In the ‘spirit’ of New Year’s Eve, you may have made some resolutions, or you may have agreed goals at your appraisal. In the cold light of reality, how long will you keep them up? Here are 8 tips to maintain your motivation to succeed.
Start with the end in sight
Set yourself a SMARTA goal. This means it’s specific, measurable, achievable, resourced, timed and agreed. This is the difference between ‘I should improve my time management’ and ‘I choose to spend fifteen minutes at the start of each day to plan my priorities and job-to-do list; starting from 17th January 2010 and be on-going, with the support of my line manager and team’. Try to set milestones along the way. Keep it simple. It’s hard to stay motivated when you are confused.
Success is a journey not a destination
You need to know when you have got there and what success will mean to you. Be clear what success will look, sound, feel like for you. Visualise it, and hold onto and revisit that vision regularly. Stay hungry to live the dream. Fake it until you make it, as your body doesn’t know the truth from a lie. For example, keep telling yourself ‘I am planned and organised’, even if you are not yet. Celebrate along the way by setting mini goals.
Avoid the SMOG
Be clear on the reasons why you are doing this. Avoid doing things because you think you Should, Must, Ought, Got to (or the negative versions). This clouds your reasoning. Avoid being a victim to external pressures.
Do things because you choose to. By choosing who you are and what you do, you take control and responsibility.
Overcome the barriers
Beware of the limiting beliefs that may trip you up. It is not a case of ‘I can’t’, but of ‘I haven’t’. Rationalise the fears that may stop you trying. Research has shown that 95% of what we worry about never happens. Face the fear and do it anyway. Make sure you are not just making excuses to avoid doing it.
Remember obstacles are the things you see when you take your eyes of the goal. Keep your focus on what you want to achieve. Simplify your life and reduce the confusion by not attempting too many changes at once. Remind yourself regularly of your goals. Affirmations are good for this. E.g. For self confidence, you might say to yourself five times a day; ‘I truly love myself exactly as I am’. (probably best not to say this out loud in public!) Have your goal where you can see it daily. Focus on the benefits it will bring to you.
Change is difficult, so give your self praise for achieving even small steps. Make it fun. If it’s not fun then you are not doing it right. Avoid beating yourself up if you make mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
It is much easier to travel a hard road with a companion to share it with. There will be plenty who will be negative and say ‘You can’t do that’ or ‘why bother?’ Find a trusted buddy, who will support you along the way. Alternatively, you can use the services of a coach or mentor. Joining a group, club or society to get moral support can help too.
Be fully committed to the goal you have chosen and know you will do it. Avoid the word ‘try’. This sets up a failure rate in your mind. Book your place at your destination and not the ‘someday isle’. Imagine as a child, if you had given up on getting up and walking after falling over a few times; you would still be shuffling around on your backside! Find that child’s determination to keep at it.
As Christopher Reeve, Actor and Director said; “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable“.
What will you make inevitable for 2010?