INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
~ Henry Ford
8 WAYS TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF
Ive found that its important to start out with the right motivation, because a good start can build momentum that you can sustain for a long time. If you start out right, you have a much better chance of succeeding. Here are some tips for starting out:
Start small. Ive said this before, but thats because its one of the most important tips in motivating yourself toward a goal. Dont start out big! Start out with a ridiculously easy goal, and then grow from there. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. Its so easy, you cant fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once youve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, youll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Dont think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. Thats all. Once youve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps.
One goal. Too many people start with too many goals at once, and try to do too much. And it saps energy and motivation. Its probably the most common mistake that people make. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. Its not possible Ive tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, thats hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when youve accomplished your One Goal.
Examine your motivation. Know your reasons. Give them some thought and write them down. If you have loved ones, and you are doing it for them, that is more powerful than just doing it for self-interest. Doing it for yourself is good too, but you should do it for something that you REALLY REALLY want to happen, for really good reasons.
Really, really want it. This is essentially the same as the above tip, but I want to emphasize it: its not enough to think it would be cool to achieve something. It has to be something youre passionate about, something youre super excited about, something you want deeply. Make sure that your goal meets these criteria, or you wont stick with it for long.
Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something weve said publicly. For example, when I wanted to run my first marathon, I started writing a column about it in my local daily newspaper. The entire island of Guam (pop. 160K) knew about my goal. I couldnt back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it. Now, you dont have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you have one. And hold yourself accountable dont just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.
Get excited. Well, it starts with inspiration from others (see above), but you have to take that excitement and build on it. For me, Ive learned that by talking to my wife about it, and to others, and reading as much about it as possible, and visualizing what it would be like to be successful (seeing the benefits of the goal in my head), I get excited about a goal. Once Ive done that, its just a matter of carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.
Build anticipation. This will sound hard, and many people will skip this tip. But it really works. It helped me quit smoking after many failed attempts. If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, dont start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. Thats a mistake. Set a date in the future a week or two, or even a month and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. Because by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.
Print it out, post it up. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (Exercise 15 mins. Daily), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.
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