Taking the first step toward reaching your goal is hard, but staying on that path can be even harder from time to time. Falling off the wagon due to exhaustion, apathy, and other factors can deter you from your path. That’s why it is so important to stay motivated and dedicated. So, the question is how do you stay motivated?
I catch myself drifting from my goals sometimes. Just like everyone else, I get stuck so I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me.
Learn to take breaks instead of quitting
When I start a new job, I become overly ambitious and put in 110% for the first couple of months. I’ll come in a little early or stay late, eat lunch at my desk, and do whatever else it takes to show just how right for the job I am. People would compliment my work-ethic and that made me feel good about myself. But I couldn’t keep going with that much energy after a while. So eventually, I would get tired and give up on my goals or loose interest. It got harder for me to finish assignments and I stopped enjoying my work.
I never really realized the importance of taking a break. Every now and then, I take personal days and really plan them out. I would check off as many items from my to-do list as I can. Just last Thursday, I picked up my dry-cleaning, made two doctor’s appointments I’ve been holding off on, stopped at the bank, and even got my nails done all in time to head home early to make myself dinner before heading to bed early and catching up on my favorite show. I felt so relaxed and didn’t even have that “I don’t want to go to work tomorrow” feeling. In fact, I was ready for work the next day.
Learn to reward yourself for reaching short-term goals
Every time I started my weight-loss journey, I would make a small amount of progress. The second I felt myself making progress, I would take some time off from the gym or celebrate with junk food, skipping the gym to go out with friends, and other bad habits. This ended with vicious cycle of me not going back to the gym for a couple months and usually gaining the weight back, which just reversed all the progress I made.
Instead, I recently learned to make short-term goals that help me reach my long term goals. I went down one dress size, and took about a week off. I went to a movie on a weekday, stayed in one night, and went to dinner with a friend another night. I even ordered a pizza one night. Then, I forced myself to get right back into it come Monday by telling myself I have another goal to make and reminding myself of my ultimate long term goal. I knew I didn’t want to get back into that unhealthy cycle so I let myself enjoy the progress I made and kept a promise to myself so I could keep going.
“Don’t settle for winning the battle, aim to win the war.”
What are some tips you use to stay motivated?