6 Ways to Stick To Your Goals:
Most of us (about 70 percent) who have made New Year’s resolutions, by February 15th, have also abandoned them. Why? Where has our motivation gone? What causes our goals to go up in smoke in just a few short weeks? What if anything, can we do about it?
The good news is, there is something you can do about it. Here are 6 fool-proof ways to stick to your goals:
1. Define your ‘Why’
You can’t always rely on external factors to motivate you. Defining your ‘Why’ do you want to achieve this goal will give you a personal or emotional investment in it. Write down your ‘Why’ on a sticky note (I write mine on the bathroom mirror), and write it down daily.
There are two kinds of motivation that you need to think about when defining your ‘Why’:
Intrinsic motivation involves doing something because it’s personally rewarding to you and is driven by different interests, feelings, goals, or needs.
Here are some examples of intrinsic motivation:
– Exercising because you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the workout
– Eating a healthy snack because it makes you feel better about yourself
– Cleaning your house because it helps you feel organized
Extrinsic motivation comes from the outside environment and involves doing something because you want to earn a reward, recognition, appreciation or praise. This kind of motivation can also help to increase intrinsic motivation.S
Some examples of extrinsic motivation are:
– Exercising to lose weight so people will tell you that you look good
– Cleaning your house to get ready for friends coming over
– Going on a diet because your doctor says that you’re pre-diabetic
Both forms of motivation are equally important. Find out why you are motivated for both.
2. Set S.M.A.R.T goals
When you set a goal, in order for you to be successful, you have to be S.M.A.R.T.
Your goal needs to be:
Specific: What specifically are you trying to achieve? An example of this would be, “I will walk 30-45 minutes every morning before work.”
Measurable: Exercising 4 days a week to lose 20 pounds is measurable. Being happy isn’t a measurable goal.
Action-Oriented: What are your daily to-do’s to reach your goal?
Realistic: Is it challenging, but not too difficult?
Time-Bound: Use specific dates for reaching your goal and realistic time frames.
3. Speak nicely to yourself
Did you know that 70% of what we say to ourselves is negative. That means, we probably speak kinder to a stranger than we do to ourselves. Negative self-talk leads to discouragement and makes us feel insecure about our abilities to success. What we need instead is a positive mindset, paying attention to how we talk to ourselves in our heads. Start my recognizing when you do something that brings you a step closer to your goal (no matter how small) and tell yourself that you’re doing a great job! This leads to a greater ability to stay motivated.
4. Move every day
Whether your goal has anything to do with exercise or not, it is still important to move your body daily. Exercise and physical activity in general produces endorphins that help us feel good about reaching our goals. More endorphins create less stress, and the less stress we have, the better we feel. When we are feeling happier and more positive about our lives, it becomes much easier to stay motivated.
Moving every day goes beyond exercise and actual movement. It can also include taking one step closer to your goal, no matter how small. This will create momentum and momentum with get you to your goal.
“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” — Confucius
5. Eat healthy foods
A healthy diet effects not only our physical health, but also our mental health, a key factor in reaching our goals. Certain foods can improve your mental health by improving your gut health, which directly impacts your brain’s functions. Complex carbs, healthy fats, lean proteins, pre/probiotics all play a part in a healthy brain and a healthy brain is a more motivated one.
6. Find your “Accountability Buddy”
When you share your goal with someone else, you immediately become more committed to the goal and more motivated to achieve it. You become responsible for keeping up your end of the bargain and to move closer to your goal. Whether it’s a friend, a health coach or your sister, they are joining you in your journey and creating accountability for you to have a better change of accomplishing your goal.
Although it’s not easy to stick to our resolutions or goals, it’s not impossible to stay motivated and actually achieve them. So when your motivation wains, which it will, don’t quit. You’re just getting started. Keep going and prove to yourself that you can do it and feel amazing when you reach your goal.