Written by Erika Szilagyi, IPSN Community Member and Life Coach at Live Smart Coaching
We have to find our own motivational strategy! The secret is self-motivation. When you learn to motivate your own self and not looking for external factors, it gives you the ability to be tough and focused, and it also gives you the stamina that is needed on the way towards your goals.
Keep in mind: Don’t be too strict on yourself. Don’t become narrow minded in thinking only about your goal. The key is the balance between being strict and allowing yourself to be ‘bad’ (act out of the control). For example, with diet it can be an 80/20 rule. For 80% you eat good and for 20% you allow yourself to eat the junk food.
Obstacles on the way: We are humans. Allow yourself some failures, breaks (which means you didn’t give up!), up’s and down’s. Be patient, your goal can be a long term one or it may take longer than you expected to get there. But when you learn to motivate yourself and you apply your own style, you will see these obstacle as mere challenges.
It is also important to have some fun in the meantime, because as they say: “It is not the destination, but the journey that counts.” Well, in this case its both the destination and the journey! Reaching a goal is an AMAZING feeling and it will boost your self-esteem, which will keep you going as well! Try to look at it as a real journey, which will bring you new experiences, wisdom, insights and strength.
Here are some specific tips how to become your own motivational buddy and make yourself to DO it further:
1. Before you start any action, take a moment. A quiet and peaceful moment. Think deep about yourself, about what is that you really want (try to be as specific as you can) and why you want it. When you have it (achieved) what it will give to you (feelings, opportunities, freedom, knowledge, etc.). How do you know when you achieved it? And how will you celebrate it? Would be great if you could write down all your answers.
2. Still before the action, please think again deeply. Imagine that you are on the way to achieve your goal. You did great, and you see yourself achieving your goal soon but somehow you loose some power (You can imagine that you are running and before the finish line you feel you need to stop for a moment). What would you say to yourself to cheer you up, to boost your energy and reach that goal? Write down these words, sentences because these words will be your own cheering words. It comes from you so it will speak to you when you need it the most.
3. You have the goal, you got the power and ready to start. But how? Making action plan can help. It gives you two useful things. One, you break down the BIG goal into smaller ones, so it is more digestible. No one climbed the Mount Everest with one HUGE step. Two, it will give you smaller goals that are fun to reach on the way and opportunities to celebrate them 🙂 Cool, right? You can add a timeline which will make you work by schedule (so add a date to your smaller and final goals, then it becomes a plan)
4. Keep your journey documented (to yourself or even in a blog to inspire others). It will be great to read it when you want to look back and be proud. It is also an amazing learning tool. You would get so much insight about yourself, your thoughts and struggles and how you did overcome them all. And it can be your motivational manual for the next goal! Yeah! 🙂
5. Share your goal with the ones closest to you. From time to time, your friends and family can “check” on you and support you if and when you need it.
Extra tips: Use Post-it notes (in your apartment, in your wallet, PC, etc.), daily reminders on your phone, small messages with your own cheering words from point 2, apps like daily motivational quotes, desktop on your laptop for inspiration, or even you can make your own mood board.
Science says: Is your goal to make something healthy, or useful as a part of your life? Do you want to develop it as a routine? Do it strictly for 2 weeks, then it becomes your habit!
Want to find out your own motivational style? Try as much as you can and you will know what works for you and on you. Don’t want to do it alone? Get a Life Coach!
Erika Szilagyi is from Hungary. She moved to the Netherlands 6 years ago. She is a Psychologist & Life Coach. She helps people make their life a great one. Send her an e-mail!