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5 Tips from a Life Coach for Finding Motivation to Reach Your Goals
By Jenn DeWall Confidence and Leadership Trainer, Motivational Speaker & Workplace Culture Expert.
The struggle is real sometimes. As I’m writing this, we’re about three weeks into January, and most people’s new year’s resolutions have already flown out the window. We’re back at work, juggling busy schedules and daily stress, and our motivation to work on our personal goals is dwindling fast! I know for me, there are definitely days when the struggle is real, and finding the motivation to do even the simplest things feels impossible! That’s right— even life coaches struggle with this issue! So, what do I do when the struggle is real and I just can’t even?
1. Check-in With Yourself
The first thing to do when you are struggling to find motivation is to take a moment to check in with yourself and how you are feeling. This could mean taking a moment to write in a journal, closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths, or taking a short walk. The important thing is that you try to figure out how you feel and how that might affect your motivation. Are you tired? Are you stressed? Are you bored? Are you afraid? Figuring out what is preventing you from progressing towards a goal, completing a task, or tackling that big project is the first step to overcoming it! For example, if you are tired, get some rest, and you might feel your motivation return! If you are stressed out, focus on self-care and relaxation to find motivation again. A lack of motivation can signal that it’s time to look inward and find out what you really need.
2. Stop Feeling Guilty
Ok, so you spent a Saturday on the couch instead of starting that new fitness program, or you broke your resolution to stay off social media, or whatever your current goal might be. If you are like most people, you are pretty hard on yourself about it, feeling guilty and telling yourself you are lazy, unworthy of success, or just not good enough. I’m here to say STOP IT! Tell that inner critic you are not interested in their opinion. Forgive yourself, and know that everyone struggles sometimes. It’s normal and human. Beating yourself up will only make you feel worse— and demoralizing yourself will never help you find motivation.
3. Revisit Your Goals
Finding motivation can be as easy as reminding yourself what your goals really are. When you struggle to take action, it can be helpful to have a visual reminder of your goals to inspire you. However, sometimes you have to go further than that and take an honest look at your goals to see if they still align with what you want. Sometimes we need to get more clarity about a goal. If our aspirations are too vague or without a real vision of success, it can be impossible to stay motivated. It can be helpful to use my MMM S.M.A.R.T goal-setting process to make sure you are specific about your goal and timeline, and think about the minimum, middle, and maximum actions you can take to make progress towards that goal!
4. Change Things Up
Sometimes, finding motivation requires changing things up! Take a look at your work environment, is it helping you, or is it holding you back? Making improvements to your surroundings can refresh your attitude as well. For example, brighter lights can energize you, or using essential oils or candles can set the right mood to improve your mood and help you focus. Play with different background music, decorations, or even outfits to find out what energizes you to be productive.
Or maybe it’s who is in that environment with you! For example, if you are in a toxic workplace filled with negative, complaining, unhappy co-workers, chances are you will feel unmotivated and negative too. However, if you find a supportive environment filled with energetic, highly-motivated people, finding the motivation to accomplish goals will be much easier. Take a look at the people around you and how they are influencing your ability to reach your goals.
5. Celebrate Small Wins
Getting back on track after going through a slump can feel like a struggle. Remember to celebrate even the small wins as you get back into action. Sometimes bribing ourselves with small rewards can be motivating! For example, if your goal is to exercise more, you could decide that if you exercise two days in a row, you get to binge-watch your favorite show one evening. Or, if you make progress on that project that you’ve been putting off, you can go out to your favorite restaurant. Your reward can be anything you decide. Just remember, if the reward doesn’t support your ultimate goal, it may not be the right one.
Jenn DeWall is a motivational speaker, facilitator, trainer, and podcast host. Jenn is a Millennial leadership and culture expert based in Denver, CO.