We are officially a week into 2023, and you know what that means? Our motivation for our resolutions could potentially be slowly dwindling.
But it's cool, it's okay, it's all good! Let's just take a moment to reevaluate the situation and ask ourselves why is our motivation or excitement for these new endeavors fading away?
The answer? You were running off of a high of emotions, not on a skill set leading you to success.
This is why when starting any new project, goal, or resolution as it is in this case, we cannot rely on motivation for the very reason it doesn't provide us the tools we need to get to point A to point Z. Sure, it gives us the drive, the dopamine hit to feel good, and the thrill that we're going to succeed at this thing we have in our head. However, motivation can only go so far, because once we get started and work is required to see results, we slowly start realizing that maybe we don't have all the prerequisites to get to that end point we were so eager to meet.
So what do we do? We become aware and disciplined.
1. Know your habits
This should be your first step before even dedicating yourself to any new goal. Ask yourself what are the habits that seem to make you fail time and time again? Are you a procrastinator? Are you someone who is co dependent on others? Are you impatient? Do you save things for the end of the day rather than the beginning because you're tired? Are you possibly influenced by some vices (smoking, drinking, weed) in which inhibit your motivation? Or maybe you're a multi tasker and you struggle to focus on one thing at a time? Possibly a perfectionist and beat yourself up over things? The more you recognize where you fall, the better you're able to come back stronger and learn from your mistakes.
2. Write it down
When I say write it down, I don't mean make a mental note. I literally mean take out a gold ol' Hilroy notebook that we all used to get for high school and start making a list. You're going to have a a list for your bad habits, a list of how you're going to fix them, a list for your goals, and a list on how you'll reach them. I know, it's a lot of writing, but studies have shown that writing things down and physically out putting thoughts to paper not only help us understand things better, but act on them.
3. Set realistic goals
Now I am not telling you to not run after your dreams, but every dream is a process, right? Therefore, break things down into small incremented goals in which would lead up to the big picture. For instance, let's say your goal is to lose 100lbs. There is a lot that will go into this weight loss such as nutrition, exercise, sleep hygiene, and mindset. So pick you'll have to pick one thing out of these 4 categories first and set a goal for that. I have created a diagram for you below to get a better idea on how to zero in on one goal specifically and create a series of small goals from that. Once you become really good at that one "sub goal" you to go the next one until all "sub goals" are completed and you should then have successfully accomplished in reaching your main targeted goal!
5. Start the morning off right and wake up before 8am
Hear me out, especially you night owls there. I promise you, this isn't something I am recommending to torture you. The reason I am recommending this is for two reasons. First, setting the tone for your day will give you more confidence and put you in a better mood. This offers momentum to staying on track with your goals. This doesn't mean you can't sleep in every once in a while, but setting the tone of the morning correctly, like having a hearty breakfast, exposing yourself to sunlight, going out for a walk, going to the gym, not checking social media, and so forth all helps you stay focused. The second reason is because we have biological clocks according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, we operate from our inner body clocks where certain organ systems function at their peak at specific times of the day. For instance, between the times of 7am-8am is the "stomach" time, hence why most people should be eating around that hour. By tuning into our physiological clock, we can also become more attuned to the natural circadian rhythm of the sun, moon and environment around us which leaves us less susceptible to feeling tired due to weather or seasonal change.
6. Stop the all or nothing mentality
Lastly, give yourself a little grace and understand none of this is a race. Your goals are solely for you and you aren't up against anyone but the older version of you that will be. It's like trying to drink a piping hot cup of coffee really quickly. It won't be beneficial because you'll not only get a caffeine kick instantaneously and burn through that energy real quickly, but it most likely will burn you. Instead, savor the moment, take time you learn about this process and maybe you'll discover you need to change things to not just make this journey more manageable and enjoyable, but also more successful.