How has your year started?
Did you set any resolutions? How are you getting on with them? To me, January is the wrong time of year to set resolutions. It’s often dark and dreary, too cold to venture outside and this year we’re in the middle of another lockdown.
After a few weeks, about now, our motivation usually gets up and walks off in a sulk. Does this sound like you? If so, I have good news! This time “thinking of you” is all about renewing your enthusiasm and energy to keep your motivation firmly with you.
When you set a resolution (at any time of the year), you feel excited about it. In that moment, your enthusiasm to achieve that goal is high. Later, when the reality of the effort involved hits, your energy and motivation can deplete.
To maintain that energy and enthusiasm, you need to understand what the outcome is. You need a compelling reason to work on that goal. By focussing on the outcome, you’ll spark that drive to take the necessary actions and overcome any resistance you may have.
Let’s break that down into a process…
Keeping your Eyes on the Prize
When you make your resolutions or set your tasks, how do you go about it? Most people tend to say, ‘I ought to do this…’ or ‘I should achieve that…’. They’re focussing on what needs to be done, not what the reward is. That ‘doing’ can take too much effort and energy.
Setting the right goals helps with motivation. In fact, the definition of motivation is the energy that keeps us going long after we made the decision to act. Clearly focussing on the outcome helps to maintain your motivation, so you need a persuasive reason to achieve your goal. Then, when you feel like you’re using up too much energy, you can remind yourself why you’re doing that task. In other words, keep your eyes on the prize.
If you’ve decided that you want to run a marathon, focus on the getting fit part, not the training. If you’re only thinking, ‘I need to run,’ your motivation and enthusiasm will probably wane. Whereas if you remind yourself that you want to be fit enough to run a marathon and envision yourself reaching the finish line, your motivation and enthusiasm remain higher.
Your goal may be a short-term one. For example, if you want to make a cake from scratch instead of buying it from the supermarket. The result will not only be a very tasty treat but also the satisfaction of knowing you went to the effort of finding the right recipe, buying the ingredients and baking it yourself.
Make it fun!
It is helpful to write goals in the present tense – ‘I am running to get fit’ or ‘I am learning how to use this new software to save time and make more money’. Writing them in the future “I will…” means you’re more likely to put off the task but writing it in the present tense becomes an affirmation and a statement of intent.
Making it fun means the journey will be far more enjoyable. If your goal is to walk daily, to stay active, and it’s raining today, then don’t. Put some loud music on and dance instead. Do your housework extra vigorously or find a fun exercise class online.
I often set goals in April, springtime, a period of renewal. That’s a good time to do an annual goal map for the year’s intentions, remembering of course to review them throughout the year.
Just Do It
This check list will help you maintain your enthusiasm and achieve your end results:
- If you already think you’ve failed your new year resolutions, you haven’t. You will have done something. Now look at them again and reset them as intentions to create a different, more motivating mindset. Remember, as CS Lewis said, “you can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start again from where you are and change the ending.”
- How determined are you to succeed in your intentions? Your level of determination sets your likelihood of success – is it a strong desire, a nice to have or could you live without it?
- Make them fun!
- Actively work on them to maintain progress and enthusiasm; set lots of little milestones. As you succeed each milestone, you’re rewarded by a dopamine hit that helps keep you actively working towards the ultimate end result.
- When things feel too hard don’t ignore it, just make a start. Taking that first small step is a good beginning.
- The pace of progress can affect your enthusiasm. If you’re getting impatient, remember that it’s like running a marathon – set out too fast and you’ll burn out. Instead, manage the pace of progress to maintain your enthusiasm, energy and motivation. Coaching can help with this.
- Find a cheerleader! Sometimes you just need someone to cheer you on when you’ve succeeded, too, to help maintain your enthusiasm. I love being the cheerleader for my clients. It generates an infectious energy.
- When you realise that you’re struggling with your focus or working on your actions, find a good coach to help you get back on track.
If you gave up on your goals, intentions or resolutions, do you know why? Understanding the reason why you quit is learning material. Don’t waste precious energy beating yourself up about it. Learn from that and quickly move on.
Need a Cheerleader?
If your resolution / intention / goal hasn’t worked out and you still want to achieve your end result, now is the time to get a coach.
Being coached while working on your goals and intentions is particularly effective, helping you to achieve them with more focus and less pain.
In each session, we check in on your results and rewards. If your focus has drifted, coaching brings you back on track and reminds you of the outcome you’re working towards. My ‘V is for Vision’ blog helps with that. Even a short call with me can help.
Stopped working on your actions? Whether that’s because you couldn’t find the time or lost your mojo – or both! – it’s more important than ever to have your coaching session. That’s when you need help the most. Coaching boosts your enthusiasm and renews your energy.
Do get in touch to book an initial, no obligation, cheerleading chat to give yourself a boost. I’d love to hear from you. Either ring me on 07766 004964 or click here to email me.