It can be difficult to stay motivated when you first start working towards your goals, especially when you are not seeing results yet. Perhaps you started a new business, and you haven’t made as many sales as you hoped, or maybe you have been working out but still not losing the weight you wanted. This is the moment that many people quit their goals, because they’re too focused on a momentary outcome. However, if you focus on these tips, it is probable that you will stick to your vision for a longer period of time.
- Write down your wins
There will be moments you will ask yourself “why I am doing this again?”, and you’ll want to give up because you’re not yet where you want to be. This thought of “this isn’t good enough” makes us feel frustrated and doesn’t let us appreciate what we have already achieved.
Whenever I feel like giving up because things aren’t going how I hoped they would, I remind myself of how far I have come. For example, the other day I was feeling a bit discouraged because my clothing business wasn’t as big as I hoped it would be by now. I then changed that feeling of “not being good enough”, and instead focused on how much my business has grown over the past year.
When you feel like this, pause and write down a list of your wins. A win is a win. It doesn’t matter how small it is. Whether you got one new customer, lost 1 pound, managed to eat healthy for the entire week, or studied for 10 minutes each day, it needs to be constantly recognized.
- Find an accountability buddy or group
If you are trying to lose weight, but you’re afraid you won’t stick to your workout routine, ask two or three friends to keep you accountable. You can also invite them to work out with you. This way, you won’t find an excuse to cancel your workout routine, which helps to keep you focused on your vision.
You can do the same for other areas of your life too. For example, if you want to build a writing or studying routine, join a group. I recently joined a writing group on Facebook where we are challenged to write 500 words a day. The topics are given randomly by the admin each day. I do the same for my business; I meet my friend Diana once a week for an hour, and we talk about how we can improve our businesses. We exchange tips on how to grow our followers on social media, or we just simply update each other on our events or projects. It is important to have friends who “get it”, who value their time as much as you value yours, and who have goals in common. If you find it hard to find local friends to keep you accountable, you can make some new friends online, and motivate each other on your goals. Facebook groups are such an incredible tool for this.
- Focus on one thing at a time
Depending on your goals, you might have different focus areas. For example, if your focus is on your business, you might want to work on your relationships, and collaborate with other people to reach your goals sooner. If your focus is on your career, perhaps you need to work on your expertise and productivity. Write down your area of focus next to your to-do list, and commit to working on it for one week, or for however long that particular task requires focus. Once you’ve mastered one area you can move to the next one. Having something to focus on will help you stay on track. I also like focusing on my character strengths. I say to myself “this week I need to work on self-control”, or “I am going to try to be more compassionate with myself and others.”
- Take breaks
I’m guessing that I don’t exactly have to remind you about this one. But in case you’ve been omitting it, having breaks is very important for keeping up with your productivity levels. Work in blocks of times that best work for you (30, 60, or 90 minutes) and then take a break of however minutes you want or need. During your break, try to do things that recharge you. If you have been working on marketing for hours, don’t go and listen to a podcast on marketing in your break time. You need to clear your mind from work so that new ideas can flow. Here is a list of some things you can do during your break at work.
- Track your bad habits
Whenever you catch yourself making a bad habit, be aware of it and track it. At the end of the day, reflect on why you did what you did, and think about a solution for next time. If you ate the chips, perhaps it was because you ran out of healthy snacks. And because you are aware of the “why”, you will stock your pantry with healthy snacks. If you got up late, maybe it is because you watched three episodes of American Horror Story on Netflix and you went to bed late. By tracking this behavior, you’ll know that you need to go to bed earlier if you want to win the morning.
I know this is simple, but many times we just do what we do without stopping for a moment to ask ourselves why we are even doing it in the first place.
- Evaluate your week
Set aside 30 minutes of your weekend to reflect on your week. Ask yourself questions such as “What’s working?” and “What isn’t?”. I know I’ve been encouraging you to ask a lot of questions, but the key to succeeding in our goals is to ask the right questions. Ask yourself questions that will get you pumped and out of bed.
So, after you’ve reflected on your week, you might realize that you need to swap your boring workout routine for one that you actually enjoy. Perhaps you need to dedicate more time to studying and less to watching Netflix.
- Have fun
It’s not about being a productivity machine, or taking things too seriously all the time. Hell no! Work hard, but make sure to have some fun along the way. I am often thinking of creative ways to work with my team. We have lots of fun whenever we are having a photo session for a new clothing collection. We always work in different settings, whether in nature, at a café, or at my place. We like listening to Queen or the Black Keys while we are working on the website. My partner, who helps me with the accounting, makes jokes all the time and we are constantly laughing hysterically.
If we allow ourselves to have fun while working on our goals, our journey towards living the life that we want will be much more enjoyable.
- Be consistent.
In my previous post, I talked about gaining “success momentum.” This means that the more you work towards your goal, the more motivated you’ll feel to work harder on it. And the key to gaining this momentum is to be consistent at something. It doesn’t matter whether you workout for 15 or 60 minutes a day, as long as you are consistent at it, you’ll feel happier and confident that you are doing something to shed those pounds. And as you succeed on your goal, you’ll want to increase your workout time. To illustrate this point, I’d like to quote Marie Forleo here, one of my favorite gurus:
“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently. “
Finally, I would like to remind you to be patient. Every little step you take adds up, every push up, every phone call, every paper you write. Results might not be visible yet, but your hard work will pay off with time.
I hope these tips have motivated you to keep working on your vision. Make sure to comment below to share which one you would like to start applying. And if you’d like to receive more motivation sent right to your inbox, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!