By Lori Hanson
It’s the start of a New Year, a time when many people strive to find the motivation to accomplish something new, or perhaps something they didn’t get done last year. With a heave-ho to get them jump started toward the new goal, all is set to conquer the task.
Most common at this time of year are stopping things or starting things. Dropping old habits and creating new ones such as:
- Lose weight
- Get healthier
- Stop smoking
- Start working out
- Stop drinking
- Start eating better
- Watch less TV
- Read one book a month
In the beginning it may be hard as you adapt to the new schedule, but as time passes and the newness of why you want to make these changes lessens it can be harder to stay on track.
Here are four key strategies for keeping you motivated and inspired on a daily basis.
1. Set clearly defined goals
In order to attain them, you’ll need to be clear and precise about what it is you want to accomplish. Set a date for when you want to achieve your goal. “I want to lose weight,” isn’t very clearly defined. But “I will lose twenty pounds by March 31, 2013,” is a lot easier to measure and drive to.
2. Create a list of reasons why you want to achieve your goal
We are motivated by the payoff. We do things because of the pleasure, or the avoidance and numbing out it brings us. In order to get really excited about your goal and stay inspired you need to be clear on how the end result will benefit you. And it needs to be something that really makes you feel good. If your goal is to get a new job this year, create a list of all the benefits it could provide for you. This will also help you weed out the jobs that aren’t right for you. Here’s a few possible benefits:
- More money
- Better boss
- Shorter commute
- More vacation time
- More time with family
- Less stress
- Better quality of life
3. Understand the process
As you pursue achievement of your goal, you will discover bends and curves in the road ahead. The more you focus on your goal you will begin to see things that can be viewed as obstacles and you may feel stuck. However, by understanding that part of the process of reaching a goal is getting to the obstacles and learning how to navigate around them, over them or under them you will soon see that everything that happens is there for your benefit. Every thing that happens is there to:
- Give you insight along the path
- To point you in a different direction
- To push you to seek out advice when you feel stuck
- Give you what need at exactly the time when you need it
Setting and reaching your goals is a process of growth.
4. Surround yourself by things that inspire you
Depending on what your goal is, keep quotes, videos and audios close by so you can use them whenever you need a boost. Watch or read biographies of other people who succeeded at reaching big goals and observe the pattern—the common message.
Keep audios in your car and listen to them vs. the radio when you drive. The more you focus on your goal, the sooner you will reach it. Take classes or seminars; learn all you can about your new goal and how to pursue it. The more you learn, the more you’ll be inspired.
Above all, don’t be easily deterred from your path. It’s easy to quit, it’s empowering to win and you’ll feel phenomenal when you reach your goal.
Lori Hanson is a motivational speaker, award-winning author and personal coach. Her goal is to inspire you to connect with your passion, live in the moment and create balance in your life. Learn more