So, you set a goal and you’re ready to make it happen. Then something comes up at work. And the dog has to go to the vet. Those cupcakes on the counter call your name. Once you commit to making changes and working toward goals, do you find yourself facing unexpected challenges? The stress of daily life can definitely throw you off balance, and it can be hard to break old routines. If you’re struggling with how to stay motivated and not give up, keep reading for some tips on how to find the motivation to keep going and achieve your goals.
I’m here to support you on your health and wellness journey. I know how hard it can be to make big changes sometimes, especially if you’re going through a difficult time or simply experiencing a busy life. Below are my four go-to steps to get back on track when I need to regain my motivation.
In the midst of the everyday fray, it’s easy to get sidetracked and let stress overwhelm you. First, take a minute to come to the present moment and find stillness. Take a few deep breaths and then follow these steps to figure out how to stay motivated and not give up.
Those who know me know that I am all about the “why.” If you can’t answer why something is happening, then you can’t possibly commit to a solution. What motivates you? What led you to set your goal in the first place? Reminding yourself of your “why” can help you stay on track. If you haven’t already, be sure that you write down your goals so that you can easily review them regularly and especially in moments when your motivation levels waiver. You may also want to write down the intention, your “why,” behind your goal and post it somewhere you will see it. Or, find pictures that represent why you want to reach your goal and post them.
One of my favorite lines from a movie (Batman Begins, 2005) is: Alfred asks Bruce Wayne, “Why do we fall, sir?” And the answer is, “So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” Bottom line? Successful people fall down all of the time—we all do! The difference? Those who are successful get back up. Acknowledge that you will have ups and downs, that some days will go more smoothly than others. But don’t quit. Have a contingency plan. If you are continuing to struggle to meet short-term goals on the way to your long-term goals, you may want to stop and reevaluate your goal and your intentions. Are you sabotaging yourself? If so, why?
You may find it helpful to keep a journal as you work toward your goal so you can check in with yourself along the way. Keep going. Change happens a little bit each day over time. Show up every day and surprise yourself with the results.
Remove any obstacles to reaching your goal. Make changes in your environment and routine that will encourage your success. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, you may want to keep your gym clothes in the car so that you can easily go to the gym on the way home.
If you’re trying to eat healthier, don’t keep any tempting foods that will derail you at home. Try having an “accountability buddy”—tell a friend about your goal and ask them to check in with you periodically. Ideally, you and your friend can do this for each other.
Here’s a personal example of how I made some changes to my routine and environment to stay on track with a goal. One of my goals many years ago was to actually remember to take my vitamins and herbs every day. I would always forget, and, as a result, I didn’t feel great. So, I put them by my bed, right next to my evening reading materials and water. I never miss them now! I realized that leaving them on the kitchen counter wasn’t working, so I switched it up. And now, it’s a successful regimen!
You may have many moments when you will wonder how to stay motivated and not give up. Remember that you’re making changes and change can often be a challenge. Practice self-love and self-care by being kind to yourself. Perhaps use affirmations or reward yourself when you meet certain milestones. Allow yourself to have a day off or rest when you need it. And if you have an off day, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, treat yourself like you would treat a friend—with compassion and kindness. Remind yourself that sometimes we fall down and that’s OK. Just get back up.