Get Motivated and Stay Motivated

People are born achievers. We set goals and reach them. Without our goals, we probably won’t even be around.

People are also ‘just human’. When we encounter a roadblock on our way to success, we get distracted and our drive buckles. Figuring out how to overcome this roadblock can be very frustrating.

Getting motivated

Getting motivated requires planning, setting realistic goals and expectations, and the right attitude.

Know your goal

Write down what you really, really want to achieve. Your ultimate goal can be something like "I want to get into Harvard," or "I want to lose 10 pounds in two months." It can be any major thing that you want to accomplish. It’s okay to have lofty goals, as long as you understand the work that you will put into achieving them.

As for writing down your goals, research shows that writing them down again and again is part of a mental process of committing to them.

Be specific

Being specific about your goal makes it easier to plan for it. So instead of writing down "I want to lose weight," write down something like "I’m 10 pounds overweight. I want to lose those extra pounds by the end of three months." Having a timeline also makes it easier to plan your moves.

Be realistic

One of the reasons why people get frustrated and give up altogether is because they set unrealistic goals. For example, you want to get straight A’s after a week of serious studying – but then, you have been slacking off for most of the term. How do you think that’s going to turn out?

Breakdown your goal

Breaking down your major goal into small steps makes it easier for you to stay on track. For example, your major goal is to have $1,000 in savings by Christmas. It’s February, which gives you 10 months to save. If you have a job by this time, your small steps could just be saving $200 every month, from now until December. Another small step could be finding another part-time job, if one job is not enough to cover everything.

Setting specific details also helps. You can jot down your work schedules, pay days, and computations to keep you focused. Check your mini steps regularly and mark each step that you’ve accomplished. This is to see if you are right on track, and know how far you still got to go. It is also good for you to see your accomplishments, even if they are just mini goals.

Clearing each small step is a reason for you to celebrate. It keeps you motivated and boosts your confidence level. After all, each one brings you closer to your ultimate goal. Go ahead and give yourself a reward.

Get back on track

Slip ups happen – usually when you make changes. Don’t beat yourself up over them. Don’t give up because of them either. If you slip up, forgive yourself, refocus, and get right back on track.

Write down your regular tasks and mini-goals and re-read your previous entries. Through this, you will be able to analyze how and when you slipped up. When you find out where you went wrong, you can avoid doing it, and refocus and recommit to your major goal.

If you slip up often, ask yourself if you are really committed to achieving your goal. Your writing can also help you realize how committed you are.

Stick to your goal

Visualize yourself achieving your ultimate goal. Seeing it in your head helps you believe that it can be done. When feeling low, summon your mental pictures to spike up your will and desire to succeed. Positive self-talk is also a good willpower and motivation booster.

Enlist the help of a friend

Supportive friends are great confidence boosters. If you have a friend with a similar goal, be each other’s buddy and cheer each other on. You can also check on each other, if the other is falling behind. However, if your buddy is distracting you rather than helping you, then look for another buddy.