Motivation Is Key – Keep Your WHY Front and Centre

Motivation Is Key – Keep Your WHY Front and Centre

I’ve briefly touched upon the concept of knowing your why when it comes to goal setting and resolutions. This idea is the reason you want to accomplish a certain thing to begin with. It’s the purpose that will drive you to achieve it, during both good times and bad. Especially during periods of struggle or when the going gets tough, keeping your why front and center will provide you with the motivation you need to keep going when what you really may want is to give up. Allow me to expand upon what the why means and its importance so that you can return to this important concept again and again when you need it most.

About Your Why

Your why should be very personal to you. It’s the reason for why you, specifically, wish to accomplish a goal. It’s imperative that this reason be meaningful to you, rather than something pushed upon you by an outside force. What someone else wants for you or what you think you should want isn’t significant enough to sustain your why. This driving force needs to be something that can outlast any challenges. For instance, deciding to lose weight is something most of us have declared as a resolution. If we want to be successful in that pursuit, we need to understand just why it’s important to us. Reminding yourself regularly that your independence, your energy levels and your loved ones are the reasons you want to shed pounds will keep you going during the hard times.

Finding Your Why

Finding your why and deciding upon it is an activity that will take some time and dedication. Set aside a quiet moment for this exercise. Return to it if necessary. This isn’t something that must happen all at once. To begin, start with just one goal. Write it down. Make sure it’s measurable and that it has an end point. Next, brainstorm your motivations for wanting to achieve that goal. Jot them down. Try to come up with at least three strong reasons for why this accomplishment is important to you. Decide which of the items on your list resonate most with you. Revise your reasons so that they’re in order of importance. You can then set the list aside. Make sure it’s accessible. You’ll need to return to it again and again when you find yourself struggling.

Keeping It Central

You and I both know that we’re apt to fail when the important things begin to slip our mind. That’s why it’s so important to keep your why at the forefront of your resolutions. There are lots of little tricks you can employ to make it easier to remember your why. If you enjoy writing, keep a journal. Write down your personal reasons for wanting a dream to come true. Expand upon its importance. Imagine what it will be like when you achieve your goal. Place post-it notes where you can see them, as visual reminders of that thing you want most. Spend time with like-minded folks who are trying to achieve the same thing. You can motivate each other and hold yourselves accountable to one another.

You now know more about what the purpose of understanding your why is. I hope you’re ready to declare your very own why and to use it to guide your resolutions.

Don’t Go It Alone – The Value Of A Support System

Don’t Go It Alone – The Value Of A Support System

The old adage, “no man is an island,” certainly rings true when it comes to setting goals. Even the most strong and independent people can benefit from a bit of help along the path to success. Having a person or a tribe to lean on can make the tough journey seem so much easier to bear. Let me share some of the reasons a support system can be so valuable to your success. Then you can decide just what type of assistance you may need and who should make up your cheerleading squad.

Motivation

Having even one person to cheer you along can make a world of difference to your outlook. When you’re feeling down, those words of encouragement are both motivational and encouraging. Having someone say they believe in you is a powerful thing, especially when your belief in yourself is dwindling. Connection and support are basic human needs, particularly during times of change or struggle.

Encouragement

Yep, it’s in the name. Support and encouragement are crucial to achieving your goals. Without support, your successes can be really lonely or hollow. Sharing both your achievements and your challenges with someone provides you with a sounding board of encouragement that makes it easier to move onto the next hurdle or goal post.

Information

Sometimes a support system can actually be a source of practical information you need to help you reach your destination. Seek out experts, coaches, knowledgeable friends or others who can answer the tough questions for you and provide you with the resources you need to complete your task. Even if it’s possible for you to find the answers on your own, getting help from those who know can make more sense and greatly improve your chances of success.

Accountability

We’ve touched on this aspect before. It’s an important one, so let’s address it once more. Having a support system can help to motivate you. They can also provide you with the accountability you need to succeed. Asking a close friend, mentor or even a professional coach to serve as your accountability partner can increase your odds of accomplishing your goal because it forces you to check in and to be aware of your progress.

Compassion

Finally, a support system provides you with much-needed compassion. These people give you a safe place to land when you’re feeling discouraged. They’ll listen with empathy when you struggle. You can lean on them and know they won’t judge you. Experiencing compassion from others when you’re struggling lets you know you’re not alone and takes a bit of the burden off your shoulders.

Now do you see why it’s so important to find your tribe when you’re working toward a goal? Your support system can make that space between what’s possible and impossible seem much smaller. There’s no need to go it alone.

Habits and Routines Can Help You Achieve Your Dreams

Habits and Routines Can Help You Achieve Your Dreams

Willpower alone will only take you so far. When it fades, habits and routines can help you stick to the changes you’re making. That’s why it’s important to change your mindset when it comes to resolutions. Instead of viewing this time as making a big change, it might help you to look at it as simply adjusting and adding new habits to your routine. Once something becomes a regular practice, it’s much easier to continue doing it. With repetition comes real change. Let’s examine how habits and routines can help you stick to your resolutions.

1. Make It Automatic

The biggest benefit about focusing on creating habits instead of simply setting a resolution is that habits become automatic once they’re practiced enough. If you make a plan and set a strategic goal to add something like going to the gym three times a week to your life, it will likely soon become something you no longer have to think about. Your body will crave that workout time, and you’ll miss it if you skip a scheduled day.

2. Improve Decision-Making

When you start to implement habits and routines into the pursuit of your goal, you’re actually making things a lot easier on your brain. You don’t have to stress out about decision-making because you’ll already know what you’re planning to do. At least for the most part. Habits generally follow a similar pattern each time. It’s comforting to rely on that and to know that you won’t have to struggle so much to make the decision that’s right for you.

3. Increased Pride

Once the small changes you’re putting in place become routine, you’ll begin to complete them with ease. Before these things became habit, they probably seemed intimidating or out-of-reach. Now that you’re accomplishing them on a regular basis, you can definitely feel proud of yourself. That sense of accomplishment and pride will help carry you through to the next goal.

4. Gain Willpower

Willpower is the elusive concept that allows you to overcome temptation and stick with your resolutions even when they’re hard. Once you start turning small changes into habits, you’ll start to notice you experience less resistance to actually doing these new things. When you’re faced with temptation like that birthday cake at the office, it will be easier to decline because you’ve gotten used to eating less sugar. So, no, willpower alone isn’t enough to overcome temptation. However, combined with the implementation of small habits, your willpower can definitely be increased.

These are some of the ways that habits and routines can help to boost the potential of your resolutions being successful. Hopefully, you now see the benefits of adding strategic, small changes to your life so that they can become automatic. Each small step leads to big transformation.

Are You Setting SMART Goals?

Are You Setting SMART Goals?

I’m so excited to talk to you about today’s concept. It’s a big one. If you’re not familiar with it, this approach might just change your idea of goal setting. Resolutions can seem like such abstract things. Sure, we all want to do better for ourselves and make changes that will lead to self-improvements. Sometimes, though, these wishes end up fizzling and being all talk, with no action. Setting SMART goals can put an end to this pattern. Let me show you what this acronym stands for and how you can put it into practice.

Specific

We’ve talked about this already. Being specific is essential for goal success. Let’s go a little further and talk about what goes into setting specific goals. Answering some questions can ensure you’re writing goals that are anything but wishy washy. Include such aspects as “what”, “why”, “when” and “how” into your goal, and you’re sure to create something specific.

Measurable

The next letter in our acronym stands for “measurable.” This means that you should be able to somehow obtain concrete evidence that you’re making progress toward your goal and that you’ll know when you’ve finally reached it.

Achievable

Your goal must be able to be attained. Sure, a challenge is great and no goal should be so easy that you don’t feel at all stretched beyond your comfort zone. However, taking time to make sure you have the ability, knowledge and resources to accomplish your goal is essential to sticking with it. Impossible goals aren’t very motivating.

Relevant

This part of setting your SMART goal involves making sure your aspiration is something that is meaningful to you. If it’s not relevant to your life, it won’t matter much to you whether you can accomplish it. Meaningless goals are destined to fail. There are lots of reasons you may fall into the trap of creating such resolutions. Perhaps you feel pressured by a loved one or by society. Maybe it’s your own internal voice telling you that you “should” want something that really isn’t all that important to you. Take time to examine the reasons behind your goal to ensure it’s one worth pursuing.

Time-bound

Finally, your goal should be time-bound. What this means is that there should be an end or a way to know you’ve accomplished it. A target date or deadline gives you something to shoot for. It adds a sense of urgency to your pursuit and keeps you on track. Setting a time for completion will help in the other aspects of goal setting such as measurement and specificity.

There you have them. These are the components of what’s known as SMART goals. Hopefully, these guidelines will make setting your own intentions easier and more attainable.

 

3 Simple Tricks To Make Resolutions Stick

3 Simple Tricks To Make Resolutions Stick

Let’s take some time today to examine a few easy suggestions to help you keep your resolutions. We already know how easy it can be to set intentions without any real direction or follow through. These vague goals never seem to work out. However, there are some strategic steps you can take to help cement your goals in stone and make them a reality. In today’s post, I’ll cover three simple tips to make resolutions stick. You’ll see that it is possible to make lasting change with these actions.

1. Be Specific & Make It a Reachable Goal

It’s true. Overly vague resolutions with nothing to back them up simply won’t do. An empty statement like, “I want to get healthy,” isn’t likely to last past the first month. Adding some specifics such as a timeframe, strategies and accountability check-ins is a far better way to go about setting resolutions, whether it’s at the New Year, for your birthday or simply on a Tuesday in May. Also, be sure not to bite off more than you can chew. Your goals must be relatively realistic if they’re to have any real chance of success.

2. Find Your Motivation for The Change

Finding your “why” is something we haven’t touched on yet, but it’s an incredibly powerful and motivating concept. Your “why” is your reason for wanting to change. It’s the thing that will keep you reaching for that goal when things get hard or life gets busy and you want to give up. Wanting to get healthy so you can be the best mom for your children, have energy to play games with them and be in their lives longer is strong motivation. Use that intense desire to keep you on track and accountable.

3. Track Your Progress

Speaking of keeping on track, it’s also important that you keep track of your progress when you want to stick to your resolutions. Otherwise, how will you know if you’re making real strides or just going through the motions? If you want to lose weight, you’ll need to take regular measurements and record them. Want to save money? Keep a ledger or a spreadsheet listing the amounts you’ve socked away each week. It’s satisfying to see evidence of progress, even if it’s only a small amount. Little successes do wonders for your motivation.

These three tips may seem simple and maybe even a bit obvious, but it’s often the little things we tend to miss. Taking the time to implement these suggestions can make a big difference in the return you receive on your investment when it comes to sticking with your resolutions.

 

Combining Resolutions With Good Goals is Key To Success

Combining Resolutions With Good Goals is Key To Success

We’ve talked about the difference between goals and resolutions. This distinction is important when it comes to moving forward with our challenge. You’ve learned so far that a resolution is an idea, promise or philosophy for something you desire. Goals are the steps that will help you make that resolution a reality. A resolution is ongoing, while a goal has an endpoint. Combining resolutions with good goal setting can be the key to finding long-term success. Let’s take a look at how this combination works.

Define Your Goals

First thing’s first. You need to clearly define the goals that will support your resolution. It’s okay for your overarching resolution to be a bit abstract. For example, you may go with the standard, “I want to become healthier.” We’ve discussed how that’s kind of a vague statement and is likely to result in failure. Fortunately, you can beat the trap of breaking your resolution by supporting it with defined goals. These could include the number of pounds you’d like to lose over the next six months, the types of changes you will make in your diet and the kinds of physical activity you plan to include in your life, along with the number of times you’ll work out each week. These goals are clear and specific. You can measure them, and they have an end point. Just because they end, however, doesn’t mean they can’t be revised or added to in the future.

Make a Plan

Next, after you’ve defined your goals, it’s time to make a plan for how to achieve them. In future posts in this challenge, I’ll address some hard-hitting strategies for making the most of your goal-setting. For now, just know that you’ll need a plan if you want to maintain your motivation as you strive to reach your goals. Your plan should involve aspects like how you will measure your success, at which points you will check on your progress, who you may need assistance from in order to succeed in your pursuits and in what ways will you know you have reached each goal. Practical examples can include weighing yourself and recording the numbers on a weekly basis, talking to your family about proposed menu changes for the household or writing regular workout times on your calendar.

Follow These Tips

In addition, there are some general guidelines that can help you as you begin the process of creating your resolutions. Be patient with yourself. As I noted previously, achieving change doesn’t happen overnight. Cut yourself some slack if you mess up. Just get back on track with your plan as soon as you can. Also, remember that it’s not “all or nothing.” Every baby step you take is progress in the right direction. Finally, while being realistic is important to your success, you also want to avoid challenge altogether. Celebrate your milestones. Each hurdle you clear is a reason to be proud of yourself and will help to motivate you to move onto the next goal.

This is how you combine resolutions with goals in order to reach your most-desired achievements. Moving forward with purpose in life is essentially what this challenge is all about. I hope you’re starting to see that these things are possible.