It’s the New Year which is my favorite holiday. The New Year brings excitement and hope, and, most importantly, action! We act upon our feelings of hope and desire. “This is the year that I’m going to get healthy!” “This is the year that I’m going to start my own business!” “This is the year that I’m going to write my novel!”
Unfortunately, the fire that fuels us at the New Year will die down to an ember and will no longer push us forward to our goals after a few weeks. We must find other ways to motivate ourselves, and we only have a few weeks to put those other motivators into place before the New Year’s magic disappears and we lose its power.
I’m going to share with you the two things that help me stay motivated as the excitement of the New Year grows stale, and we have to find that impulse deep within ourselves to keep going.
First, have an achievable plan in place. The key word absolutely is “achievable.” Our immediate desire almost always outstrips our abilities. We want to be fit now! We want to be an accomplished artist now! We want a successful business now!
We want to skip the journey and get straight to the result. We believe, falsely, that the result will make everything perfect. Once we are a certain weight or make a certain income or can perform a certain feat, then we will be worthy. Everything will finally be okay, and we can quit hurting, feeling less than.
But nothing exterior to you will ever make you feel worthy. If you were magically transported to your goal weight, you would still hurt. You would still feel less than.
The journey is the key. The journey transforms you. You learn and grow and become. You’re not the same person at the end that you were when you started. So when you’re finally healthy at whatever weight that may be, it’s not the way you look in the mirror that makes you feel worthy; it’s everything that you learned and experienced – your internal transformation, not external – that makes you feel worthy.
The journey is hard and long. And it starts with an achievable plan that takes into account “failure.” You’re going to fail. You’re going to make mistakes and wrong turns. You’re going to be thrown curve balls by life. Course correct and keep going.
I have found that most goals are actually built upon habits. Do you want to get healthy? Get into the habit of exercising and eating well. Do you want to be an artist? Get into the habit of drawing everyday.
And this is where your achievable plan begins: work on one small habit at a time and use a trigger. And be consistent – practice drawing the same time everyday or in the same place everyday.
One small habit. One. Small. Consistent. Move slowly and change slowly. Live your journey and inhabit your story.
The second thing that helps me is to stay positive. The negative self talk in my head can be debilitating. To combat this tendency, I listen to uplifting YouTubers. I have uplifting quotes littered around my house and placed all through my planner. I listen to positive music. I try to be a positive person, complimenting and saying kind things to others. All of these practices set up a feedback loop that keeps me from spiraling into a negative headspace.
Stay positive. It’s how you win.
Good luck. And Happy New Year!! May 2019 be wonderful!