Even the most motivated of us, (YOU, and ME) can feel unmotivated at times. In fact, sometimes we may be thinking that we are making positive changes quick enough and the progress just seems too difficult.
But it’s not hopeless: with some small steps, you can get started down the road to positive change.
I know, it seems impossible at times. I’ve been there, and in fact I still feel that way from time to time. You’re not alone. But I’ve learned a few ways to break out of a slump, and we’ll take a look at those today.
When I feel like I am not reaching my physical potential or any potential for that matter, due to a variety of reasons, it’s hard to keep going. I don’t even feel like thinking about it, sometimes. But I’ve always found a way to break out of that mindset, and here are some things I’ve learned that have helped:
- One Goal. I’ve discovered that it’s often because I have too much going on in my life. I’m trying to do too much. And it saps my energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that’s hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.
- Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories. Zen Habits is just one place for inspiration, not only from me but from many readers who have achieved amazing things.
- Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“GET THOSE ABS”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.
- Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. For example, when I wanted to ride to Las Vegas on my bike, I started telling everyone what and when I was doing it. I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.
- Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop (as mentioned above) helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.
- Stick with it. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump. Stay with it for the long term, ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you’ll get there.
- Start small. Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 7 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 3 days a week. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 3 days of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 3 days. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day.
- Read about it daily. When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.
- Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.
- Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If that wimp Todd can do it, so can I!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really.
MOTIVATION COMES DONE TO EACH OF US AND OUR MINDSET… THOUGHTS ARE THINGS! THINK YOU CAN AND YOU CAN!
Cheers to your Health, Vitality and Prosperity!
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