This is it - you’ve made the decision to eat better or exercise more or lose weight or cook everyday or even just to go to bed at a decent hour every night. Whatever it is, the decision has been made and you’re ready to do it. You’re going to start this new lifestyle change TODAY. Well, maybe tomorrow. Okay, for sure next week. Oops. How often has this happened to you? You make a plan to change something in your life, with the best intentions, only to see it fall through. Unfortunately, good intentions don’t necessarily equal action.
You’re not alone. When it comes to having the desire to achieve something big, we all have the best intentions. But quite often we end up only talking or dreaming of doing and not actually achieving what we want. It can be rather easy to get motivated initially, to get the idea of what you want, but sustaining that is hard. Why is that? There are several things that could be holding you back - not having an actual plan, too many distractions, experiencing setbacks that cause you to give up, or having the wrong motivations. But becoming fully motivated and staying motivated is something we all can do with just a few simple steps.
1. Figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing. Whatever you want to accomplish, you need to figure out the reasons for it. Firstly, because you want to make sure you’re going about this task for the right reasons. Sometimes we can become highly motivated but for all the wrong reasons - ie wanting to work on something about ourselves for someone else and not because we want it. There’s also negative motivations, which might work in the short-term, but set you up for failure in the long run. Negative motivations are motivations that have you wanting to make changes to avoid pain or suffering (ie wanting to lose weight to avoid negative health consequences, job searching to leave a terrible job). Instead you want positive motivations for your actions (ie “if I lose weight, I’ll feel healthier & fitter” or “if I find a new job, I can make better money & meet people I enjoy working with”). It might sound strange but that small change in motivation can make a world of difference.
2. Once you’ve figured out your reasons write them down and keep them handy. Look at them daily to remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing.
3. Make an action plan. Write down, in great detail, exactly what you want to accomplish and how you’ll go about doing it. GREAT DETAIL.
4. Now, break your action plan down into teeny, tiny steps. Often, we try to do things in too large steps (“I’m going to go vegan immediately after a lifetime of animal products!” instead of “I’m going to make breakfast a vegan meal for this amount of time, then I’ll add lunch”, etc.). Large steps are a recipe for disaster.
5. Have realistic expectations. Whatever you’re aiming to do, you’re not going to be perfect at it straight away. Leave room for yourself to make mistakes. Research to see how long it normally takes people to do what you want to accomplish. Setting too large, unrealistic goals is a great way to lose your motivation quickly.
6. Reward yourself for completing steps & take breaks when necessary.
7. Accountability can work wonders. It may not apply to everything but there are some lifestyle changes where having an accountability partner or a support group of some kind will help you more than anything.
8. Create a routine. There’s a reason it takes a minimum of 21 days to make a habit and it’s routine. Routine creates a mental association between situations & actions via repetition which causes that behavior to eventually become automatic. So, if you keep doing something repeatedly, you’ll end up doing it automatically.
9. Figure out how you’ll deal with potential setbacks. Things happen. Life tends to be hectic & a bit crazy at times so there will inevitably be times when you don’t accomplish a step or miss a day of your routine. Brainstorm ahead of time how you’ll deal with the situation so when it happens you don’t become discouraged and quit.
10. Post motivational quotes in places you can easily see them (bathroom mirror, desk in your home office, refrigerator door). Extra motivation is always a good thing!
11. Keep a journal of how your journey is going. If your goal involves food, track what you eat or cook, etc. If it involves sleep, keep track of when you go to bed and wake up. If your goal is to save for a dream vacation, keep track of the steps you’re taking to achieve that and the money you’re saving. Writing things down helps them become more tangible.
12. Visualize your final goal. No, really, visualize it. Make a Pinterest board dedicated to your goal or make an old-fashioned dream board to hang on your office wall. Seeing what you want on a daily basis will help you stay motivated!
Motivation may not always come easy but you can absolutely help it along. Make clear goals to help guide your way and give yourself encouragement as you go along. Whatever it is you’ve been dreaming of doing, we have no doubt you can achieve it.
If you have a goal of eating better or losing weight, that’s one place where we can offer definite encouragement (and a plethora of help). Our menu offers meals for various lifestyles from keto to gluten-free and help you make better food choices in a way that saves you time & money. Top Chef Meals is always happy to help motivate you on your journey to good health!