We’ve all been there. We start the new year with the best of intensions to lose weight, get fit, eat healthier….the list goes on and on. But then it happens. Life throws us a curve ball. We slip. We delay. We procrastinate. We give up. Why does motivation always seem so fleeting?
Guess what– even the most driven, successful people on the planet don’t feel like getting things done all the time. You might ask, “well, how are they still successful?”
When we look deeper into what motivation is, we see that it’s actually the driving force behind discipline. It’s what carries us from our goal to our accomplishment. In other words, motivation is wanting to get things done.
But when we’re exhausted, and we’re stressing over all the little things we have to do… that motivation and drive fades. So, what can we do to reignite that spark of motivation?
Here are three simple ways to hack your motivation and stay (or get back) on track:
Know Your “Why”
The number one motivation hack is knowing your “why”. When your goals have deep, personal meaning and purpose, it’s so much easier to stick it out when things get challenging. “I want to get fit.” Great goal…but why? “So that I can be a good example for my kids”. See the difference?
So…what’s your “why”? The reason behind your goal? Figure it out. Write it down. Post it somewhere you can see it every day. This is the influence that keeps you moving forward. This is what feeds and fuels your motivation. Remember, our goals are not just about achieving something, but about the person we want to become.
Building new, sustainable habits can be challenging. We tend to think more about eliminating “bad habits” first. “I have to stop eating fast-food.” Or “I have to stop spending all weekend on the couch binging my favorite show.” But, experts agree that rather than eliminating habits that don’t serve us or our new goals, it’s better to replace our old habits with new, more beneficial habits. Easier said than done, right? Fortunately, there’s a hack for this one, too. It’s called habit bundling. And it’s all about establishing a pattern or routine to help you reach your goal.
For example, “When I decide to pick-up fast food, I will go for a 20 minute walk or run.” Or “Every time I start a new episode of [insert whatever binge-worthy show here], I will do 20 push ups.” The trigger of “when I do this, then I will do that” removes the forced ‘I have to do this’ need for motivation, and becomes a standard practice over time. Repeated behaviors like this can turn into self-improving habits. “Instead or ordering fast food, I’ll go for a 20 minute run or walk and then head home for a healthy dinner.” The best part? It increases productivity while reducing mental stress.
Plan for Failure
Yes, you read that right. We all know it’s ideal to reach our goals flawlessly and in a timely manner. But, life frequently seems to have other plans. Staying motivated when difficulty arises is a lot more challenging than it sounds – especially if we get into a groove and an unwanted interruption occurs. Say you’ve been intentionally going for your daily run and eating all the whole foods with plenty of veggie (yay, you!). Then a hard freeze hits. You take a week off from running due to the frozen conditions and all of a sudden you’re having potato chips for breakfast and ice cream for a late night snack. Now,you’re frustrated, confused, stressed out, and losing focus on your goals. Sometimes, we can get so thrown off that we hyper-focus on the issue (I failed) rather than the solution (how can I get back on track?).
So, how do you stay on track when stuff hits the fan? Plan for failures and imperfection. Seriously. You have to drill failure into your practice. We can’t predict everything that could possibly go wrong– but expecting setbacks and knowing your alternative options when disaster strikes makes all the difference in your motivation. When you accept that life can (and will) interrupt your plans, you can keep the momentum going anyway. You can approach your tasks without being deflated. You’ll be more realistic about what you can achieve, learn how to make adjustments, and stay open to exploring other options. Don’t be afraid to plan for failure. Embrace it as a tool for staying motivated and achieving your goals. Flexibility is the path of least resistance.
Ultimately, being a motivated person just means that you’re in control of your life (despite old habits and possible set-backs). Remember, you’re fully capable of making the necessary changes in your life to achieve your goals. And you deserve to live the life you want. Take small steps, one day at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be celebrating your success. You’ve got this.
Ready to join our martial arts community and fuel your motivation even more? It’s easy to GET STARTED.
One of the most important aspects of any goal-setting activity that you have is to make your resolution stick. Of course, most people would agree that while that’s easy to say it’s more challenging to actually do. So, here are a few quick tips and tricks you can quickly use to make your resolution stick:
Know What You Want
You must first know what it is you hope to accomplish. Whether it’s to fix some mistakes of the past or avoid some undesired future, knowing what it is you actually want to achieve is the first and most important step.
In fact, some of the most successful people agree that creating a vision board is key to actualizing your goals. There are several reasons that this is absolutely true but here are some key points to consider:
You can SEE your goals daily
You will FEEL like you’re making progress
You have a greater SENSE of motivation
Of course, if making a vision board seems daunting to you, simply find some images that inspire you and keep them where you can see them daily.
Remember, this must be personal and doable… but most of all, what you ACTUALLY want. Because people who know what it is they truly want always get it.
Without a plan to achieve your goals, your resolutions simply become wishes. Having coaches and mentors to support you is crucial and key to accomplishing your goals.
In fact, one of the best examples of this is in mixed martial arts training at Invictus. Each new belt rank and level quickly support your wellness goals (whether physical, mental, etc) while keeping you challenged and growing. It’s easily one of the best ways to feel good and get a great workout while making tangible progress.
Put simply: your goals won’t work unless you do.
Recently, during one of our small group classes, the coaches were having a conversation with members about small, daily actions and how quickly they can add up. The coaches asked the question: have any of you ever done more than 7,000 push-ups? Everybody agreed that they didn’t know. The coaches then encouraged the members that if they committed to only 20 push-ups per day that they would accomplish having completed over 7,000 push-ups in a year.
Everyone was stunned.
No one had thought it was that simple.
Small, daily action creates big results. To do this, here are a few suggestions to leverage to turn your goals into results:
Set a reminder on your phone
Tell a friend to help keep you accountable
Join a community of like-minded people
Hire a coach to help you
Schedule your actions
The most important lesson here is this: take consistent and intentional action daily.
Track Your Progress
You need to know where you are today and set up a system to review your progress. There are several great resources available via apps and web services today. But it’s usually the simple one that will help you the most.
For example, when it comes to nutrition goals, most people set big goals (which is good) with unrealistic time frames or caloric targets. This makes keeping your goals so challenging that the goal actually becomes a roadblock. The best nutrition goals are the ones that you can actually do consistently. Meaning, if you have the resolution to drink more water, start simply by drinking 500 ml in the morning and 500 ml in the evening. Then, as you feel thirsty throughout the day, you’re free to drink water as needed. To do this, you can buy a 1,000 ml (about 1 qt) water bottle and mark it halfway so that you can easily see your progress.
Whatever your goal, keep track of your progress to see what’s working and what isn’t. Think of it from a scientific perspective and that you need data to better understand what is effective at helping you achieve your goal and what is less effective.
Set A New Goal
Inevitably, if you’ve been following these success methods, you will need to set a new goal. Now, it could be that you’ve learned along the way that your initial goal needed adjusting. It could also be that you accomplished your goal and now you’re ready for a new challenge. Regardless, always remember that the goal isn’t the point… your transformation is.
It’s been said that the journey is often more important than the destination. But in fact, you can be confident in knowing that who you are becoming as a result of achieving your goals is the ultimate prize and best result you can accomplish.
Make Your Resolution Stick
See, when you become a healthier individual, then your family is better because of it. Because you become better, their lives are positively influenced.
Your health and wellness goals made you a better person…
…improving the quality of life for your whole family,
…which makes for a better community,
…and inspires others to take better care of themselves.
Realize that there are people right now in your life that need you to do this. They are waiting for you to take bold action to accomplish your goals and make your resolution stick.
At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.