Adopting a Motivated Mindset
11:58:23 2023-11-17 232

1- Set specific, manageable goals with realistic deadlines. Before devoting time to any specific endeavor, make sure you know exactly what you're setting out to do—and when you hope to do it. Set specific and achievable short- and long-term goals, and develop a general timeline by which you intend to achieve your goals. Otherwise, it’s tempting to put off the work you need to do indefinitely.

  • Before figuring out how and when you’ll achieve your goals, it’s important to understand the “why” behind those goals: why is this dream important to you?
  • Journaling about your goals may help you define your goals and develop a clear vision. Reflect on your goals in a diary or on the notes app on your phone.
  • Keep your goals realistic: that way, you won't be disheartened if you don't reach them. This doesn't mean you can't push and challenge yourself; if you don't challenge yourself, then it's not really a goal.
  • Make your goals specific rather than vague. For instance, “Walk 10 thousand steps a day” is more specific—and therefore more achievable—than “Get more exercise.”

2- Develop a schedule of “checkpoint” goals, and check in regularly. You may know you want to have your dream job in 5 years, but you'll likely need to fulfill smaller goals on the way, like earning a specific degree or getting certain work experience. Establish regular checkpoints to track your progress, and check in often: if you see that you’re on track or even excelling when you check your progress, you’ll likely feel more motivated to continue. If you see that you are lagging on your goals, it may be the kick start you need to help get you back on track.

  • Create a calendar or a to-do list of goals you hope to accomplish in the next week, month, or year, and check off each goal as you achieve it. Consider hanging up your calendar or list somewhere you'll see it regularly, like beside your bedroom mirror or above your desk. Or, keep a virtual calendar or to-do list on your phone.


3- Make sure to reward yourself every time you achieve your weekly goals. This could be as simple as a bowl of ice cream after a long, hard week of working out or as rewarding as a trip to the spa for all your hard work. Try to give yourself whatever rewards will keep you going.

  • Be sure to assign rewards that don’t undermine the goal you’re working to accomplish. For example, a bowl of ice cream at the end of a week of exercise and dieting is a great way to treat yourself, whereas rewarding yourself for losing a pound by eating a whole pizza will likely undo the goal you just achieved.

4- Give yourself breaks. Sometimes, even the most determined people get overwhelmed. You may be burning yourself out, and a much-needed break might be just what you need to help you achieve your goal. If it's a fitness goal, for example, maybe take a three- or four-day rest instead of your normal one or two-day rest. If it's at school, don't try to do all your work in one sitting, but stretch it out over the course of the day or week, if possible.

5- Don't be too hard on yourself. Everyone falls short sometimes. If you fail to meet your goals for the week, take it as a lesson. Try to complete your next target before time, so that you can use the saved time to complete the pending work. This way, you'll stay right on schedule even if you have taken a hit. It's not always about how hard you hit, but how well you can take a hard hit and keep moving on. Don't dwell on failure; just accept it as a human occurrence, and continue working towards your goals.

  • Practice positive self-talk to not only keep yourself motivated to achieve your goals but to keep you from being hard on yourself when you fall short. Implement a daily practice of reciting positive affirmations to yourself, like, “I am capable of achieving my goals” or, if you fall behind, “I’ll do better tomorrow.”
  • If you’re struggling to regain your motivation after a few weeks, consider if there’s something deeper going on. Seeing a licensed therapist may help you understand why you’re having trouble staying motivated.

6- Watch and read motivational stories or speeches. Everyone deserves a great pep talk every once in a while. Stay elevated by watching YouTube videos of inspirational moments so you can suddenly feel a new sense of motivation to keep striving. Here are just a few examples of easily-found inspirational media:

  • Mary Schmich's famous "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" speech.
  • Almost any Hollywood sports movie.
  • Historical stories of bravery or courage (like those of Jack Churchill, Audie Murphy, and more).


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