If you can find the magic formula for motivation, I will help you put it in to pill form and market it. Then, together, we can buy our vacation home on the beach and spend our days sifting sand and sipping tropical drinks that are colored blue, peach and yellow with garnishes of strawberry and pineapple. I’ll even let you eat my garnishes!
Motivation is elusive. Don’t believe me? Just ask the many people who’ve started diets and failed; or began that exercise program only to quit after a few weeks; or are still writing their first novel after 10 years.
While I don’t proclaim to have all the answers to how to get and stay motivated, I have learned a few things through trial and error and from others. Those smart research-people-types, who teach this kind of thing, will tell you that it’s important to set goals. If you don’t set a goal, I call it “having your eye on the prize”, you don’t have a target to shoot for.
Setting goals is a science unto itself. And to do it right and improve your chances for success, set SMART goals:
S: Specific. Break the goals down in to what we like to talk of in Life Coaching circles as “baby steps”. Make a list of all the little steps you will take to get started. Keep them as clearly defined and precise in their descriptions as possible.
The Yoga Lady Story: I know of a lady who wanted to start doing Yoga so she wrote down the process of getting started very specifically. I think she was a little toooo precise (and maybe a little batty) but she found it helpful to write down that she would get started by simply getting out her yoga mat, laying it on the floor, and sitting on it cross legged for 5 minutes, for 3 days, the first week. There was no Yoga being done (in my opinion). There was just sitting. But as she told her story, she now has an active practice going. (So, who am I to judge??)
M: Measurable. The outcome of what you do has to be measurable in some way.
Back to The Yoga Lady. I’m guessing it was pretty easy for her to calculate the time she spent, for 5 minutes of sitting, 3 days a week. That would be called a measurable goal.
A: Attainable. The problem here becomes when you try and set goals that are impossible to achieve with your current schedule, or, let’s say, level of fitness. The goals need to be something that can be accomplished.
Yes, no headstands for The Yoga Lady in her first, or even second week. I do, however, think it was an attainable goal to sit on a yoga mat for 5 minutes, 3 days a week that first week. To think about it, it probably took more time to just get the dumb mat out of the closet and put it on the floor; than it would have for The Yoga Lady to just plop her butt down on the carpet and sit for 5 minutes? Just sayin…
R: Realistic. Set goals that are sensible, practical, and believable in their attainment.
Yep, I do think that most of us, like The Yoga Lady could find 15 minutes in the 10,080 minutes available in one week, to sit on a yoga mat.
T: Time-bound. Goals need a time-frame to shoot for. Decide what is it you want to do or accomplish and how long you want to take to get there. Set a pace that is comfortable for you then stick to it.
If The Yoga Lady spent 15 minutes just sitting on a yoga mat the first week, I have to wonder how many weeks it took her to get to Downward Dog? (I will spare you my joke about Downward Dog…but don’t hesitate to ask me if you run in to me at a cocktail party! tee hee…)
Listen to my Podcast on how to “Get Motivated”. It’s all about getting started so: Ready, Set, Get Motivated!
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