When I listed to various interviews of successful women, I often hear the question: how do you stay motivated? We want to know what keeps them going every single day.
I don’t know about you, but I go though ups and downs when it comes to motivation to pursue my dreams or working on my goals. When I first set a goal, I’m very eager to go after it. But after a while, when the excitement wears off, it starts to get harder to stay focused and motivated to keep going.
So I started to think back at what has helped me in the past, and here are my top 5 tips to stay motivated.
1. Know Your WHY
The first thing that will help you stay motivated is to define your WHY. What do I mean by that? Every time you set a goal you have to determine why you want to achieve it. Why do you want to become a blogger? What is your reasonf for wanting to eat healthier? Why do you want to wake up each morning before the kids to work on self-development?
You really need to spend some time thinking about your why. It needs to be strong enough to carry you through those times when things get hard and you will want to quit. I talked about how important this is in my previous post One Mindset Change that Finally Helped Me Lose Weight and Gain Confidence. I started understanding the importance of why when I read a book by Simon Sinek. It is geared towards leadership, but I found this concept applicable to goal setting.
Simply stated, if it’s not strong enough you will likely give up when things get difficult. And if you why is not strong, you really have to be honest with yourself about your goal. Do you really want to do it or are you doing it because someone else is? Is it something you decided to go after, because that is what society tells says you should do?
Let me give you an example to show the importance of having a strong why behind your goals. Let’s say that there are two moms who have the same goal. They both decide that they will have home-cooked meals five times a week.
The first mom set this goal for herself because she felt little pressured by her friends. They all cook their dinners and were suggesting to her that she should do the same so her kids eat healthy meals. The second mom had a different reason. She had set a financial goal for her family and when she looked at her budget, she realized that one area where she can cut cost is food; hence, she decided to cook at home five times a week.
Here is a little twist: they both dislike cooking! Now tell me, who will be the first one to throw in the towel when things get difficult? Who will look for the takeout menu when they get home from work and don’t feel like cooking? The mom with the weaker why.
The first mom set her goal because someone else thought it should be her priority. But in the end it is not her priority; hence, she should have not set that goal for herself in the first place. Home cooked meals are not the only way to eat healthier. There are plenty of other alternatives.
If your goal is not something you really want to do, then don’t! You, and only YOU get to decide what is important to you. Who cares what everyone else is doing?
2. Develop Habits
What do I mean by habits? I basically mean something that you do automatically, without giving it much thoughts. Think about brushing your teeth, or starting your coffee machine each morning.
I have really started to appreciate habits last year. I decided to be consistent with working out and through trial and error, determined that working out in the mornings before the kids wake up, is my best strategy. In order to make it a habit, I started preparing my workout clothes the night before and preparing any equipment I would need (I do home workouts). It took a few weeks for my workouts to become a habit. It has been over a year, since I started implementing it, and I cannot imagine my mornings without working out.
Am I excited each morning for my work out? Absolutely not. There are plenty of days when I am dragging my feet. But as soon as I wake up, I come downstairs, put on my workout clothes and workout. I just don’t have much time to think about the excuses.
So anytime you are starting to work on your goal, think about habits that you can start developing in order to help you achieve that goal. If you want to write a book, maybe your habit will be to write for 30 minutes each day. If you want to implement a habit of drinking more water, your habit could be having a glass of water with each of your meals.
3. Create a Vision Board to Stay Motivated
Do you have a Vision Board? If not, I encourage you to create one. It will help you stay focused on your goals. I did not have one until last summer, but decided to go for it and I’m really loving it.
Vision board is basically a visual representation of where you want to be and how do you see your future. You can use pictures or quotes – the idea is that it is a constant reminder of why you are doing what you are doing. When things get difficult, you will have a vision to concentrate on to keep you going.
Make sure that your Vision Board is placed where you can see it every single day. It will not help you stay on track when it is hidden away!
4. Surround Yourself with Supportive People
You know what will help you stay motivated? Having a supportive person or a group of people who are on a similar journey as yourself. Whatever your goal is, make sure you find people who share the same goal. It will be much easier to stay motivated when you have people supporting your goals – plus it will be much more fun than doing it alone.
It could you your spouse, friend, a local mom group that you belong to, or a virtual group on Facebook. Or a mixture of all of those examples.
When I have started my healthy lifestyle journey a year ago, I joined a few Facebook groups and followed some influencers with fitness and healthy eating focus. And besides being able to find answers to some questions I had and supporting each other with our struggles, it gave me a bonus benefit. Whenever I went on Facebook and scrolled through my feed, I saw a lot of posts related to fitness and healthy eating. And that helped me stay motivated as I was feeding my brain with all the right messages.
I promise you that if I would have joined some Facebook groups where the topic was chocolate deserts, my weight loss journey would have looked very different!
5. Create Rewards Along the Way
:Last, but not least, you need to celebrate small successes throughout your journey to stay motivated and to keep going. Find small ways to reward yourself each time to reach a milestone.
If your goal is to write a book, maybe you can celebrate each time you complete 100 pages. Or if your goal is to cook home cook meals each weekday, maybe you can reward yourself with after being consistent for 1 month. It really does not matter what reward you choose, as long as you choose one.
Hope these tips will help you work towards your goals even when life gets in a way.
YOU GOT IT!!!