This is the time of year when many of us lose or drop our motivation, the enthusiasm of the new year and those resolutions have given way to the reality of our day to day lives.
The dark evenings, the murky cold and wet days make us want to hibernate instead. If this is you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It can be really tempting to start the year on a high and then find that you have fallen off track within a few weeks. Whether it be getting fitter, losing weight, or daily journaling or whatever new project you have set yourself for 2022. As a result, I wanted to share with you my most important motivational tip, which is focus on the journey not the destination.
Don’t despair. If you’ve fallen off track, it’s totally normal to do this, and remember that January is a tough time to start anything new. Far easier in the summer months, with the optimism of long days and warmth giving us all energy. It’s so easy to forget that we, just like other animals, have a cycle to the year, and in the cold, dark times, it’s entirely natural to want to curl up, keep warm and eat hot comforting foods. It’s important that whatever you do, you take into account these factors and plan them into your project. Give yourself the self-love and care that you need.
If you have come to a crunching stop, that’s okay, it probably means that you have been a little over ambitious in your current planning and it’s not working, when you consider all your other commitments. The most important thing is to recognise the things that it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean you’re not able to achieve your goal. It doesn’t mean that you’re bad or unable to get where you need to go. It doesn’t mean that you need to throw all your plans away, it doesn’t mean it was a bad plan. It doesn’t mean you have stopped forever.
It does mean you need to look again at how you schedule your days, and how you fit things into your life. So, for example you said that you are going to go to the gym 3 times this week and you didn’t go once, have a look at what is in the way. For me, if I have to spend any time at all getting my kit together in the morning, I’ll just decide it’s too much hassle and not bother. So, for me to get to the gym, I have to pack my bag the night before, and leave it by the door. I have to set my intention way before the moment I leave the house.
I heard a great tip in Steven Bartlett’s podcast ,The Diary of a CEO ( highly recommend you listen if you haven’t heard it, available here from Apple or wherever you get your podcasts) where he explains his goal is to get to the gym..every day. Not to do a workout, and not to achieve anything beyond that, just to get to the gym every day. When he’s done that, he’s hit his goal. And of course, once he’s there, he might as well do a workout. This makes absolute sense to me. The barrier is getting there. Once you have that as a habit, it’s so much easier to stay in shape, because you might as well exercise, you’re already there. What else could you apply that to? Could you create a different goal, a smaller one, but which will get over the barrier of whatever is stopping you achieving your project. Jot down one line in your journal every day. Write your blog or book for 2 minutes. Introduce one new vegetable into your cooking that you’ve never tried before. Walk for 2 minutes down the road.
Forgive yourself if your motivation has dropped away, and have another look at what habits you can introduce to make it easier for you to have this new thing in your life, after all for change to happen, change has to happen. But it can be much easier than you think, if you make your goals smaller and therefore easier to stick to. Then the consistency will build and you will begin to see that you are making progress.
In conclusion, focus on the journey not the destination.
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