MOTIVATION: the reason or reasons someone has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
This week I'd like to talk about motivation and give you some tips I know work (if you work them) to stay motivated when trying to accomplish big goals. These 8 tips will help with anything from staying on a healthy vegan diet, sticking to an exercise program, pushing through a plateau, or just simply getting back on track.
1. Make a plan and keep yourself fixed to it
This is KEY. Once you create your plan, you must commit to sticking with it and staying consistent even when you don't see results. When the negative thoughts and emotions come (and they will), you must make the choice to take action despite the negative feelings. When you do this by staying fixed to your plan/goal, you still make progress towards what you want to achieve. So when the thoughts and excuses try to take over, remain unflinching!
2. Write down your goals and put them somewhere you can see them daily
Seeing or hearing your goals daily or even twice daily has a huge effect on what you will eventually believe and accomplish. Keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind and thoughts helps you think beyond the short term when it comes to the everyday decisions you make, and keeps you future focused to see those goals become reality little by little. You are less likely to deter from your chosen path when you have the GPS in front of you constantly.
3. Work in small attainable mini goals to reach the large one
Since having my son this is the only way I work now. It's is so productive, saves time and you know exactly what you are going to do to get a goal accomplished. Let's use the example that your big goal is to be ripped by the end of September, that's 3 months out. Now take out your calendar and literally write down in 2 week increments from today until the end of September all of the daily things you need to do to accomplish the steps to get to the large goal, and then do them. The first two weeks may be comprised of cleaning up your diet, eating less animal products, and doing pushups at home. The next two weeks you add on by scheduling time to go to the gym and lifting 4 times per week. The next two weeks you begin to hone in on certain muscle groups and create a muscle group split workout that works for you etc. If you continue to add mini goals on top of mini goals all the while keeping the big goal in perspective you will simply reach the big goal by being consistent with your mini goals. It won't be overwhelming and it won't be hard.
4. Be prepared, and give yourself the time to prepare
We are all gung ho on Monday when we start something new, but if you've not prepared, by Thursday you could be ready to throw in the towel. Allow yourself the time to prepare, it is crucial to success. If you plan on going on a vegan diet, you need to take time to figure out what you are going to make to eat for the week, when you will get to the grocery store, and if you can cook some staples in advance (like a big batch of beans, or rice for example). All these things help you secure that you will be successful even when short on time because you have prepared the elements that will be there when you don't feel like it, or are tired. You will be able to succeed because you've already done the preparation.
5. Honor your plan by showing up to do what you planned out
Making a plan, writing it down, breaking it into small chunks, and preparation mean nothing if you do not honor the plan and the constraints you've set up for yourself. You wouldn't break an appointment with an important person, or show up an hour late to lunch with your friend, so why do we so often do it to ourselves? Schedule it, plan it out, and respect yourself by showing up to do the work. It's not magic. If you don't show up....it will not get accomplished.
6. Stay motivated by encouraging resources on the subject of your goal
I love the technology that is at our fingertips today. You can literally google anything and you can find some sort of information on the topic of interest. So use it to your advantage! Watch your favorite youtubers on your subject of choice. Listen to a fitness podcast to stay motivated. Go to the library and get books that will teach you the science behind why a plant based diet is so good for your health. Watch documentaries like Earthlings to help you see straight if you are wavering over a burger. Find recipes that will allow you to experiment with new tastes, textures and flavors.
7. Find like minded people
We all need support as we head out to do something new. With the example of going vegan, you can look for local vegan meet ups and facebook groups in your area. I've done this and it's an awesome way to make new connections and learn about the vegan scene in your city. If you are new to the gym, take a few sessions with a personal trainer to help you learn the ropes of the equipment and establish a plan. Join some online forums and connect with others in your situation.
8. Be kind to yourself
Along the way you will mess up, we all will. Be kind to yourself, and find out why you did what you did with curiosity rather than judgement. Forgive your slip ups and use them to motivate yourself to be more committed in the future. Reaching your goal is a journey to be celebrated, not a prison sentence. Being mostly vegan is much better than not being interested in conscious eating at all. Missing the mark slightly is better than not trying at all. Seeing and observing ourselves and where the misstep occurred can help us get back up and keep striving towards the goal. Frustration and berating keeps us standing still.