One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “how do you stay motivated?” The truth is that I don’t. Motivation is not there for me all the time. There are plenty of days when I would rather snuggle with my husband when the alarm goes off than get up to go to the gym. There are also days I don’t want to cook, days I don’t have a healthy appetite, and days where I just want to order take out.
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Motivation doesn’t just come, it is created.
I think goal setting is a big part of that. This process of setting a goal and establishing an identity of commitment cultivates motivation.
I know that for many of my goals, I will never reach them, I will never “arrive”. My goals are constantly changing and growing– and that’s okay. I don’t set goals for my future, I set them to better my present self. These goals guide me, help shape me, they give me purpose in my daily life, allow me to celebrate my successes, and show me where I need to improve.
For example, a year and a half ago, I set out to do one pull-up. Just one. It took me months to get one pull up, almost a year. But I did it. I got one pull-up. Then, I set a goal for three pullups. And I got five. I am now working towards at least one weighted pull up and a muscle up. I honestly never thought I would be here. And I wouldn’t have been if it wasn’t for setting that goal a year and a half ago.
WHAT KEEPS ME GOING
When I hear the alarm in the morning or think about skipping my training, or a meal, I look to my desire – I ask myself “what kind of person do you want to be?” and I remind myself that I am creating her with every decision I make. If I am ever having an off day, I check in with myself: “what are my goals for today?” “what are my goals for the week? The year? The next ten years?” “Am I being the person that I want to be today?” “Am I setting myself up for success?” This doesn’t mean that I always make health oriented choices. Sometimes, my goal for the day is to relax, enjoy my family, and have a piece of pie. But most of the time, these goals are the reason I can eat my veggies, get my training sessions in, say no to the junk at the grocery store, make time for meal prep…. Etc, etc.
SETTING EFFECTIVE GOALS
An important part of motivational goal setting is keeping them realistic. I think it’s important that we know our long-term goals. But it is also critical to know what short term goals will help get us there. It truly is all about baby steps. I couldn’t fit everything that I wanted to on this blog post, so I created a workbook for you that will take you step by step through the process of establishing effective and motivational goals. This is the same process I use with myself and with my clients and I hope you find as much success with it too.