Sometimes we lack motivation. Even thinking about motivation and making positive change can be difficult. Taking small steps can be the way forward. Taking one step at a time can bring about significant change.
Getting started can be so hard. External influences may influence being de-motivated, or changed circumstances may be getting in the way.
Here are 12 motivational tips that others have found helpful when they have applied them.
1. Have a Goal. Sometimes we have too much going on in our lives. If you are doing too much it will sap your energy and motivation. You cannot maintain energy and focus if you have more than one goal. Conversely, your issue may be too much space and no goal.
2. Start small. Don’t start with big ideas – do small steps that are realistic. For instance: if you want to improve your fitness start with 2 minutes of exercise. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Then increase it to 5 minutes for a week and so on. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20 minutes.
3. Build on small successes. You can’t fail if you start with something easy. When you feel successful, you’ll feel good about yourself. Take a small step and then add one more small step. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress and a lot of success.
4. Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. Often we focus on what is hard. Where we put our focus is where our attention is. Acknowledge how hard it is, but move back to thinking about the benefits and your goal. The benefits of something will help energise you. Replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Learn to recognise negative self-talk, acknowledge it and distract yourself from it. Replace it with positive thoughts.
5. Print your goal. Make your goal just a few words long, and post it up on your wall or fridge. This will help keep your focus and keep your excitement up. Maybe you will find, or you can draw, a picture of your goal. Attach it to your fridge or computer or other conspicuous place.
6. Think about your goal daily. Give thanks for the ‘goal’ whether you ‘feel’ like it or not. Commit to doing one small thing towards your goal (even just 3 minutes) every day.
7. Build expectation and anticipation. This may sound hard, and many people will skip this but it works. Make a Start Date, Set a date in the future - mark it on the calendar. Work towards this by writing out a plan. Build anticipation, and increase your focus and energy for your goal.
8. Get support. It’s hard to accomplish something alone. We are built to be in relationship, so build a support team. Talk about your goal with your partner or trusted friends. Allow them to help you tease it out and get excited. Visualise with them what it would be like to achieve your goal. Hold on to the vision and carry the energy forward and allow it to keep going.
9. Commit publicly. We all like to look good in front of friends and family. We often try harder when we have told others – you can post on Facebook or on your Blog. Be accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.
10. Find inspirational resources. You can get inspiration from blogs, books, magazines, movies, internet, YouTube, listening to or reading stories about success, etc.
11. There is a rhythm to motivation. Recognise that it comes and goes like the tide. However, while it might ebb and flow it will not disappear – keep at it and the motivation will come back.
12. Stick with it and don’t give up. Think of your goal as a journey, and your slump as a road hump. Don’t give up with every hump. Stay with it for the long term. Know that as the tide goes out so it will return. Use strategies from this ‘tool kit’, or look for others to use so you can surf the wave and get there.
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