New goals are always shiny and promising and exciting. Then a week, two weeks, three weeks, or even four weeks in, those goals cease to be shiny objects of hope. They become work and often times we become discouraged when we realize just how damn hard it is to achieve those goals. This is particularly true for goals involving health and fitness.
The key to seeing your goal through is to be motivated (obviously) — but the kicker is finding ways to motivate yourself. Let’s say you decide you want to tone up and do 15 pull-ups by June. Well, you can watch all of the how-to videos, follow all of Instagram’s health and wellness celebrities, and paste your walls with photos of every fit person you’ve ever admired. That might work for a little bit, but eventually, you’ll need to learn how to motivate yourself in other ways.
This is true no matter what your goals are. At some point, you have to know how to motivate yourself when external motivators are failing you. Here are some tips for sticking to — and ultimately, achieving — your goals, no matter what your goal may be.
Know Your Why and Play it on Repeat
Why do you want to tone up and do 15 pull-ups? Why do you want to open that bakery? Why do you want to save $10,000 this year? Write down the reason you want to achieve that goal. When the going gets tough and you’re straight up struggling, pull out your why to remind yourself. Then repeat it in your head all day long. Repeat it when you don’t want to do the necessary work, when you’re doubting yourself, and when you start to think it was a stupid goal anyway. By holding the reason why close, you’re more likely to stick it out another day. If the next day is equally or even more difficult, rinse and repeat.
Remember the Haters
There are always people who cut you down about your goals, even if they don’t realize they’re doing it. Maybe your mom is skeptical about your career path or that mean girl at the gym laughed at you for messing up in a new class. Whoever it is that made you feel like you couldn’t reach your goals, remember that person and let it fuel your drive to prove them wrong. There is nothing more satisfying than achieving something that someone said you couldn’t do. Take all of that anger and sadness and turn it into motivation to get to work.
Sometimes you just have to treat yourself like a toddler. If you don’t feel motivated to write that business proposal, tell yourself that once it’s done you can have a reward, like a glass of wine. If you’re just feeling extra sluggish and unwilling to hit the gym, make a deal that you’ll go buy a new exercise tank once you’ve finished all of your workouts that week. Dangling a metaphorical carrot in front of yourself is sometimes necessary, and there’s no shame in that. As long as you keep pushing through the hard times, you’ll come out victorious and proud.
Envision the End Result
If all of that doesn’t seem to be working AT ALL, try taking a quiet minute to envision yourself and your life after you’ve achieved your goal. What will your life look like? How will you feel once you’ve reached the finish line? Will you be proud of yourself and confident in your abilities? How will achieving that goal enhance your life? Think about all of the ways it will impact you and be as detailed as possible. Seeing that picture in your head can ignite a fire of motivation you didn’t even know you had inside of you. Hold that picture in your head as you struggle through late nights, studying, sweating, and working your bum off. It will keep you going.