For a lot of people, getting a great idea is easy.
(“I’m going to go to the gym EVERY DAY for the next 30 days!”)
For some, getting started on that great idea is easy, too.
(“Woo hoo! Day one! I am a Cardio Queen!”)
But you know where this is going, right?
You get to day 3, and you’re still going strong.
Then something happens, and you miss day 4.
You’re back on day 5, but you’re beating yourself up a little about day 4. So you don’t quite have the ‘oomph’ that you started with. And then you feel bad about day 5, which makes it even harder to find ways to stay motivated through day 6.
And by day 8, you’ve given up on your great idea, telling yourself that it wasn’t such a great idea after all, thinking that maybe you should try something else next time.
(I call this process ‘slashing your other four tires because you got a flat’ because it makes about as much sense!)
So what you need isn’t more great ideas. You’ve got plenty of those.
What you need are some ways to stay motivated. Some strategies for when you get that flat tire, so that you’re not tempted to start slashing and give up all together.
And while the ways to stay motivated that work for me and my clients might not be exactly what you’re used to (there’s no boot camp style drill instructors yelling at you over here!), they’ve proven themselves time and again!
Ways to Stay Motivated – Envision and Visualize Your Goal
So I tell my clients that one of the best ways to stay motivated is to start with envisioning your end result.
Whatever it is that will happen for you when you stay motivated and achieve your goal, define it.
And hold on to that vision.
You can envision every day by creating a concrete way to visualize it.
And the best way that I’ve found of visualizing your goal and staying motivated is to create a vision board.
At its simplest, a vision board is a collection of images that represent what you want to be, do, and have. You can create as many as you want for as many goals as you have, and it’s one of my favorite ways to stay motivated because it’s fun, it’s creative, and it WORKS.
I created my very first vision board (a very, very basic, hand drawn one!) when I was still working a job I hated and dreaming of becoming a musician. I drew a picture of myself on stage, surrounded by an audience that was there to hear my music.
Granted, the people in the audience were so badly drawn that they had to be labeled as ‘people,’ but you know what?
It worked. The basic act of seeing that drawing on my desk every day reminded me of what I really wanted. It kept me in touch with my dream. It helped me stay motivated when I didn’t really FEEL like going home to write a song that night. Looking at that little vision board reminded me of my soul’s desire, and it was one of the best ways to stay motivated I could imagine.
And the great thing about a vision board is that it’s SUPER easy to make one.
Yeah, sure, you can draw one by hand, but I’ve created a free ebook called The Complete Guide to Vision Boards that will walk you through creating a beautiful vision board that represents whatever it is that you’re staying motivated to create in your life.
Ways to Stay Motivated – Celebrate
Once you know what you want and you’ve got a vision board created hanging on your wall to look at every day, you’re on the right track.
But maybe you need some other ways to stay motivated that will help you to STAY on that track.
(I did! Heck, I think everyone does!)
So here’s one – and it’s often the most challenging one for people to allow themselves to do…
That’s right, I’ll say it again. Celebrate.
It’s one of the best ways to stay motivated that I know, because celebration gives you permission to be where you are with the progress you’ve made without beating yourself up for not being ‘there yet.’
Now that doesn’t mean you go out and have a giant chunk of chocolate cake to celebrate every time you go to the gym.
It means that you acknowledge your successes. You recognize your progress along the way. You realize that no one goes from idea to fruition, from goal to success, overnight.
So celebrate the little milestones along the way. Forgive your setbacks. Realize that slashing your other three tires because you got a flat doesn’t make a lot of sense, and keep going.
Ways to Stay Motivated – Check In
By now, you’ve got a lot of new ways to stay motivated in your back pocket, but there’s one more that I want to mention to you before I send you off to envision your goal, create your vision board, and start celebrating your successes.
Every so often, check in with your goal. Re-create your vision board if you need to.
Sometimes along the way, our goals change. Maybe they shift; maybe they get bigger; maybe they get a little smaller.
The ways to stay motivated to reach the goal stay the same, but if the goals are different, that’s okay. You can’t stay motivated as you move towards a goal if you’re not even sure that goal is still what you want.
So don’t be afraid to redefine if you need to. Change gears if you have to.
Just stay motivated. Keep moving.
You’ll get there.