Yesterday I asked my readers a question on Facebook “if you had 5 minutes to chat with me, what would be the ONE question you would ask?”. Here is one of the responses…
“How do you stay so motivated, most things wane and stumble but you are a great force powering along?”
It really got me thinking…what IS it that keeps me motivated? After a little brain storming and a long beach walk, here are my top 6 tips to keeping yourself motivated and on your game.
1) Set (big & small) Goals
I know this seems blaringly obvious, but seriously, do you actually do it?? Do you write your goals down? Imagine what they look like? What they feel like? Smell like? Taste like? Do you tell anyone? Or are they just thoughts that float through your head..more of a wish or a hope?
When you sit down to write down your goals, just writing a broad statement such as ‘weight loss’ isn’t enough.
- WHY do you want to lose weight?
- WHY do you want to eat better?
- WHY do you want to have more energy?
Get to the root of it, find the emotional link to your goal and focus on that.
***Figuring out the emotional tie to your goal is what will keep you truly motivated.
For me right now, I want to stay as healthy as possible so that I can conceive healthy children in my 30’s. This is very important to me, and I am emotionally very connected to this goal. It is what drives me right now and gives me the courage and push. In my late 20’s, my motivation was healing the dermoid cyst on my ovary naturally…which actually comes back to my deep desire to have children.
Remember to set yourself small achievable goals, as well as the big ones! Example…”This week I am going to do 2 Pilates sessions and have my super-greens every morning”. Small successes add up to big successes.
2) Recommit to your Goals again & again & again…
OK, you need to hear this…choosing the goal is the easy part! Its the RECOMMITTING again and again and again that is the hard part. In this day, where everything is so fast, we expect our goals to be achieved by next week…and when they don’t, we have a hard time staying committed.
One quote that has stuck in my mind, which I got from the Philosophers Notes, goes something like this “Work diligently. Work patiently and persistently. And you’re bound to be successful.” Don’t you love that!
It’s the small steps. It’s taking action towards your goals every damn day that counts. If you have a bad week/month/year, then so be it. You are NOT a failure, you just didn’t recommit yourself.
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”
― Anthony Robbins
Go for a 10-minute walk…every day….rather than a 1-hour walk once a week. Eat an apple and drink more water EVERY DAY than completely overhauling your diet…only to fall off the wagon by the end of the week.
Small consistent steps and recommitting is the key to keeping motivated.
3) Choose your friends wisely
“You become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”
Have you heard that quote before? I can’t remember who said it, but it has stuck with me! Take a look at your goals, and then take a look at your circle of friends. Do your friends support what you want to achieve? Do they believe in your dreams? Do they motivate and inspire you? Do they bring out the best in you, that sparkle in your eye, your inner child?
Those who you choose to surround yourself with will greatly affect your ability to stay on track – for some more than others.
4) Flexibility & Freedom
Routine is important to achieving goals for most people. Having daily rituals helps you create good life-long habits, and I highly recommend this to my clients. Habits are what form the basis of our daily behavior.
But on the flip side, how rigid are you with your routine??
I believe that committing to 100% of anything and being too rigid will set you up for failure. As said above, things wane and stumble…life happens! I follow the 90/10 guidelines: 90% of the time I eat healthy delicious whole foods, and 10% of the time I eat whatever I want! I’ve tried being 100% vegetarian/raw/alcohol-free/caffeine-free/grain-free/dairy-free….but every time, I feel constrained, restricted and stressed!!
The same goes with your routine…rather than thinking you MUST go for a run, why don’t you first ask yourself how you feel like moving in this moment? Maybe you have had a stressful day? Maybe something calming might be better such as pilates or yoga? Or maybe you feel like dancing? Or doing a high intensity spin class or boxing to release frustration?
Have good healthy routines and rituals in your life, but ensure you maintain a sense of freedom & flexibility to avoid guilt and have fun!
5) Reconnect & Move
If you are anything like me….life can be freaking BUSY! You set your goals, you have these great intentions, and then, after a super busy week, everything seems to fall to shit (excuse my french!). Sunday night rolls around and you hear the all too familiar self-promise…”this week I’ll be good”.
When you are deep in the thick of life, it is sometimes hard to gain any perspective about where you are, who you are, and what the heck your purpose is on this planet! Your days quickly get filled with menial tasks and to-do lists, and before you know it, eating healthy & exercising has made it to the bottom of your list again (or maybe completely fallen off!). Doh!
TIME TO STOP. Seriously.
Put the house chores to the bottom of the list, get your butt out of the house and go for a walk in nature, get in the ocean, listen to the birds/waves/wind, focus on your breathing and the beating of your heart. Listen to your body. When you feel the crappiest, and least like doing this…this is when you need it the most!!
You will feel refreshed, re-inspired and invigorated after doing this! You will be clear again about what is truly important in your life. You will be a better friend/sister/daughter/girlfriend/wife/mother. You will have the motivation to recommit to your goals rather than feeling like a failure.
6) Watch the Negative Nelly Voice in your Head
“You can’t do that. You are a failure. You are a fraud. You will never be slim. You are lazy. You will never be good enough. You are uncoordinated. You are useless. You are fat”
Put your hand up high if any of these sound familiar??!!!
Start watching and noticing the thoughts that roll through your head on a daily basis, without judgement or criticism. Just watch. Just notice. Be the observer of your own mind. If you are observing, then where are the thoughts actually coming from? Most of the time, the thoughts we have in our heads are repetitive and negative…the same thoughts day in day out.
If you are constantly telling yourself these negative things then it will be hard for you to keep recommitting to your goals. Don’t believe the voice in your head telling you that you can’t achieve your goals. THEY ARE LIES!!!!
Start replacing your negative thoughts with the exact opposite sentence. Example: “I am lazy” replace with “I am motivated and committed”. Even if you feel like a fraud saying it, just try it! Write these new opposing thoughts down, put them on your wall and read them every day….until you DO start to believe them!
Hope these little tips inspire and help you. If you want to know more about any of these topics, please let me know!
Love Ngaire x