What’s the difference between people who regularly achieve their big goals and those who keep restarting every week, month or year?
Typically it’s the ability to maintain motivation and focus over a long period of time. The consistent execution of a few simple tasks, done long enough to start to see some progress and then continuing all the way through.
It’s the ability to maintain this focus even when times get tough and they encounter inevitable challenges or obstacles.
This ability is a skill and can be learned like any other skill. It can be trained and practiced in order to become better at.
If you find yourself continually restarting or losing your motivation, use these 4 simple steps to maintain your motivation, even when things get hard.
STEP 1: BEGINNING WITH THE END IN MIND
When starting down any journey, whether it’s to get a shredded six pack or lose 100 pounds this year, the very first thing you need to do is get a clear understanding of where you’re going to end up.
What’s your end game?
Having this clear picture in your head of where you’re going will make it a lot easier to stay motivated during the tough times when you feel like giving up. When you feel like it’s not worth it or never going to happen.
Think about it this way, you wouldn’t just get in your car and start driving without a destination, right? So, why would you do that with your body and health?
This first step is crucial to long term success but it isn’t good enough to simply say to yourself, “I want a six pack.” That’s a weak end game. You need to give some depth to that goal.
Instead, think hard about the time frame you’re giving yourself and what date you’re going to finish your program on.
Close your eyes and think about what the weather will be like that day, think about how the air smells at that time, think about the clothes you’ll be wearing and imagine looking at yourself in the mirror on that day.
I have my clients do this every day for 5-10 minutes and you should too.
Visualize your goals and work on getting that clear picture in your head of what your end game looks like. It sounds crazy, but I promise you it will help keep you focused during the tough times and help you achieve those long term goals.
Once you have that clear picture in your head of your end game, write it down and put it somewhere so you see it as soon as you wake up in the morning and right before you go to bed at night. This will not only get your day started off on the right track, but also helps you go to bed with that clear image in your head while you sleep.
Which leads us into Step 2…
STEP 2: FINDING WHAT MOTIVATES YOU & KEEPING IT FRONT OF MIND
Now that you have your end game figured out and written down you need to keep it front of you at all times. This is called keeping it “front of mind” because it’s always on your mind, you’re always thinking about it and will never forget it or lose focus.
This can be as easy as writing your goals down and putting it on your mirror so you automatically see it every day, or keeping a copy of it at your desk at work or on your fridge.
Another option is you can look for other things that motivate you.
Is there a person you look up to that you want your body to look like? Then find a picture of that person and put it up beside your end game goals so you see that picture every day.
Or maybe it’s an old picture of you and you’re trying to get back to the way you looked in high school or college. If that’s the case, then grab an old picture of yourself and put it up.
During a body transformation challenge with my sustainable weight loss clients we used old jeans that used to fit and don’t anymore. They took those jeans and left them out where they would see them every day. In 8 weeks of consistent effort they always fit the jeans again. It might sound weird, but it works.
A quick disclaimer though: The key with this step is to use these things as motivation, not comparison. We never want to compare ourselves to anyone else – not even our past selves – but we can definitely use other people’s successes to motivate us to reach further, dig deeper.
It doesn’t really matter what it is, it just has to be something that motivates YOU to keep working hard when you feel like giving up.
Just as important as keeping these motivational tools around you at all times, there are also things you should avoid as much as possible. That’s Step 3…
STEP 3: AVOIDING NEGATIVE THOUGHT PATTERNS
None of the strategies above will do you any good at all if you’re surrounded by negative influences.
Negativity is contagious and should be treated like the disease it is.
Everyone has what I call “crabs” in their lives. People that are constantly trying to bring you down and keep you at their level. People that always see the worst case scenario and never think anything will work out.
These people are the ones who say, “Why are you going to the gym, why you don’t you just take today off”, or “Just come out for some pizza and wings. One night isn’t going to hurt.” Or even worse, “Why are you trying that, it’s never going to work.”
It’s crucial to stay away from these types of people because they do nothing but infect you with their negative, beaten down mindset and that is the worst thing for you.
A quote I’ve always liked from David Heineke is, “Your mind is like a garden, whatever you plant will grow. Your thoughts are like seeds your planting.”
When you are around negative people those negative thoughts enter your mind and start to grow. Before you know it you’re thinking negative thoughts and your whole mindset has shifted.
Plant only good, positive thoughts in your head and only good, positive thoughts will grow.
STEP 4: INTEGRATING SOCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Once you’ve gotten rid of all of the crabs in your life it’s time to fill up social system with the right kinds of people.
Having a social support system is crucial to long term success. This is one of the biggest reasons companies like Weight Watchers exist. It’s all about the built in community and social support system.
Seek out other driven, positive people who are doing the same thing you are. People on the same path as you, with the same obstacles to overcome.
This can be as easy as joining a program that specializes in what you’re trying to achieve. This is a big reason why I created the Sustainable Weight Loss Coaching Experience where we specialize in helping people lose their first 40 lbs and beyond and become the strongest version of themselves. It’s extremely powerful when you have a group of people with the same goals and the same obstacles to overcome.
Or you can seek out social support systems online like the Blue Phoenix Fitness Facebook or Instagram communities.
Wherever you find your social support system it’s important to surround yourself with them everyday as much as possible. The more you’re around good, positive influences the less you’ll be around the negative “crabs” of the world and the better chance you’ll have at keeping your laser beam focus on your long term goals.
When you’re ready, there are a couple ways we can help you…
1. Looking for home workouts? Download these 21 Bodyweight F.I.R.E. Workouts – 100% free.
2. Are you tired of struggling with your weight loss or frustrated with confusing and misleading information? Then it’s time to look into the Blue Phoenix Sustainable Weight Loss Coaching Experience, our 1-1 online coaching program – read more here.