3 Ways to Stay Motivated - Part 1: Take Control of One Thing at a Time
So, you have decided to restore your health, find love, build a more successful business, or change your life. Awesome! You do research, come up with a plan, get all jazzed up and get going. It all goes great for a little while, until you hit a bump in the road - maybe a life emergency comes screaming in, maybe you get sicker, maybe you just aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for from your efforts.
And that is where you hit the wall - the motivation goes out the window, and you fall right back into your old ways.
So, how can you avoid this fate? How do you take it all in stride for the long haul so that you can have the success story you dream of?
Here are 3 ways to make sure that you keep moving forward so that you can succeed!
1. Take control of one thing at a time.
Believe me, I know - when you want to change your life, suddenly everything seems like a critical issue. “I want to lose 40 pounds, improve my relationships, heal the low back pain, reduce my stress, and make a million dollars!” you say to yourself. Then you add, “And I want it now!”
Nice idea, sure, but trying to change too much at once is definitely the number one motivation-killer I see. Why? Because it is overwhelming, unrealistic, and frankly, exhausting.
In order to change everything in the list above, you would have to develop a super-human plan, which would likely include a daily regimen of working out, reading and following life improvement and success programs, taking supplements, going to healers or doctors, meditation, and much more. With only 24 hours in the day, you will have to keep a crazy schedule to get to all of it (not to mention keep up with all your normal responsibilities!).
You might be able to stick to it for a few days, but one day, it will happen: you’ll slip up. It might even be just a little slip-up - missing just one thing out of your enormous list - but it’s a slip-up nonetheless.
What happens then?
You get angry with yourself. You may even tell yourself that you are a failure, that you will never succeed at anything, and that it’s better to just give up. And, if you are like most of us, you DO give up.
Clearly, trying to do too much at once just sets you up for failure - the more you try to do, the more likely it is that you will suffer this fate.
Instead, what I suggest to my clients is to choose just one area to focus on at a time. Not only is this manageable, but I find that positive change in one part of your life starts a “domino effect” where you begin to see positive changes in other areas of your life.
So, what area do I suggest you focus on of your list of things you want to change?
The biggest, most irritating, most critical (and maybe even the scariest) issue.
Why the biggest issue and not the easiest-to-solve issue? Because when you go after the easiest issue first, the dark shadow of the BIG issue looms over you and grows, so even if you do succeed at changing the easiest issue, you don’t really feel any better. Of course, this cycle often perpetuates as many more easy issues will beg your attention, and wanting to avoid the big issue (because it is scary or hard), you tackle those. In the end, you never solve big issue, leaving you feeling like you haven’t moved forward significantly and without a true sense of accomplishment.
But - by tackling the biggest or scariest issue first - you’ll see the biggest changes in your life, AND you will feel a true sense of pride and relief, all of which will motivate you to tackle the next big issue.
Remember, when you try to change too many things all at once, it is like throwing a handful of arrows at a target while blindfolded - it is pretty unlikely that you will hit the target at all.
However, by focusing on changing just one thing at a time and putting all your energy there, it is like using the best bow in the world to shoot one arrow at a target right in front of you.
ACTION TO TAKE NOW:
What is your “big issue”? Identify it, then put down 3 things you can do tomorrow to begin to work towards solving it - and changing your life!
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!