Just two weeks ago, I posted my one-year anniversary blog post but soon after, I struggled to stay motivated. It was frustrating because how can I celebrate a big win and now go backwards? Shouldn’t I feel even more motivated?
I was having problems with my Macbook and had to take it to fix for the THIRD time for the SAME issue ( I have a point to this, I swear). It was annoying because it also meant I didn’t have my computer.
I don’t have a tablet either so it left me with my only other option: my phone. If I really wanted to, I could use my phone to work on my blog but I didn’t. The screen is too small and I prefer a tangible keyboard to work with.
I didn’t really work on my blog for that week or so other than the occasional writing. I’m so used to working on my blog every night but I stopped all of a sudden. It completely messed up my schedule.
When I got my computer back from Apple, I struggled to get back on schedule and to stay motivated. I wondered if this was going to be like last year where there was a time where I spend almost three months not doing anything blog-related.
This slump inspired me to write today’s blog post, which is how to stay motivated. I learned that being motivated is often a quick feeling that comes and goes. To stay motivated is a different story. You need to find ways to stay motivated instead of relying on these feelings that disappear quickly.
These are the steps to stay motivated when working towards a goal.
1) Decide On Your Goal
What’s your goal? What are you working towards? I’m going to use exercising as an example because it is my New Year’s resolution and a goal I’m still working on.
I felt especially strongly about exercising more and losing weight in January because I gained quite a few pounds from quarantine. Coming back to Hong Kong was a wake-up call because Asians generally do have a slimmer build. I felt pressure from society but it wasn’t just that. Also, I didn’t like how I feel about myself. I felt sluggish and heavy so I was determined to do something about it.
I knew that my goal was to exercise and lose weight but it’s still general. How do I go about achieving this?
2) Break It Down
You break down your goal into smaller, realistic, and achievable goals. This step is SUPER important. If you don’t break it down, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up when there’s no plan on how to get there.
First off, I need to decide what type of exercise and how often. I decided to do heavy exercise (where I sweat a ton) twice a week and walk 8,000 – 10,000 steps the other days.
Walking 8,000 – 10,000 steps a day isn’t hard. It’s my daily routine so it’s not much of an effort. In terms of heavy exercising, I do have to make an effort. I dislike going to the gym but thankfully, going to the gym isn’t the only way to exercise.
I prefer dancing because you don’t need any equipment and it’s fun. Who doesn’t like to dance to their favourite songs? Listening to music gets me out of a bad mood but coupled with dancing? It’s magic.
I would love to wake up early to exercise before work or even after work. That would be ideal but I also know it’s not realistic. Also, I don’t really want to, lol. That’s why I dance at night after dinner on the weekends.
You have to be honest with yourself and set realistic, smaller goals. Push yourself enough to get you going but not too much that it demotivates you.
3) Make It a Habit
Once you’ve made smaller goals, you need to incorporate them into your routine so it becomes a habit. When you make it a habit, it becomes easier. You might have to force yourself for a while before it comes naturally.
I was so used to spending every night on my computer but when I spent a week without my device, it threw me off. I am now trying to get back into the habit of working on my blog again and just having a personal computer. You’ll be surprised at how fast you can make something into a habit.
It took only a few consecutive weeks before I started to want to do dance workouts during the weekend. It was like an inner alarm clock telling me to get moving. Since it’s a form of exercise that I actually like, making this a habit hasn’t been that tough.
4) Expect Obstacles
Nothing goes smoothly, does it? This includes achieving your goals. There will be obstacles. Some are external factors like the WIFI isn’t working.
Here are some solutions. You can…
- Use your data to follow dance workouts on your phone instead of the computer or TV
- Go out for a walk
- Take a break today and work out 10-15 more mins the next time
For internal factors, it’s a little more complicated. An example is that you simply don’t feel like doing something today but you’re going to have to force yourself.
We all have to force ourselves to do things we don’t like once in a while. There can be exceptions once in a while to take a break but keep it going and you’re not going to achieve your goal.
I find that it helps immensely when I do a little bit during times when I absolutely don’t want to do anything. You might be thinking ‘what’s the point in doing something small?’ It will help you not feel as bad about yourself. You should be proud of the fact that you were able to push yourself. You chose to do something even where you could have chosen to do nothing.
Reminders to Stay Motivated
1) Focus on Your Own Lane
Whatever your goal is, chances are, you’re going to see someone that looks like they achieved their goal faster than you and it’s going to bring you down. Focus on yourself. Don’t compare your journey to anybody else’s.
It’s like driving. You mainly look ahead and focus on your own lane. You’ll glance at your left and right briefly but the main focus is always facing the front. Remember that when you’re trying to stay motivated on your own goal.
2) Celebrate Accomplishments
You have this big goal at the end of the tunnel but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate all the victories along the way. I have a little notebook where I write down all the ‘win’s I’ve made along the way. When I’m going through a tough time, I look back and it brings me all those feelings of accomplishment again. It’s almost an instant cure to make myself feel better and get motivated again.
How to get motivated isn’t hard but those feelings fade quickly. You have to stay motivated and work towards your goal – that’s what is hard especially for the times you don’t feel like continuing.
What do you do to stay motivated? Do you agree with me? Leave a comment down below!