I usually blog on 1st January about keeping your resolutions. This year I decided to wait a couple of weeks for the first flush of enthusiasm to pass. Mid-January, coming up to blue Monday, is often when #resolutions start to become difficult, so it’s a good time to revisit them and maybe adjust them. This article has some great advice.
I have three litmus test questions for finding your motivation to achieve something:
1. Do you have a vision of the end goal, the outcome, you want?
When I started to write my first book, a published author asked me if I could see myself holding my book in my hand? A great question – and yes, I could. Visioning yourself in the situation you want makes it concrete and acts as a motivator to pull you through.
If your goal is to become fitter, have a vision of yourself once you have achieved that – running up the stairs, looking slim, playing a sport, chasing after your children, cycling – whatever fitness means to you.
2. Have you chosen this goal or has it been thrust upon you?
You are more likely to maintain motivation towards the goal if you are doing it because you want to, rather than because you have to – autonomy, freedom, choice are important core motivators. And the bigger the effort required to achieve something, the more important it is to choose to do it.
Writing a book is a major project – bigger than I imagined. I could not have done it unless I really wanted to.
If your goal is to become fitter, why is this your goal? Is it because you really want to, or because you feel you “should”?
3. Are you enjoying the process towards achieving the goal?
It is impossible to maintain motivation if you don’t enjoy doing what it is that you need to do to achieve your desired outcome.
If your goal is to be fitter and you are doing more exercise to achieve that, choose something that you will enjoy. There are lots of alternatives to machines in the gym. It’s easier to sustain motivation if the activity is fun, or you do it with friends, or you can measure your improvement, or…..whatever works for you.
I could not have written a book or be part way through a second book, if I didn’t enjoy the process of writing!