It’s easy to come by, but hard to keep. What do I mean by that? You know that feeling when you first start a project or set a goal? Your bright, shiny dream seems so close. It’s within reach, just around the corner. You have energy. You have a plan. Then come the challenges, perhaps a set back or two. Motivation, where have you gone now?
Whether it’s maintaining an exercise routine, reaching for a promotion at work, learning a new skill, or launching a business venture, it can be difficult to maintain your focus when things don’t go as planned. Sometimes quitting feels like it must be the right decision. As a girl who tends to dive headfirst into big projects (this blog for example), I understand this all too well. But hang on for a second…
We are all different and are driven by different things. By testing out various motivational strategies—in essence practicing them—we can discover what makes us tick as individuals. In the process, we’ll begin building up our reserves of fortitude and perseverance. Will it happen overnight? Certainly not, but if you want something, you need to work for it.
So, let’s throw our hair back and get going! Here are a few motivators that work for me. What’s on your list?
It’s so much easier to chase your goals when your body feels physically energized and ready. What does this mean? Getting quality sleep, drinking lots of water, daily exercise and eating regular, healthy meals.
Every time I set a major goal, I identify a dream mentor and find out everything I can about their journey. How did they get there? What training did they acquire? What challenges did they overcome? If I can’t pick their brain in person, I’ll do it through news articles, biographies or web research. I find it uplifting to hear how others found their path and voice.
For example, when I decided I wanted a career as a journalist/news anchor, I took my motivational research seriously. It sure came in handy when I felt frustrated or wasn’t progressing as quickly as I expected. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read about television news. The News Sorority (detailing the careers of Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour and others) and Aim For the Heart by Al Tompkins are two of my favorites. I’m taking a similar strategy in building this blog, learning all I can about successful content creators.
I often think of clothing as a suit of motivational armor. It is not only a vehicle for personal expression, but also a boost of confidence when you need it most. If we believe we look good, we feel good. Research suggests we stand taller, smile brighter and hold our heads high.
One example of this is fitness. When I pull on cute workout gear, I get a surge of energy. I know I’m going to have a great run. I’ll log more miles and will be less likely to make excuses to stay on the couch. Clothing can also motivate as a reward. I told myself I’d buy the cheerful set below from Pineapple Clothing, but only if I stuck with my stretching and strength-training routine for a full month. They have some of the most unique/happy prints I’ve ever seen! (More on that—including a coupon code—at the bottom of this post)
None of us can go it alone. Can you find someone with a similar goal to help hold you accountable? Can you pursue activities together? It is so helpful to have a pal to bounce ideas of off, someone who can give you a pep talk (or kick in the pants) when needed.
Finally, I find that recognizing small successes is crucial. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you have yet to achieve or what remains on your task list (totally guilty of this). Don’t let it happen! Think about how you’ve developed in your pursuit of this goal. Have you learned a new skill? Have you met a mini-goal? Tracking your progress and rewarding yourself when you reach a milestone helps ensure you don’t feel disheartened or lose focus.
Now—as promised—a few details about my new favorite place for active wear. I tried out Pineapple Clothing because I was sick and tired of finding holes in my leggings. Clearly, you get what you pay for! My cheap leggings just weren’t cutting it anymore.
Pineapple is a higher price point, but has really impressed me with its quality. Their leggings and sports bras are manufactured in the USA (Florida)—so rare these days—and have the perfect balance of stretch to support. Plus, you get to choose from a huge range of artsy prints. I had such fun browsing the bold, perky colors.