Of course! You can’t just make a resolution at the beginning of the year and expect that motivation to last you throughout the year. We have to keep that motivation going. Seek out your motivation daily!
So what are some things you can do throughout the year to keep up that motivation? Here are a few of the things that have kept me motivated the last few months and that I plan on using the rest of the year:
Find a friend with similar goals. This is one of my biggest motivational tools. It’s hard for me to slack when I know that my partner in crime is working her butt off and getting closer to her goals. Try to find someone who you are accountable to and is as dedicated to their goals as you are. Push each other, encourage each other. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have someone in your corner through the journey.
Focus on your “why”. If you don’t know why exactly you want to reach your goal then it’s hard to stay focused enough to keep reaching for it. It’s easy enough to say “I want to lose weight” but WHY do you want to lose weight? To fit in those skinny jeans? To look better in that bikini you are going to wear on vacation? Because your doctor told you to? To have more energy to run around with your kids? Whatever your why, just make sure you keep focused on that throughout the year.
Some people like to create vision boards. I love this idea and although I’ve never actually got my butt in gear enough to do one the old-fashioned way, I like to use Pinterest to create my own online vision board of sorts. Through Pinterest I’ve found tons of motivational quotes, ideas, exercises. I’ve then used those to create a motivational pinboard that I go back to often. But be careful…this site is highly addictive!!
Set short-term and long-term goals. Many times when I set a goal I tend to reach a little too far. And although these goals may be worth it in the end, it’s hard to keep motivating myself when it takes SO long to reach that goal. So I’ve started setting both short-term and long-term goals.
For example, my long-term running goal was to be able to run 10K. My short-term goal was to be able to run for 20 minutes without stopping. Well although it may take me a little while to make my 10K goal I have already reached my goal of running for 20 minutes straight! The satisfaction of reaching that short-term goal was so awesome that it’s boosted my excitement and motivation to keep going towards my next goal.
Keep track of your progress. As I mentioned in my post Competing With Myself I think tracking your progress is an important tool to help you stay motivated. Because our changes are usually a gradual process it’s sometimes hard to notice these subtle changes that we are constantly making. But when you have something to look back on to see where you began and how far you’ve come it can be extremely motivating. You start to realize that yes, these small (or large) changes you are making are actually moving you towards your goal. It IS making a difference and there really IS a reason you are doing what you are doing.
Keep a positive attitude. Not only is staying positive a goal of mine this year, but I also think it’s a crucial part of keeping any goal that I have! Don’t listen to the nay-sayers. Whether they come from outside sources or from your own head. Just keep your goals in mind and always keep things in perspective. If you have negative people in your life that are bringing you down, you might want to rethink having those people in your life! If you are sick of logging on Facebook and seeing post after post of negativity from certain people you have a few choices: stop going on Facebook, unsubscribe from their updates, delete them from Facebook! If you are feeling sorry for yourself every day because of the circumstances you are in either change your circumstances or change your attitude. You may not be able to control your situation but you can most definitely change your attitude. In fact, I think that is one of my biggest takeaways from 2011.
The chances of us going through a whole year perfectly following our resolution are pretty slim. Life isn’t perfect. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep trying. Don’t look at the small setbacks as failure. It’s just a bump in the road. Every day is a new beginning. Let’s use this new year as a fresh start. Set your goals, focus on your why and get your daily motivation so that 2012 can be different! This is your life, make the most of it!
What are your resolutions this year? How are you going to keep your motivation up in 2012?