Everyone has something that they want to accomplish, whether that be a short term fitness goal, a long term career goal, or, as many people seem to have, multiple short and long term goals. Even if your goal is just to maintain your current state of being, that’s still a goal, and staying motivated can be difficult even in the best of times, so I have my top 5 list for ways to stay motivated below!
5. SMART Goals
When you’re creating your goal, you want to make a good goal that you can actually accomplish. The best way to do this is to follow the “SMART” goal-setting method. For your goal to be SMART, it should be:
Specific: You don’t just want to say, “I want to be thinner,” but rather hone in on what you want specifically, so maybe “I want to lose weight.”
Measurable: Using the same example from before, instead of saying that you want to lose weight, you need to make the goal something you can measure, because you could lose half a pound and have technically met your goal, so decide what exactly you want to lose: ” I want to lose 5 pounds.”
Achievable: This part is pretty important; if your goal isn’t achievable, you can try as hard as you want and nothing will come of it, so instead of saying you want to have Kendall Jenner’s body, but you’re 5’2 and have wide hips, you want to focus more on goals that will actually work, like the above goal of losing 5 pounds.
Realistic: This is pretty similar to “Achievable” but setting realistic goals means that your goals are not only achievable, but you have to actually be willing to work for them, so if your goal is to lose 5 pounds, but you eat 10 bags of Cheetos every day and you’re unwilling to give that up, the goal isn’t realistic for you.
Time-Bound: So you want to lose 5 pounds and you’re willing to give up the Cheetos? Great. By when do you want to lose the weight? If you don’t put a time limit on your goal, you won’t put the wheels in motion to achieve it.
4. Surround yourself with support.
It’s nice to have friends and family to help you in your pursuit to achieving your goals, but sometimes that might not be realistic. When I set my goal to go vegan, my friends and coworkers were not very supportive of me, so I sought out the support of online vegan communities on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. These are groups of people that are trying to accomplish (or have already accomplished) what you’re working on so they know your struggles and identify with you.
3. Give yourself multiple reasons to accomplish your goals.
The best way to set a goal is to not only set it up the SMART method that I already explained, but also to give yourself multiple reasons why you should achieve your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight by means of exercise and healthy diet, your reasons for wanting to lose the weight could be aesthetics (you like the way you look at that particular weight) and you want to feel healthier (which would result from your healthy eating and exercise). If you’re trying to go vegan, you might consider your health, the environment, and the animals in your decision, which gives you several reasons not to go get a burger.
2. Do it right now!
Whatever your goal is, start implementing it right now. Don’t start tomorrow, next week, or on New Year’s Day. If you decide right now that you’re interested in losing weight, chose your next meals carefully. Pass on saturated fats and opt for more vegetables at dinner tonight. Avoid drinking alcohol that might inhibit your decision making, and instead of a loaded baked potato and mac and cheese as your sides for dinner tonight, try steamed veggies and rice. With any goal related to diet change, remember that every meal is a new chance to do great. If your goals are fitness or academics oriented, every day is a new opportunity to practice or improve your skills.
1. Practice positive self-talk.
You can do it! If your best friend was trying to accomplish a goal that you knew they cared deeply about, what would you tell them? If you’re a decent friend, you’ll encourage them to complete their goals and stay on track. You should tell yourself what you’d tell your friends, that you’re a boss that’s going to kill this workout, or that you’re going to do great on this test! Practice telling yourself that you can achieve your goals and remind yourself that the only way to do so is to work hard and don’t give up. As they say, a little struggle never hurt the hustle.