We all strive for self-improvement, yet often we find our conviction starting to fade with time. Whether it is eating better, getting out more, meditating, or whatever you feel will make your life better, you are not the only one “should-ing” on yourself. But self-judgment isn’t going to help and neither is wishing you had better willpower. What will help? Here are eight steps to getting back your motivation mojo!
- Avoid Invalidation: Be mindful of who you talk to when you start a new personal or work project. Aunt Sally, who loves you but doesn’t risk anything, may not be the right person to tell about your new goal. Talk with people who are successful at their goals. Invalidation can go the other way, too, you may want to stay clear of those go-getters who are so enthusiastic and successful, you feel like you can’t compete. Remember, life isn’t a competition, so avoid comparing yourself to others.
- Stop or Start: Choose something small and doable. Instead of saying, “I won’t watch Television!” Stop watching TV one hour earlier for a few weeks. Then try to stop watching two hours less. Or maybe you want to start something. Instead of saying “I will go to the gym 4 days a week!” If your goal is to get moving, start with taking a walk around the block two times a week. Maybe ask a supportive friend to join you. When you can do that easily, increase a day.” Once you get your confidence up, move closer to actualizing your original goal. Trying to stop or start something big can be setting yourself up for failure, so do it in small increments.
For it is line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little - and in His own time.
-- Edgar Cayce reading 254-85
- Get Educated: Learn as much as you can about your goal. Education will often give you what you need to stay motivated. If your goal is to be more mindful of your words, try reading a book about positive thinking or the law of attraction. If you want to get in better shape, study up on the benefits and make a list of the things you can accomplish once you’re up to it.
- Keep Notes: Write down a few words at night about how you felt or how your day went after you stuck to your goal, and include a few words about how it went when you fell short. Don’t judge yourself too hard. Perfection is not expected! It is helpful to be able to look back at the positive, and the not so positive, when you need the motivation to stay the course.
- Self-Care: It is hard to have good willpower if you are tired, hungry, or lacking sleep. Do what you need to do to be in your best form. If taking care of yourself is your goal, pick just one thing that you can do for yourself and start with that. I recommend sleep as your first pick. Self-care can also be alone time or social time. You will know what you need.
- Let Go: If a door is locked, try another door. You use a lot of energy trying to make something happen, so if it isn’t working after a decent effort, stop and try something else. Same with people, if you are putting a lot of energy into a friendship or a love relationship and you aren’t getting enough back, let them go.
- Visualization: Before you attempt a project or goal, first visualize yourself doing it well, being successful, and enjoying the results of your effort. Be as detailed as possible. If you want to get in better shape so you can hike at Machu Picchu, imagine yourself in the mountains, feel the wind, smell the fresh air, hear the birds, feel the energy.
- Laughter: Finally, be willing to laugh at your mistakes and false starts. When you can laugh at something, it loses power over you. Rarely does anyone succeed on the first try, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Plus, laughter is healing.
Remember that a good laugh, an arousing even to what might in some be called hilariousness, is good for the body, physically, mentally.
-- Edgar Cayce reading 2647-1
These tips aren’t anything you haven’t heard before! Yet sometimes a simple reminder is all you need to get back on track to success. Take it slow, do what you can, and most of all, don’t judge yourself. May your goals be achieved with ease, grace, and laughter!