How to Stay Motivated

We are out to prove something to ourselves and to other people. So we set a goal for ourselves – lose the unflattering and unhealthy pound, pass the final exam with flying colors, make the school’s baseball team, make some money for the latest and coolest gadget. We usually start out doing great. But in the process of achieving our goals, we sometimes lose some driving force and have a hard time getting motivated again.

Changing, refocusing, or making a fresh start on something is really difficult, but not impossible. Using the right approach, you can absolutely achieve your goals. So how do you get and stay motivated? All you need is sound good planning, reasonable expectations, and a never-give-up attitude.

Define your goal

It is all right to dream big. That is how we accomplish things. It keeps us motivated. But some goals require more hard work and take longer than others. For example, surpassing Michael Phelps’ Olympic feat is more difficult to achieve than passing a mid-term exam. Just remember that the bigger your goals are, the more work you need to achieve them.

Make it reasonable

We usually abandon our goals because of our unrealistic expectations – lose 20 pounds in one week instead of month, quit smoking today after months or years of lighting up, joining a triathlon next week without prior training, or look like Angelina Jolie. Being reasonable with your goals and expectations is a major part of staying motivated. Competing for the American gymnastics team is not workable if you are already 16 years old and have no official training.

Make a mental picture of your goals

Visualize yourself finally accomplishing your goal: a successful you lifting the basketball team with your buzzer beater three-pointer or a proud you in your graduation day. It helps you stay focused on what you are trying to achieve. Self-visualization also helps you believe that achieving your realistic goals is very possible. You need it when your motivation and willpower are low.

Boost yourself with a positive self-talk

Pep talk also boosts your motivation and attitude. Tell yourself, "Oh, I feel great when I jog with friends. My diet and exercise plan is working" or "I’ve been working my brain off so I deserve to get a very high grade."

Keep a no-surrender attitude

Putting an end to an unhealthy behavior (smoking or binge eating) and creating a new and exciting one (regular exercise or healthy diet) is about taking responsibility for your own life. While finding the drive is never easy, it is always possible to achieve your goal. Just do not give up. When the going gets tough and you are feeling down and hopeless, think about all the good things when you achieve your goal. It will motivate you.