Do you know what you want to achieve? Have you ever pushed towards a goal and lost steam? Perhaps you need lasting motivation, the kind that doesn't fizzle out like a New Year's eve sparkler.
Why is it so hard to accomplish what we want, to make a better version of ourselves? The key is lasting motivation. If you want to get yourself a bagful of the good stuff, there are five keys that must be present for motivation to exist.
- You have to want it!
So you say you want to lose weight, quit smoking or stick to a budget. But is it what they REALLY WANT? To find out, start with what you THINK you want, and then ask yourself a few more questions. Is this what I want? When I (fill in the blank), what will that feel like? Who will be around me? How will things be different? If, when you imagine yourself reaching your goal, you feel great, then this is truly what you want. If, when you imagine yourself reaching your goal and you feel the same or even worse, then perhaps this isn’t really what you want. Keep asking and visualising your different goals until you find one you feel you truly want. It may help to write all your questions and responses in a journal to keep you on track!
- You have to recognise your own weaknesses.
If you don’t see your behaviours as a problem, or if you are in total denial that eating three tubs of ice cream could be an issue, there is no chance you will change that behaviour. To recognise your weaknesses think about those things that are stopping you from achieving your goals. What is it that gets in your way? Understanding your roadblocks will make it easier to overcome them.
- Your environment COUNTS.
What is your environment like? Are your cupboards filled with junk food? Are the people around you negative energy zappers? Have you created space in your life to make a change? Forget willpower, it doesn’t last! Set yourself up for success by removing temptations or creating designated spaces for what you want to achieve.
- You need help from someone who is interested and knowledgeable.
Find your support crew, making changes and staying motivated is much easier when you have people on your side. It could be a Personal Trainer, Coach or friend. Who’s on your side? Who could help you that are knowledgeable and interested? Use their knowledge and support to pave the way for your success.
- You need to take ACTION and recognise how you’ll be better off because of it.
Here is where so many of us get hung up. Yes, we all know we need to move more and eat less, save money, be more productive! Why don’t we do it? It’s not lack of information; the real challenge is deciding what information works for you and then transfer the knowledge into action.
Thinking of all the thousands of things you’d like to change can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Aim for a balanced approach. If you’d like long-term change and lasting motivation instead of giving up on February 1st, find out what works for you.
If you hate walking on a treadmill, you won't do it for long. If your change creates more pain than pleasure, you won't stick to it. (learn more about this in our Behaviour Change in Exercise Course) Find something that works for you and is dare I say, fun. Believe it or not, you can ENJOY the process!