Achieving goals is not a matter of having “discipline”. It’s a matter of motivating yourself, and keeping your focus on your goal. Follow these tips and you should have the motivation and focus you need.
- Chart Your Progress. Recently I posted about 5 Productivity Systems and one of the systems was called the Seinfeld System. It’s a system that tracks your progress towards a goal. If I’m diligent about checking my chart every day, and marking “X”s, then I will want to make sure I don’t break the chain. I will think to myself, “I better do this today if I want to mark an X.” This visual may seem like something small, but it’s extremely powerful, trust me. Some people have a training log, which works just as well. However you do it, track your progress, feel the pride each time you’re another step closer to your success.
- Break it into smaller, mini goals. Sometimes large or longer-term goals can be overwhelming. After a couple weeks we may lose motivation because we still have several months or a year or more left to accomplish the goal. It’s hard to maintain motivation for a single goal for such a long time. Solution: have smaller goals along the way. Smaller wins add up very fast and boost your motivation levels and build confidence.
- Visualize your goal clearly, on a daily basis, for at least 5-10 minutes. Visualize your successful outcome in great detail. Close your eyes and think about exactly how your successful outcome will look, how it will feel, what your surroundings will look like, the people and how they are with you. Where are you when you become successful? How do you look? What are you wearing? Form as clear a mental picture as possible. Now here’s the next key: Do it every day. For at least a few minutes each day, preferably in the morning right after you wake up. This is a fantastic, proven way to keep that motivation going over a long period of time.
- Keep a daily journal of your goal. If you are consistent about keeping a journal, it can be a great motivator. A journal should have not only what you did for the day, but also your thoughts about how it went, how you felt, what mistakes you made pr how you overcame an obstacle, and ideas on what you could do to improve. To be consistent about keeping a journal, do it right after you do finish each task every day. Make keeping a journal a sensory pleasure. I use the DayOne app (iPhone and Android), there are many, but this is the best in my opinion.
- Post a picture of your goal someplace visible — near your desk or on your refrigerator, for example. Visualizing your goal, exactly how you think it will be when you’ve achieved it, whether it’s financial goals like traveling to Rome or building a dream house, or physical goals like finishing a marathon or getting a flat stomach, is a great motivator and one of the best ways of actualizing your goals. Find a magazine photo or a picture online and post it somewhere where you can see it throughout the day. Put it as your desktop wallpaper, or your home page. Use the power of your visual sense to keep you focused on your goal. That focus is what will keep you motivated over the long term — if you lose focus, you lose motivation, so having something that keeps bringing your focus back to your goal will help keep that motivation.
There are lots of ways to motivate yourself. These 5 are just a few of the top ways I found work for me and many other people I know. Motivation can be a very personal thing too, so don’t feel you’re limited by these methods. Here are a few other things that might motivate you:
- Join an online group
- Get a goal buddy, like a workout buddy
- Reward yourself often, but only appropriately
- Get a coach, take a class
- Meditate on it.