It’s nearly the end of January, and many of the average Jane and Joe’s have long lost resolve to stay focused on achieving their New Years Resolutions. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to give up, quit and go back to the unhealthy patterns that were making you unhappy in 2009. That said, how do you stay on track? Keep up your motivation? How do you remember to re-decide for YOURSELF every time you are confronted with a challenge? Here’s a few tips to help keep your feet pointed in the right direction:
1. Write it down. If most of the goals or resolutions you made are still floating aimlessly in your mind, commit them to paper. Even if it is just one or two things, put them on paper and then post it near your bathroom sink or computer. (The point is t0 simply put it somewhere else in your house where you see it every day!) Connecting to what you want and intend to do daily is paramount to achieving success.
2. Break the steps necessary to achieve each goal into little chunks. Whatever your goal, take time to set aside one or two hours this weekend to begin “calendar-izing” each goal. I tell my clients to create a table in WORD, or even to use EXCEL to break down the steps they will take each week in working towards their goals. Once they have each step identified, it’s then important to make time in your calendar each week to work towards your goal. For example, I am going to complete a book I have been writing this year. Therefore, I am now looking at my calendar to set aside work bursts where I can focus on my writing. If, however, I don’t make time in my calendar and value the appointment time I set with myself as much as an appointment I would make with a Doctor, I won’t keep the appointment.
3. When you feel unmotivated, or hear the “I can’t do this” voices in your head, it’s time to take quiet, still time to connect to yourself. There are times I don’t feel like exercising, want to eat too much chocolate, or even just feel plain old lazy. It is during these moments that I get connected to MYSELF to find out the “why” behind the thoughts and feelings that are keeping me frozen. I ask my intellectual self — my head, and the voice inside it — why it doesn’t want to stay on track. When it comes to working out, I get answers such as, “it’s too much work. I don’t want to get sweaty right now because I have to work right after I exercise.” When it comes to unhealthy choices in the food department, my intellect has a ton of reasons to “take just one bite!” What are yours?
I also look inward, taking stock of what’s going on with my emotional self when I feel unmotivated. Sometimes I feel like I’m just sick of working so hard! When I want to over-eat, my emotional self wants a quick release, the feel good happiness that comes from that first taste of chocolate frosting on my tongue!
The process of inquiry doesn’t stop there. I also take a look at what my body needs or wants when I am feeling unmotivated. When I am putting off the treadmill, I hear my body saying that it is tired. Sometimes it says it is hungry, and needs food or nutritional supplement to feel more energetic.
And last, during this quiet time of reflection, I listen for the still, quiet voice inside to chime in. It’s a message I get from myself. Wise words of wisdom that, in fact, are my true, authentic self who ultimately speaks the truth whenever I take time to ask, and then listen. The messages I hear may range from, “Just do it,” to “Call Debi to meet you at the gym.”
Once I have taken these few minutes to “talk” to myself, I feel a stronger connection to my goal, my resolve or the next small step I need to take to move forward. For me and the clients I work with, I’m not teaching them to “keep their eye on the prize,” or reward themselves with a trip to the mall or a massage. I am asking them to look for the power within themselves. If, however, they continue to feel unmotivated we then begin to look at if this goal is really, truly something they want, or something they just thought they wanted. Deep, right?!
Stay in action. Stay on target. And remember, each moment you live provides a new opportunity to choose who you want to be.