How to stay motivated to reach your goals? Recently a friend of mine, health/weight loss coach Wendy Corr, and I decided to do a webinar on how to stay motivated. So this forced me to think about how do I use motivation as well as get and stay motivated. To say I am an expert in motivation would be an exaggeration. However, I do know a thing or two about motivation because of three major life changes I made where I ultimately proved to myself I could stay motivated and achieve my goals.
At the age of 35 after a whole life of struggling with my weight, I decided it was time to make a change for good. I was 160 pounds at the time, which was the most I’d ever weighed and it was an impact on my small boned frame of 5'5". After 8 months of hard work, I dropped to 125 pounds and have maintained this weight to this day.
My second life event is deeply personal, I was emotionally abused as a child and I was bringing this broken child into my marriage, which was causing major issues and also beginning to affect how I was raising my kids. If I didn't change, I knew I was going to lose what I held most dear in life - my husband and children. Honestly, it was because of the ability to lose the weight and keep it off that I was able to tackle this change in my life. I had no idea what I was capable of and who I could be until I’d achieved the weight loss. Success led to more success.
And third, I decided it was time to make a change in my career and subsequently started with writing a book, which I wrote and published in three months time. This is by far the most motivated and determined I’d ever been in accomplishing a task.
I’d say there are five keys in how to stay motivated to reach your goals. It should be obvious, but setting a goal is the first key. When I set a goal to lose weight, to get help with my abusive past, and to write a book; I kept my goal right in front of my face at all times. I lived and breathed it. It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up each morning and the last thing I thought about before I fell asleep. It was always front and center. It consumed me. The biggest difference was in my commitment to my goals. I had tried to lose weight before but failed. Yet this time and in my other pursuits, my commitment was unwavering. I wanted to achieve these goals like I'd never wanted anything before and it was my priority. As an example, it took 3 months of work to before any weight came off but I wouldn’t quit. I was going to lose the weight no matter how long it took or how hard I had to work. My goal and my commitment were also the reason why I didn’t have lapses in memory. We’ve all been there, realizing we’d just eaten a cupcake or a whole bag of chips without knowing we did so until it was too late.
Identifying steps to achieving your goal is also necessary. In each instance, I determined the sequence to success, the steps to take, the timing of each step, the amount, and the how. I also wrote it all down and this included keeping a daily tracking journal and goal keeping to-do lists. This included check marks when I completed a task. Honestly, if it wasn't written down it didn't happen and most certainly wasn't going to happen either.
And lastly, I made sure I wouldn't let myself fall all apart when I crashed and burned. In the past, when I did fall backward or have a bad day this always led me to quit or give up. This time, I prepared for slip ups because I knew I wasn’t perfect, but learned how to pull myself back up and get back on track before heading into a downward spiral.
After 10 years of keeping the weight off I often am asked how I maintained the weight loss and the motivation to keep it off. The realization for me is wanting this feeling of achievement and who I’ve changed to become to last forever. I want to keep the 125-pound relatively fit body I’ve achieved. I want the torn little girl inside of me to be healed so I can be the wife & mother I'm meant to be. And I like being an author. It’s no longer about motivation; it's about being the person I was meant to be and living her life to the fullest. I chose happiness over perfection and focus on being accepting of myself for who I am. And yes, it’s about checks and balances too. I eat a lot of cookies, but I also work out a lot as well.
Now it’s your turn. What motivation tips do you have? What keeps you motivated? What successes have you had? And, what challenges you to stay motivated to achieve your goals.