Staying Motivated

As the New Year Resolution period comes to a close, most people have fallen off the health and fitness wagon.  In fact, 49% of people have infrequent success, while 24% fail and never succeed with their New Year’s Resolution. (Huffington Post, 2013)  I have always looked for motivating resources in popular fitness magazines, health-related articles, and credible resources (NIH or MayoClinic) to help those overcome obstacles and challenges.  This time I’m taking a different approach-money.  Money is a huge motivator for most people- people want more money.  How do we get it?  Where do we find it? How come we need it?  That’s how we should look at fitness and accomplishing our goals.

Instead of looking at fitness web sites and magazines for a little inspiration to help you stay motivated through your New Year’s Resolution, I looked to Forbe’s Magazine for a little guidance.  Sure enough, you can apply these same tips in ‘How To Stay Motivated And Accomplish Anything’ towards health and fitness.

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Seven Steps to Staying Motivated

1. Set a goal and visualize it down to the most minute detail. See it, feel it, hear the sounds that accompany the end result. Elite athletes visualize their event and performance ahead of time — right down to the smell of the sweat dripping down their face as they cross the finish line.

2. Make a list of the reasons you want to accomplish the goal. In our busy, distracting world, it’s easy to get blown off course. This is why you need to ground yourself in your goal. For extra “success insurance,” write your list with a pen. Studies show that when we write by hand and connect the letters manually, we engage the brain in the process. Because typing is an automatic function that involves merely selecting letters, there’s less of a mental connection.

3. Break the goal down into smaller pieces and set intermediary targets. Tony Robbins, motivational speaker and personal development coach, says: “A major source of stress in our lives comes from the feeling that we have an impossible number of things to do. If you take on a project and try to do the whole thing all at once, you’re going to be overwhelmed.”

4. Have a strategy, but be prepared to change course. Thomas Edison once said- “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.” “The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

5. Get the help you need. It doesn’t necessarily take a village, but even if you could theoretically accomplish your objective alone, there’s inherent value in sharing your plan. Announcing your intentions sends a strong message to the world and, more important, to your unconscious mind, which can sometimes sabotage our best efforts. Also, we often overestimate our abilities.

6. Pre-determine how you will deal with flagging motivation. It’s (almost) inevitable that at some point along the way, whether because of temporary setbacks or sheer exhaustion, you will need a little boost. When that happens, I think of what others have endured to reach their targets- friends fighting serious diseases and such.

7. Continually check in with your reasons for carrying on. Despite his all-too-human flaws, Steve Jobs embodied this brilliantly. He once told an interviewer: “I think most people that are able to make a sustained contribution over time — rather than just a peak — are very internally driven. You have to be. Because, in the ebb and tide of people’s opinions and of fads, there are going to be times when you are criticized, and criticism’s very difficult. And so when you’re criticized, you learn to pull back a little and listen to your own drummer.”  Well said Jobs!