Achieve Greater Success with a Daily Motivating Regimen
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
How much of your time do you spend seeking external motivation? You may notice that most external motivation has an expiration date. You can look at a successful person and feel motivated by their success. But what happens when you aren't able to achieve the same level of success or your success doesn’t happen as quickly as you’d hoped?
Have no fear. Here are some strategies you can apply in order to motivate yourself!
Make the following exercises a part of your daily regimen:
1. Love the person in the mirror. Every morning provides the opportunity for you to accept who you are! It's important to love who you are and who you are becoming. That's the first step to being self-motivated.
· Appreciate who you are and review your accomplishments. What are you proud of? Think back to times when you achieved your goals. What strategies did you use to succeed? Keep a running list of your accomplishments and review them when you need some inspiration. You’ve come further than you think.
· Remind yourself that you're here for a bigger mission of which you might not yet be aware. You may enjoy this quote which says something like this: We live life moving forward but we can only understand it looking back. When has this been true for you? How did the pieces fit together? What did you learn from your experiences that were challenging while you were going through them but made sense when you looked back? Do you still apply the techniques that you learned from those experiences today?
· Learn more about yourself and go with your grain rather than against your natural wiring. For example, maybe you want to get up in the morning to exercise because you keep reading that working out in the morning is the best time of day to work out. The problem? To you, just getting out of bed in the morning is your workout. Come on. Pressing snooze 10 times isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a workout. Ok, bottom line, you aren’t a morning person. Why not embrace that? What time would work for you to exercise? Lunchtime? After work? Working out is working out, the time isn’t as important as consistency.
2. Accept your stage in life. Believe that you're exactly where you should be at every moment. Your ability to accept that things happen in their own time will make you comfortable with what you’ve already achieved.
· Bear in mind that being comfortable where you are doesn’t mean you can't strive for more.
· Giving yourself credit and knowing that you've done your best to get where you are is enough to keep pushing you forward.
· Every few days, write a list of things you've achieved, whether big or small. Combine them at the end of the month and take an overall look at your awesomeness!
Some people use habit trackers to validate their accomplishments. Here is an example of a weekly habit tracker. Some people like to create monthly trackers. See what works best for you. You may even want to use both so that you get an overview of the month and have a smaller one to see how you are doing each week.
3. Surround yourself with positive energy. Positive energy can come from the things you choose to do. It can also come from the people you surround yourself with. When you're surrounded by positive energy, you can't help but feel more positive.
· Watch movies and listen to music that empowers and uplifts you. You may want to keep a running list of favorites.
· Do things with your friends that build a sense of community. You may like doing creative projects such as scrapbooking, photography or cooking. Maybe you like sports. Winning a tennis match may be exactly what you need to reenergize. Perhaps you would enjoy the comradery of yoga.
· Put yourself in situations where you'll have fun. Sunday brunch anyone? Round of golf? What makes you happy?
4. Help others from the goodness of your heart. Avoid helping for personal gain or recognition. When you help others and see the positive impact, you naturally feel better about yourself.
· Volunteering and seeing positive outcomes is usually very inspiring. Seeing the difference, you can make in others' lives feels good.
· Knowing that you are making a contribution can help you stay motivated to keep going.
5. Focus on smaller goals. Reaching for and missing broad, unrealistic goals can be very de-motivating. When you set your goals too high, you may end up feeling disappointed when you miss the mark.
· Why not break your major goal into smaller, tangible ones? You'll be able to focus on one part at a time, with each part being another step closer to success!
· Celebrate whenever you achieve a goal – large or small. Give yourself a reward and track your accomplishments. Proving to yourself that you can do it motivates you to keep going.
Approach this daily regimen in the same way a professional sports player approaches training day. What are your goals for the day? What can you achieve when you hit each target? How do you power through and work on your goals when you don’t feel like it? How do you change your focus on when you feel like giving up?
Work on being your own best friend. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Accept who and how you are, track your accomplishments, celebrate the goals you achieve and keep going. Finishing things creates momentum.