Have markers which track your progress.
Create bi-weekly or monthly checkpoints instead of measuring you progress daily. This gives you the time to make measurable changes for example, pounds lost, minutes meditated or KGs you are able to lift in a bicep curl. By giving yourself this longer time frame you are also encouraging your competitive side, even if this is just internally.
In addition to this, having checkpoints with at least a couple of weeks between them, aims to avoid discouraging you if you are only making minimal progress daily. Try setting these reminders in your calendar to track your progress.
And remember, some progress, no matter how small, is still progress.
Educate yourself on your progress and challenges
To ensure your motivation doesn’t dip at this point, it is useful to not only focus on your goal, but the reasoning behind you wanting to challenge yourself in the first place. Whether it’s health, exercise or nutrition related, it can be useful to read up about these topics to remind yourself why you’re on this path.
Here are some useful resources:
- Books – Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It and The 4 Hour Body
- Films and TV – FatHead and Food, Inc.
- Podcasts – Making Habits, Breaking Habits and The Tim Ferriss Show
Ask a friend to join you on your mission
Where possible, try to recruit a friend or family member to take on the same challenge. This benefits you two fold, as firstly you will have company, but thereafter you will be more likely to adhere to your plan in the long run.
If this simply isn’t possible, there are a number of mobile apps which ensure you’re held accountable for your goals. Be sure to define these explicitly.
Reward yourself when you reach certain milestones
This is really beneficial in staying motivated over a long period of time. Whether you’ve almost achieved your wider goal or reached one of your checkpoints, it’s exciting to look forward to a treat. This also will increase the activity of dopamine in your reward pathway of the brain, making it more likely you will continue reaching for your goals.
Some ideas in which you could use to reward yourself in the process of staying motivated are day trips or home gym equipment upgrades. Try writing out a list of each reward you would like to receive whether that’s learning a new skill or seeing a new sight, each one will in turn increase your motivation.
Be consistent in your goals and behaviour
Most experts would agree it takes 28 days to form a habit. That’s why it is important to be consistent in your behaviour, particularly in the early days of your challenge. If you have a strong support system in place, it can take fewer days than this to form a habit.
By visualising your goals and ensuring they remain at the centre of your focus, you are in turn increasing your chances of firstly staying motivated and secondly forming a habit.
To summarise, it can be easy to lose motivation when you do not follow the steps necessary during your challenge. However, the pain of staying the same is worse… by taking just one step in the right direction, together with these motivation tips you will stand yourself in good stead to achieve your goals.