Keeping Yourself Motivated

“The worst thing you can do is nothing.” -Terry Pratchett

Whenever we set a goal or make a resolution, we often forget the work it takes to reach that goal. Usually we’re focused on envisioning the benefits of the goal, like wearing a pair of jeans in a smaller size or being able to afford a dream car, and we don’t remember that it won’t happen overnight. Keeping yourself motivated takes some effort, but it’s not as hard as you may think, and it’s worth it in the end!

First, you need to have a specific goal in mind. Instead of saying “I’m going to lose weight,” say, “I’m going to lose 30 pounds.” Then make sure you hold yourself accountable to that goal by setting up weekly or monthly checkpoints. These don’t have to be dramatic things, you can be flexible. “I’m going to lose at least one pound a week” is better than “I HAVE to lose ten pounds every month!” Make meeting these targets fun. If you’re saving up to buy that dream car, you may be cutting costs by not going out. Once you’ve reached a certain savings goal, reward yourself! Go out to the movies and have some popcorn. Or, if you’re determined to stick to your plan with no breaks, whether it’s saving or dieting, you should still celebrate your accomplishments along the way. Any change, any progress, no matter how small, is still better than where you were before! Of course, things happen and you may run into some difficulty. Plan for it ahead of time. That way, when it happens, it won’t stop you. Even if you’re saving for your dream car, you should still have some extra money set aside for an emergency. If you cheat on your diet during vacation, make up for it once you’re home by working harder for an extra week. And remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Let someone you trust know what you’re doing, and ask them to check on your progress occasionally. Don’t make them accountable for keeping you in check, that’s something you should be doing. But it helps to have someone else ask about your progress, to offer encouragement or advice. You may also find other ways of keeping yourself motivated along the way. Some people like to keep journals, some try different approaches when one way isn’t working, others read, listen to, or watch motivational speeches. But most importantly, no matter what happens, remember why you’re staying motivated. You made your goal for a reason; it’s up to you to see it through.

A review of tips to keep yourself motivated:

  1. Make your goal specific
  2. Hold yourself accountable
  3. Make meeting your target goals fun by giving yourself rewards or at least celebrate your accomplishments along the way
  4. Plan for difficulties ahead of time
  5. Have a friend check in on your progress periodically for encouragement
  6. Remind yourself why you set the goal to begin with