This blog will be helpful for you if:
you want to find out your goals and learn how to achieve them
you're feeling flat and unmotivated to get started
Motivation is the process that instigates goal-orientated behaviours. It's what drives us to make things happen and complete tasks. Motivation makes you determined to succeed even when things get tough. However, finding motivation and staying motivated is not always easy. Research suggests that we, as individuals can influence our own levels of self-control and motivation. As health practitioners, every day we work alongside patients to help them identify and map out a plan of attack to get them to their health goals. Our job is much more than just identifying a need for change with the client and then setting them on their way with a plan. We know that motivation fluctuates and that to achieve lasting change the client will need guidance, support and frequent reminders of why they need to stay motivated.
We are very well versed in all things motivation and thought we would take this opportunity to give you some tips and tricks on how to become (and stay) motivated. We will also offer suggestions for what you can do when you just can't seem to find your mojo!
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE DRIVERS OF MOTIVATION
Did you know that motivation can be both positive and negative?
- Positive motivations focus on the positive things that will happen when you take action. For example: ‘by adjusting my diet in a healthy way I will improve my health and get more from life.'
- Negative motivations focus on the negative backlash that will occur if you don’t take action. For example: ‘If I don’t take charge of my health now I will put myself at risk of disease.'
Both of these motivators have their place, however, research shows us that positive motivators are more effective in the long term because the individual is striving for something that they actually hold value to and want to do. On the other hand, doing (or not doing) something to avoid a particular outcome if you don't do it, is far less motivating. Reason being, that negative motivation is likely to make you feel helpless and in the long run, may even reduce your motivation.
TIPS FOR FINDING POSITIVE MOTIVATION
First, it is really important to establish your personal values. These values are the things that are important to us. They are the characteristics and behaviours that motivate and guide our decisions. In order to find a positive source of motivation, you must first tune into what really matters to you. Grab out a pen and paper and jot down some values that you hold dear.
Here is a shortlist of personal values that might spark some inspiration:
By no means is this an extensive list of all values, however, hopefully, they sparked some thought.
Now that you have become clear with your values try and intertwine your goals with these and give purpose to WHY you want to complete your goals. This way, when motivation fades (and it inevitably will) you have reasons to cling onto and help stay focused.
An example of this might be: "My health is important to me because I love my family and want to be able to show up and be the best version of myself for both my future and theirs. For this reason, I wish to make a positive change to my diet which will improve the quality of my life and impact my family positively also."
Have a go at writing your own and become clear on your ultimate goal and motivation behind that. This goal will be broad.
Now that you have a broad goal and reasons behind why you want to achieve that goal, we will need to break it down into bite-sized chunks. This is going to be like the road map to how you are going to get there. We like to use the acronym SMART (Specific, Measureable, Realistic, Time Based) when we set goals. Use the below prompts to help you set some specific goals that are going to help you stay on track. Make sure you answer each question in as much detail as you can. If you are struggling to do this alone, find a professional in the area such as a health practitioner or coach who can help you through.
What do I want to accomplish?
Why is this goal important?
Who is involved?
Where is it located?
Which resources or limits are involved?
Who can I surround myself with (a team or professional) who will help me to this goal
How will I know when it is accomplished?
How can I accomplish this goal?
How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints?
REALISTIC Is the goal realistic and within reach?
Is the goal reachable, given the time and resources?
Are you able to commit to achieving the goal?
What can I do today?
What can I do next week? What can I do in a month from today?
WAYS TO STAY MOTIVATED
Once you have started working towards your goals, motivation to continue may be strong or it may waver. It is completely normal that this happens and we have some tips to help you through when you do have some dips in motivation.
- Find someone who can keep you accountable like a mentor or professional. These people will be a positive light in helping you toward your goals. We think this is one of the biggest elements of success in achieving a goal. We see this regularly in the clinic. Our clients report that they are more likely to stick to their goals knowing that they have our practitioners to report back to and ask for help along the way.
- Review your goals and progress regularly. This in itself can be extremely motivating and will make you feel as though you are achieving something.
- Continue to set small, new goals. Think about what you want to achieve next week, next month and next year. Tackle one goal at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
- Keep the momentum up and aim to stay consistent with the routine that you are trying to create. It takes 3 months to make a habit. In the early days, motivation might be enough to get you through, then you just need to get used to your new routines. Stick at it because eventually, it will become a habit!
We hope that you can take some tips from this blog. If you would like some help, especially with regards to achieving your health goals please reach out. We would love to hear from you!