How to Stay Motivated
As Zig Ziglar wisely noted, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Much like daily hygiene, motivation demands regular attention. Today, let’s delve into the art of sustaining motivation throughout your wellness journey. Envision this journey fueled by motivation as a train; it starts deliberately and slow, full of huffing and puffing. Yet, once in motion, it becomes an unstoppable force!
From starting small to finding your driving force, discover the tactics that keep your momentum unstoppable.
Find your Why behind the “What”:
Begin with the purpose of your journey – what propels you forward? Why are you doing this, and for whom? Identify the driving force that makes this transformative journey worthwhile. Take a moment to jot down all the things that excite you about the goal and the journey itself – be it a desire to feel better, look better, a commitment for loved ones, or simply the yearning to build a new skill and health habit. Avoid using the end result as your sole motivator; instead, tap into a more innate drive.
Pro Tip: Try convincing someone to do something you don’t like, and you might end up convincing yourself! According to research by Elliot Aronson, persuading someone else to do a task you dislike can increase your own enjoyment of that task. Pinpointing the positive aspects and then telling someone else can shift your own perception and feelings towards that task.
Write, and Re-write that Daily Reminder:
Surprisingly, don’t stick that reminder on your mirror to see every morning. Your mind naturally adapts to its surroundings, just like your excitement about a new couch fades over time. Similarly, a motivating note or magnet on the refrigerator has an immediate impact, but you’ll get used to seeing it as part of your surroundings. It’s no different than a shirt you keep forgetting to hang up – “Oh, right… I’ve got to get to that.”
Instead, a more effective approach to stay motivated is to write a new reminder each morning. For a constant reminder, consider moving it to different places throughout the day: from your mirror to your car, to your computer screen.
Visualize Your Success AND Your Failure:
When you’re feeling hyped up and ready to crush it, take a few minutes before diving into the work to push you further towards your goal. Clearly picture the sweet taste of success – hitting the goals, sharing with others that you reached your goal, and what that final success looks and feels like. This sets a positive tone for the effort you were already about to make.
And what about those days when you’d rather skip the workout, avoid cooking a healthy meal, or find that thing you’re trying to quit looking really tempting? When motivation is nowhere to be seen, imagine instead what your failure will look like. Spend some time thinking about every negative consequence and feeling that could come with not meeting your goal – the self-talk, the admission of giving up, the abandonment of your “why.” This approach nudges your nervous system, releasing an abundance of chemical helpers – epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine – giving your motivation the kick it needs.
Don’t Let Comparison Steal your Joy:
Comparing yourself to others is natural – it’s literally in our nature. Our instincts to compare ourselves became a way to identify weaknesses for improvement and strengths to enhance our chances of survival. Think of the animal kingdom: animals competing for food, shelter, resources, and even mates! So, while we obviously tend to compare, we can use our consciousness to decide what to do with the comparisons.
If you find yourself comparing to someone close to you, consider reaching out to them for a conversation! You see a strength in them that you’d like to have, and they may have insightful advice on how to get there. Who knows, they may see something unique in you that they strive to have also! Most of all, own your success story as it’s completely unique to you. Celebrate the journey you’ve covered, avoiding the trap of measuring against others as a way to invalidate your progress.
Lastly, Reward Yourself… Randomly:
Ever wondered how social media keeps you scrolling? They call it “random intermittent reinforcement” – a random release of dopamine that your body and mind can’t predict but ensures you keep going. We suggest using that same technique to hack your own motivation! Once you hit milestones, like finishing a run or losing another pound, flip a coin. Keep pushing on if it lands on heads, and reward yourself with tails – a splurge, a night out, a day in, or something out of the ordinary. You’ve definitely earned it!
So, there you have it – our secret sauce to keep that motivational engine running smoothly on your wellness journey. Keep the momentum alive, continue the good work, and move forward with the knowledge that with every action, you’re writing another page of your success story. Stay motivated, stay unstoppable.