Motivation.

Motivation ebbs and flows, as do emotions, and the amount of stress and distress in our lives. The more we have going on, or when we find ourselves in a slump, it can be hard to find the motivation to start or continue with a goal.

Here are some tips for finding that extra motivation you need to get or stay on track…

Build anticipation. Learn as much as you can about meeting your goal before you start. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Create the space in your schedule to truly be able to begin on this date.

  • Start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. Because by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.

Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal also helps.

Commit publicly. We will often go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. Tell friends and family and co-workers. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.

  • If you are uncomfortable committing to people you know, consider a free online support network such as through sparkpeople.com

Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. Posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.

Stick with it. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. That motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump.

Read. When you lose motivation, read a book or blog about your goal. It inspires and reinvigorates. Explore inspirational books not related directly to your goal as well. Think of reading to enhance your overall wellness and wellbeing.

Call for help when your motivation ebbs. Having trouble? Ask for help. Email a friend or family. Join an online forum. Get a partner to join you. Call your mom. It doesn’t matter who, just tell them your problems, and talking about it will help.

If you find yourself in a negative slump and cannot seem to overcome it, consider seeking individual therapy.

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