If you have been following my blog for some time you’ll know that I’m very big on goal-setting because I believe it’s a fantastic way to challenge yourself and reach new limits.
At the start of every year I set around 5 big goals that I’d like to reach by the end of the year – check out my goals for 2017 here – and they cover a range of areas such as fitness, personal development, education and learning and so on.
All goals, no matter how big or small, require work, and that is a truth we cannot run away from. But by breaking down a goal into simple, practical tasks we can significantly increase our chances of achieving it.
One of my fitness goals for the year is to gain some muscle mass and so I have to do weight training 6 times per week. I’m not always eager to exercise first thing in the morning, but by the time I put on my gym gear and get into the swing of things I’m energised and determined to smash my workout. And here is exactly what I do to stay motivated and stay on track.
1. REMIND YOURSELF WHY!
We set ourselves goals because there’s something exciting that we want to achieve in the foreseeable future, and our goal is always of great importance to us, whether we are consciously aware of it or not.
When we devised our new goal we were excited and very enthusiastic since it felt attainable and we knew exactly why we needed to do to achieve it. Bringing our minds back to this reason, our initial stimulus, helps to reconnects us to these positive emotions, and thus they can inspire us once again to take action.
Outlining the ‘why’ refocuses our attention on the value of our personal goal and encourages us to seek out practical methods for its achievement.
2. VISUALISE YOUR SUCCESS AS IF IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.
Visualising my goals and aspirations is a technique that I love and which I enjoy using time and time again because it engenders real, tangible results. Utilising this technique when you lack motivation is not only effective but it can be fun too.
Essentially, because you are creating a vision of success and prosperity in your mind, you begin to believe that your goals are attainable, and subconsciously you encourage and push yourself to move in the right direction. This is also empowering because it is you who controls the pictures that you see in your mind’s eye, and so you get to determine the extent of your accomplishments.
To properly visualise your success you should be as detailed and as precise as possible. I recommend that you incorporate as many of the 5 senses as you can during this process, which is best to do first thing in the morning or last thing at night as you have fewer distractions and the opportunity to really focus your thoughts.
With my fitness goals I like picture myself in my workout clothes having just completed a tough workout. I’m beaming from ear to ear and I can see that my body has great definition – I am strong, confident and very proud of myself.
3. REWARD YOURSELF FOR SUCCEEDING.
As human beings we constantly seek praise and approval in whatever we do; we like to celebrate our achievements because it makes us feel valued and competent. Knowing this, it is useful to reward yourself for accomplishing part or all of a goal.
Because I had worked out consistently and intensively throughout the last month, I decided to reward myself by getting a full body massage (which was absolutely divine btw!). In doing this, I acknowledged the progress that I had made over the last few weeks and I established a new incentive to challenge myself in the coming weeks – that is, to be meticulous and consistent in my fitness routine. And to be honest, who doesn’t like a cheeky massage once in a while?!
This reward has been a great motivator and is now serving as a huge impetus for me to take things to the next level. I knew that I absolutely deserved that amazing treat and it just goes to show that hard work does actually pay off!