5 Tips to Getting Back on Track with Goals and Motivation
It happens to the best of us. We have the intention of getting so much accomplished, reaching our goals, and feeling motivated. Then something happens…you aren’t accomplishing your goals and you’ve lost motivation. You have done what I call, “falling off track”. The main reason I wanted to write about this is because I recently fell off track and I got really frustrated with myself. Most people see me as extremely motivated, determined, goal driven, etc., but the reality is that I don’t always feel that way unfortunately.
A few weeks ago I was in a rut. I knew there was so much I wanted and needed to do, but I felt highly overwhelmed. It got to the point that I would just take naps during the day on the weekends and continuously hit snooze. I would say things to myself like, “Ok, after a 30 minute nap, you have to go to the animal shelter and clean the house and fold laundry and plan meals…”. Well, that wouldn’t happen because I would wake up from the nap feeling even worse about myself because I wasted time. So the only way I knew to avoid that feeling was to go back to sleep. So the cycle just continued as I began to feel worse about who I was and how things were panning out. Regardless of what kind of life or mentality you have, I think you will always have days where you don’t feel as motivated. I think that imperative part is to find out why you fell off track and what you can do to get back on track. For me, I realized I was overwhelming myself. I was getting so excited for Summer break so I could get started on my goals and to-do lists. I am obsessed with productivity. I usually even find it challenging to just sit around and relax at home because I feel the need to constantly be productive. Then I started to freak out because I realized how much I was expecting of myself which is why I resorted to complete avoidance.
So here are my 5 tips to getting back on track with goals and motivation.
1-Simplify your To-Do Lists
I am the ultimate to-do list queen! At any given moment I can have about five different running to do lists. Although it’s a great idea to have to do lists in order to remain focused on your priorities, having too many tasks “to-do” can be extremely overwhelming. When you feel overwhelmed you are less likely to mark off those tasks because you don’t know where to start. When you start a to-do list, write down the top priorities first and work on those tasks first as well. Try to keep your to-do lists short and sweet if you are feeling overwhelmed. Instead of putting 12 tasks on your list, try to aim between five and seven tasks. Once you’ve completed a list, then you can start up a new list and focus on the less important tasks.
2- Listen to, Watch, or Read Something Inspirational/Motivating
I find motivation to be highly contagious, and I feed off of the inspiring energy of others. So when I feel as though I’ve fallen off track, I tend to resort to motivating podcasts, interviews, or books. It helps to hear words of wisdom from people who struggled, worked hard, and are now successful. You start to see different perspectives and open up your mind to various approaches at life. I love listening to podcasts and interviews on my drive to and from work. I just connect my phone to Bluetooth in my car, pull up YouTube and find a video to listen to. My two favorite motivational people are Tony Robbins and Lewis Howes. There are a boat load of interviews with Tony Robbins and compilation speech videos online. Lewis Howes has his own YouTube channel called “The School of Greatness”. He interviews successful authors, artists, entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, and people who overcame hardships. I feel so enlightened after listening to those interviews, so it motivates me to accomplish more in my life. I also love self-help books, so if you’re a reader here are two that I suggest: Do Over by Jon Acuff and The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes.
3-Focus on the Baby Steps
Do you have a lot of long term goals? How about some really lofty aspirations? If so, then you might also feel overwhelmed thinking about how to get to those goals. Most long term goals are not going to be accomplished in a promptly manner. It’s crucial to focus on the baby steps of your goals in order to reach them. The baby steps are pretty much the “how?” of your goal. Think of your goals like a GPS. You start at the pin that represents your current location and there’s another pin for the desired location. It would be pointless to enter two addresses into a GPS and not get any directions of how to get from point A to point B. The same goes for your goals. You know where you are at and where you want to be, but you won’t go anywhere without the directions or the “how?”.
Here is an example of my current long-term Summer goal in relation to health/fitness.
- My Goal(s):
- Flatten my stomach and tone up more (specifically abs, quads, and gluten)
- The How:
- Follow detailed targeted workouts (Katy Hearn Challenge)
- Workout at least 6 days out of the week
- Track PR (personal records) and increase weights or reps
- Attend yoga/pilates at least once a week
- Aim for a gallon of water per day
- Incorporate warm-ups and stretching into my workouts more often
- Consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day
So as you can see, I have a lot of ways that I am working toward achieving my Summer goal. It is a lot easier for me to see the end result if I know what exactly it is I am doing to get there. If I just said, “I want abs by the end of Summer”, then the chances are pretty slim when it comes to obtaining that goal.
This is probably the hardest thing to do in today’s world. Distractions are literally everywhere. Smart phones with thousands of apps, TV shows, computers, tablets, social media, bad influences, and the list could go on. You probably thought of your biggest time waster and distractor just now, huh? Even though this can be a challenge because so many of us are attached to those distractors, it’s something you just need to do. If you need to work on an important task or goal, then you should turn off your devices or put them in another room if you don’t think you will have the will power to stay away from them otherwise. You could even set time constraints for yourself. For example, focus on your priorities for one hour, then you can watch a YouTube video or check your Instagram feed for ten minutes. Just be sure to monitor the time; you don’t want ten minutes to turn into thirty. When I have a lot to get done, I sometimes give myself a “no social media until this time” rule or “no social media until these specific tasks are completed” rule. I end up feeling so much better at the end of the day because I am able to cross things off my to-do list without all those time wasters in the way.
5-Find an Accountability Partner
Let’s be real, it’s easy to get off track with our goals. It’s easy to avoid doing something because we just don’t feel like doing it or we aren’t motivated enough. We tend to convince ourselves against our goals or motivation because we find excuses. That’s where an accountability partner comes in handy! It’s not as easy to fall off track or lose motivation when you have someone else with the same or similar goal as you. No doubt, my accountability partner is my younger sister. We both bounce ideas off of each other, we encourage each other, we tell each other the truth, and we push each other to be better versions of ourselves. A lot of my fitness, health, and lifestyle motivation comes from my time and conversations with her. I usually go to the gym alone because our schedules don’t always line up, but there are times when my sister is able to go with me. I usually have a more intense workout and am able to work on my form when my sister is there with me. She knows what my goals are, so sometimes she’ll up my weight to encourage me to push harder. You don’t have to see your accountability partner everyday. He or she could simply call or text you to check in with your goals. The person you choose as your accountability partner should be generally positive, working on goals as well (even better if the goals are similar to yours), and supportive. You know in cartoons when a character has a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. Think of your doubts and lack of motivation as the devil (bad guy) and your accountability partner as the angel (the good guy). If my sister was constantly telling me to “just stay home” when I say I don’t feel like going to the gym, then I wouldn’t have her as my accountability partner. So, choose that partner wisely!
So even though we all are going to have those unmotivated, off the track moments, it’s the resilience that is important. Get back on the track, stay focused, get motivated, and reach those goals!
The fact that you aren’t where you want to be should be enough motivation.
This blog post contains Amazon Associated links.
If you follow those links and purchase the product I make a small profit.
Thank you for the support!