Did you know that last Friday, January 17th, was considered “National Quitter’s Day”. Ouch. I read that over 60% of people, by January 17th, have “given up”, on their goals. (article by “Shine Weekly”, ShineText). I was left with an extremely sour taste in my mouth. I was thinking: how unsupported? how judgmental? how rude? And then, a teeny, tiny voice called out: how right. Ugh.
We’ve all been there. For myself, it has been countless times. A new year comes, excitement and adrenaline are the guiding force of your motivation, you set these big goals and big dreams, you make plans, you might even write them down. Then, life happens. Your job requires more hours. Your dog gets sick and has to go to the vet. Your dishwasher breaks. Your car needs an oil change. You have friends’ birthday parties, family events, your kids’ dance lessons. And suddenly, your goals are no longer the forefront of your daily life and you forget. Doesn’t seem that implausible now, right?
As I was scrolling Pinterest (which I often do in the wee hours of the morning), I cam across this quote, and I realized that this is what we ALL needed to hear today to start to jump back into our motivation-mindset:
“You are the only one in charge of your destiny. Unfair things may happen to you, unfortunate times may come to you, but you always get to choose how you respond. You can live in frustration and bitterness, or you can be the bigger person and just play the hell out of the cards you are dealt. The truth is that not a single person can choose the cards they receive, but everyone chooses how they play their cards.” –Nikki Banas, “Decide”
If a motivational quote isn’t enough to get your booty in gear, I do have some tangle ways to start to fire up that motivation muscle.
1. You all have probably heard this one before, but it continues to stand true: You are 42% more likely to follow through on your goals when you write them down. (article by Inc., author Peter Economy). That likelihood increases when you tell someone about your goals. The critical factor here is accountability. We are more likely to do something if we know other people know about it, or ourselves/loved ones are counting on us to get it done. Whatever your goals may be, write them down and then tell your support system – spouse, partner, parents, friends, coworkers, etc. Even better, join a group where you are all working towards similar goals. Not only will you get accountability, but you will also feel supported, which is also important to reaching your goals.
2. Celebrate small victories and make reaching your goals FUN! Too often, we let the hard tasks get in the way of enjoying the journey. Pause, enjoy, and celebrate small successes. Maybe you are aiming to Marie Kondo your life, but instead of celebrating when you clean out your closet, you wait until your whole house is done. Leading up to that big success, you missed all the small victories that added up to it, probably leaving you feeling unsatisfied and less likely to reach that big goal. Don’t discount the small efforts, because without those, you wouldn’t have your big successes.
3. Daily affirmations and gratitude. This one, I personally feel, is the most important. This was a practice I instilled in my own life last year, and it has made a world of difference. This goes right down to changing out mindset. Motivation is a muscle, which means the only way it gets stronger is by working it. You may wonder, how the heck do I work my motivational muscle when I don’t feel motivated? I use to wonder the same thing! I use to let that be my excuse to not work on my goals. Then, I discovered that the way I worked that muscle is through gratitude, self-acceptance, and daily affirmations. When I stopped putting myself down or making excuses for why I wasn’t motivated, I started to increase my motivation again. When I lead my day with gratitude and self-kindness, I was more likely to be productive that day. When I filled my mind with positive thoughts, it lead to greater results. We cannot bully or drag ourselves into our goals; we need to open ourselves up and lead with compassion into our goals. A great way to get started on this is to check out Rachel Hollis’ “Start Today” journals – I’m obsessed with them!