Stay Motivated to Achieve Goals

Success Story words written on a notebook

Many of us make resolutions or goals at the start of a new year. Those goals are our wishes and good intentions. It could be a physical, mental or spiritual change we hope to make or it may be a milestone we want to reach. Yet one slip or setback can often send us into a slump. How do we stay motivated to keep going and work toward achieving our goals? To help you stay motivated, try the following:

1. Picture success. If you want to be successful, you must first imagine yourself with success. When you can visualize that goal, you are more likely to stay on task to achieve it. Often successful people will create a visual board of tools and uplifting images and quotes that are motivating. This can include pictures of inspiring people, places and words.

2. Have accountability. Once you picture success, find the right accountability tool that works best for you. Is that a buddy you can count on to check in with on a regular basis? Is that using a mobile app that you can use to track progress? Does that mean setting calendar reminders to help you schedule time for your goals? Is there an online peer group you can join that is uplifting and helpful? There is no right or wrong way to approach it. Just find the best system that you will stick with and hold yourself accountable.  

3. Incorporate short and long-term goals.
A big goal is great, but it can also be overwhelming. Breaking up that big goal into shorter, more manageable goals is a great tactic for success. Think about what you can do each day and week to help you reach your goal. For example, instead of worrying over those fifteen pounds that you want to lose, concentrate on losing one pound per week. Rather than thinking you need to cut out all sodas in your life, focus on drinking one to two more glasses of water per day in its place. Think of what you can do today and tomorrow that will help you later on. Give yourself a deadline to finish a certain task, and adjust the timeframe as needed. Small, consistent goals lead to better, more successful results.

4. Create opportunities to succeed.
Help yourself succeed by planning for it. Wake up fifteen minutes early so you can focus on your goal for the day. Schedule a 30-minute mental break each day, and do something positive like take a walk, listen to uplifting music or read a book. If you can’t dedicate a half-hour to your goal, then dedicate five minutes a few times per day, five days per week. If you are compelled to join a new class, try a new healthy food or try meditation for the first time, then do it. Act fast and don’t allow time to get in the way of your dreams.   

5. Treat yourself like your closest friend.
How would you treat a friend who is going through self-doubt, worry and anxiety about a goal she or he has? How would you motivate and support that loved one? What would you do to help? Use those same tools on yourself when the going gets tough. Would you be as negative to your pal as your inner voice can be to you? Treat yourself with love and respect. Give yourself grace when you make a mistake. Then start again. Celebrate your small successes along the way. 

Let these tips keep your spark ignited throughout this year. Goals are attainable and achievable with the right mindset. Remember that you can keep up your motivation and turn an “I cannot” into an “I can”.