On Staying Motivated...

When struggling to achieve a goal, it helps to think of it in relation to the rest of your life versus an isolated goal or achievement.  For example, I had a client who wanted to lose weight for her friends upcoming wedding.  She decided that 25 pounds was a realistic goal and she started dieting and exercising for a week or two, then she’d quit.   A few weeks went by and she had lost little weight with her yo-yo dieting.  She began to get anxious, panicky and down on herself as the wedding date got closer, so she brought it up in one of our sessions.   I asked her “What exactly do you want to do?” her answer was “Lose 25 pounds before my friends wedding.”  “Okay" I said, "And how will losing 25 pounds for the wedding impact your life?”

“My life??" I could hear the wheels turning in her head.  "Well,  to start, I would look great, receive lots of compliments which would raise my self-esteem.  I would feel confident and beautiful and I would be willing to take pictures with my friends - I hate doing that now.  My positivity would increase, I’d laugh more, choose a dress to wear that shows off my curves instead of hides them... I'll always look back on that weekend and the pictures and feel the joy, excitement and beauty that I felt that day.  I'd probably even keep going and lose more weight when I return.  That would improve my health for the future." 

Yes!  Her motivation tripled in a few moments by answering that one question for herself.  From then on she committed to looking beyond the wedding.  It suddenly became not just about looking good for a weekend, but about creating memories and health that would last a lifetime. 

Reframing your thoughts in this way applies to anything.  It makes the goal easier to reach because as the value of the intended outcome increases, so does the motivation.  Having trouble cleaning your room this weekend?  Instead of thinking short-term, challenge yourself to find the long-term positive effects.  Sure, cleaning your room today may impact the rest of your life, but maybe for the next couple weeks you’ll get ready for the day faster, get to work earlier and have a more productive day.  If you’re a creative person like me or an artist, getting organized can increase positivity and promote a surge of creative energy that helps you finish that next big project. 

Whatever you're struggling to stay committed to, no matter how small it is, ask yourself how it can affect the rest of your life, or at least the next few weeks, and your motivation to achieve it will increase exponentially!