Keeping Motivated when you’re struggling

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. – Henry Ford After being motivated initially, there comes the second part – staying motivated when you don’t feel the same excitement as you did in the beginning. Perhaps something new has come into your life and your old goal isn’t as much of a priorityanymore. Perhaps you skipped a day or two and now you can’t get back into it. Perhaps you screwed up and got discouraged.

If you can get yourself excited again, and keep going, you’ll get there eventually. But if you give up, you won’t. It’s your choice — accomplish the goal, or quit. Here’s how you can stop from quitting, and get to your goal.

1:Hold yourself back. When you start any new goal really, usually you’re raring to go, full of excitement, and with enthusiasm that knows no boundaries. You have no sense of self-limitation and think you can do anything. It’s not long, however, before you do learn that you have limitations, and your enthusiasm begins to wane. A great motivator is that when you have so much energy at the beginning of a program, and want to go all out — hold back. Don’t let yourself do everything you want to do. Only let yourself do 50-75 percent of what you want to do. And plan out a course of action where you slowly increase over time. For example:

If you want to go running, you might think you can run 3 miles at first. But instead of letting yourself do that, start by only running a mile. When you’re doing that mile, tell yourself that you can do more! But don’t let yourself. After that workout, you’ll be looking forward to the next workout, when you’ll let yourself do 1.5 miles. Keep that energy reined in, harness it, so that you can ride it even further.

2: Just start. There are some days when you don’t feel like heading out the door for a run, or figuring out your budget, or whatever it is you’re supposed to do that day for your goal. Well, instead of thinking about how hard it is, and how long it will take, tell yourself that you just have to start. For example, just put on your running shoes and close the door behind you. After that, it all flows naturally. It’s when you’re sitting in your house, thinking about running and feeling tired, that it seems hard. Once you start, it is never as hard as you thought it would be. This tip works well every time.

3: Stay accountable. If you’ve committed yourself publicly, through an online forum (try wikiHow’s Chat Forum!), on a blog, in email, or in person, stay accountable to that group of people. Commit to report back to them daily, or something like that, and stick to it! That accountability will help you to want to do well, because you don’t want to report that you’ve failed.

Consider even drastic measures of accountability. Give someone a sum of money and they can only give it back little by little every time you hit the gym, or for every pound lost, or every mile run. You can even draw up a contract

4: Squash negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. This is one of the most important motivation skills, and it is important to practice it daily. It’s important to start monitoring your thoughts, and to recognize negative self-talk. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If that wimp on TV can do it, so can I!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really.

5: Think about the benefits. Thinking about how hard something is is a big problem for most people. Waking early sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how hard it is to wake early, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how your day will be so much better. The benefits of something will help energize you


1 thought on “Keeping Motivated when you’re struggling

  1. Pingback: Obstacle 65: Materialism | CEO Blog

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