Motivate Yourself to Success
Guest post by Jake Geary
Let’s talk goals and motivation. The famous Zig Ziglar said, “Motivation is like showering. The effects are not long term – but that’s why it’s recommend that you do it daily”. Motivation is what drives us to achieve our goals. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning. What do you do with that motivation? Do you harness it and use it to achieve your goals? Many people start training (or any other activity) with enough motivation to take over the world, but maintaining that motivation is what most of us struggle with. The question is: how do you stay motivated?
Motivation starts with goal setting. What do you want to achieve (specifically) and why? You know you want to do something, now you must work to define it. Determining a goal that is important to you is essential in maintaining motivation. Do you want to drop a few pounds or surpass a personal best? Maybe you want to decrease a health risk, or get off medication. Maybe you just want to get active and exercise a few times per week. Whatever it is, goals give us direction and allow us to obtain feedback as to where we are on the path towards success.
Continual evaluation of our progress keeps us on track. For example, if someone wants to lose 30 pounds in three months, we know they need to lose 10 pounds per month. We can break this down even further to around 2.5 pounds per week. If we check in on a weekly basis we know if we are making adequate progress. If we aren’t, we need to evaluate the situation and determine what needs to change to get back on pace. If we are, we know we have a little wiggle room moving forward.
Breaking up our big goals into smaller achievable ones makes it easier to feel successful and thus maintain motivation. Imagine you have a goal of climbing Mt. Everest. When we look at the mountain in its entirety, it can be very daunting. In this situation, it would be good to break the mountain climb into smaller goals. Maybe we look at it in 15 foot increments. Thinking about climbing 15 feet is very doable. It is important to feel confident with your ability to achieve success. Seeing success is key in maintaining motivation.
Motivation comes in many different forms. Some individuals like a challenge while others need encouragement. You probably know that person who loves to be told what they can’t do. They look at this as a challenge and will do whatever it takes to prove that person wrong. Other individuals want to be lifted up while they struggle. They fight to prove you are right in that they will succeed. In both situations, the individual has motivation. You must find out what your personal motivation style is and let those who will be helping you achieve your goals know. We do find that positive motivation typically works better at helping individuals achieve their goals. It helps to have someone in your corner rooting for you instead of constantly challenging you.
Staying motivated is about setting goals that are important to you, checking your progress frequently, breaking up big goals into smaller achievable ones, and finding what type of motivation inspires you. So the question is: now that you have the motivation, what are you going to achieve?