I have spent a lot of time thinking about my health this year. My goal for 2023 is to improve my health and create routines to empower me to maintain great health throughout life. This train of thought has led me to think about maintaining motivation.
When we first set a goal, or choose something to work towards, we are motivated, we want to do our best. But slowly, as we keep moving forward, maybe we aren’t seeing progress, we can lose motivation. Truthfully, it’s really hard for me to maintain motivation when I am not seeing any results. Like when I amp up my workout routine. The first week is fun, I am excited to try a new workout and push myself. But by week three, I am tired, sore, cranky, and my jeans aren’t fitting any better. It’s in these moments that I truly need to dig deep and find motivation.
I have created a system to help me stay motivated. Here are my top 10 tips to help you stay motivated no matter what you are working towards.
1. Set goals. When you have a goal, you know what you are working towards. For example, if I say I want to save money, it’s not as effective as if I say I want to save $50 a week. Be specific with what you are working towards.
2. Break down your goals into smaller steps. Looking at a goal is overwhelming. Within 24 hours I can convince myself I will never achieve it. But when I break it down into bite sized chunks, I can focus on one chunk at a time.
3. Create a plan. My friends laugh at me, I always have a plan and a backup plan. Years of running nonprofits taught me that if I was going to achieve anything I had to have multiple plans and be prepared to pivot as needed.
4. Track your progress. This is the step I struggle with. I am great at the others, not so great at this. When I can’t see how far I have come, I start to feel like I am drowning. If I track my progress, I can see how much I have accomplished and am instantly motivated.
5. Celebrate your successes. Celebrate milestones, life, moments. Stop saving things for special occasions. Every moment is special.
6. Find a support system. My daughter is my biggest cheerleader. When I stumble or doubt myself, she is right there motivating me to keep going.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is a challenge for me. But I love a good challenge. Asking for help when I am stuck has shown me how amazing my support group is.
8. Take breaks. Rest is one of the most important things in life. If we don’t allow ourselves to rest, we will never have the energy to reach our goals. I have found that some water, a good meal, and some sleep can fix most things, including a lack of motivation.
9. Believe in yourself. No one will believe in you until you believe in yourself.
10. Help others. On days I feel absolutely no motivation, helping someone gets my motivation going. Weird I know. But volunteering and helping others has always inspired me, given me energy, and helped me focus on what could be.
I hope these tips help you. Summer is approaching and this is a great season to take a break from life and focus on personal growth.
Sara Orellana lives in Oklahoma City and writes a weekly column for The Lawton Constitution.