Motivation Articles

Goal-Setting Skills for Life

WFL Week 10

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You have a variety of motivation techniques to choose from. One very effective strategy is to find visual reminders of your ideal outcome. It can be a specific picture or object, or simply something that evokes the feelings you will experience when you reach your goal. Visual reminders help you stay on track and motivated. Seeing an end goal- in your mind or on paper- keeps you focused and consistent.

Another way visual cues can help keep your motivation high is through the power of positive association. Seeing a positive stimulus increases the production of serotonin, which is responsible for feelings of well-being and satisfaction. Seeing that same cue often enough builds a pattern of positive response that creates momentum. Soon, the positive feeling will transfer to your goals as well.

Many people set a goal and will not settle for anything less than perfection. They constantly nag and berate themselves, no matter how much progress is made. Tools of the trade are guilt, doubt, shame and self-flogging. Instead of celebrating the physical improvements they have made, they see how far they still have to go. Sound familiar? To people used to beating themselves up, it may seem like the best way to get motivated. But consider this: if you attempted to motivate an employee like that, how long do you think they’d stick around? How successful would they be?

Let’s do it differently this time. Try to approach your goal from a position of "possibilities" instead. Find ways to use regular rewards to pat yourself on the back and give a word of encouragement. Instead of focusing on what you do wrong, try paying more attention to what you do right. While straight talk and brutal honesty are often good for getting your butt moving, for sustained motivation, the positive approach will keep you from burning out.

Rewards create a feeling of doing something you want to do, not just what you’re forcing yourself to do. Even the smallest of rewards can work wonders as you travel from milestone to milestone. So take some time to think about what kind of rewards will motivate you. Some free time to yourself, a book you’ve been wanting to read, finding someone to do the laundry for you, etc. Be creative!

Everyone needs a boost now and then. To keep burnout or boredom from setting in, you can build your confidence and hang on to the high energy you started with!

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