Even pre-pandemic, finding motivation to tackle that next goal could prove to be a challenge. Regardless of what is happening in the present, I believe we can all find motivation during any season!
Every day won’t look pretty, that is just a part of life. But I believe there is a way to channel your thoughts into clear objectives. Those clear, detailed thoughts are key when you are on a mission to find motivation. I’ve got five steps that help you narrow your focus on what exactly you are trying to accomplish. That way when it comes to finding your motivation, you know exactly what you are working towards.
If I am being brutally honest though, at the end of the day you have to WANT to find motivation. Along with these five steps, you have to dig deep and just say “hey, I’m doing this”, no if, and, or buts about it and go get after it. If you are waiting for the AHA moment, I’m here to gently encourage you to stop the waiting because this is it.
THIS is your wake up call.
Hard things will forever and always be hard. But you CAN do it, you WILL make it, you ARE worthy of good things. Let’s get started!
STEP 1: Break it down
When I got engaged a few years ago, I decided I wanted to try and “get fit”. I was getting married and wanted to look my best for the big day. At the same time, I didn’t want to spend money on a gym membership and potentially waste a bunch of money (yet again).
So when I first started out, I decided to try running. It’s free and felt like something I could actually accomplish. I decided my first goal was to try to make it all the way around my street loop (.25 miles) without stopping. And after a few weeks, I DID IT! Since then, that first goal has evolved into a 5k, a 1/2 marathon, joining a gym, weightlifting goals and so much more.
Now here I am, years later and I still have an overall goal of “getting fit” but the details of that initial goal have changed. Because of the constant change, I sometimes need to take a step back and break it down again. What exactly am I trying to accomplish? Focusing on that detailed goal is really what helps drive my getting fit motivation.
Step 2: Give it a reality check
Keep in mind, setting realistic goals is also so important. If you set an unattainable goal, then your motivation levels will most definitely suffer as a result. Goals are like Goldilocks, they need to be JUST RIGHT. Try not to aim for something too easy but also don’t set yourself up for failure (even though failing at something is ok too, if you still work hard to get there).
For instance, I am now a member at a local Crossfit gym but I sure as heck have no plans or goals to make it to the Crossfit games. But does that stop me from showing up at the gym week by week? Nope. Getting to the games is not what I’m trying to accomplish right now. That is not to say that it can’t become something I try to accomplish one day! But right now my motivation lies with a specific realistic goal and I focus my energy on that.
Step 3: Think about it
Find some time to yourself. Create a space free of distraction from your phone, friends or family. Grab a pen & paper or just sit back and really think about what goal you want to accomplish.
Ask yourself things like:
- Why do I want to achieve this?
- What would it look like to reach my goal? What exactly about my life would look different?
- How will reaching your goal improve your current state?
- Visualize yourself working on your goal. See yourself actually running, or actually practicing or actually working on a big project. Do you need to make your goal more realistic or does it still make sense?
- What obstacles, if any, are keeping you from attaining your goal? How can you change things in order to remove them?
Step 4: Make a vision board
A vision board is a GAME CHANGER y’all. I personally was not a believer but then I made one to test out it’s motivation potential and it has been a stellar resource.
Not familiar with a vision board? They are basically whatever you want them to be but imagine the most encouraging words or visuals, designed with your specific goal in mind. All in one spot. The result of staring at something visually inspiring could be how you find your own motivation.
For me, creating a vision board has fueled my motivation more so when it comes to my career goals. Looking up and seeing pictures of my dream home taped to the wall reminds me that in order to get to that I need to push through and work hard.
Being a recent convert and believer in vision boards, I decided to make an additional post about how to make your own since I’ve found such helpful motivation from them!
Step 5: Hit the books
Listen. I don’t have all the answers or the best advice. I am also a firm believer that there is no need to reinvent the wheel if something has already been perfected when it comes to a particular topic. I think there are a lot of books out there on the topic of motivation that are great resources on how to find your own motivation.
This is a list of my current faves and also a few I have on my list to read next:
- Power of Habit
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
- Atomic Habits
- Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life and Maybe the World
- Can’t Hurt Me
Atomic Habits author James Clear even talks on his blog about motivation on a more scientific level. He compares the motivation needed compared to the percentage of habit that has been completed. Clear believes that the hardest part is just getting started and once you start, you need less and less motivation. If you’re struggling with figuring out how to start, you should read up on our thoughts on how to get started.
Remember, you can apply these steps to any type of goal. It doesn’t have to be a specific fitness or health objective to work!