How to Stay Motivated and Accomplish Your Goals

How to Stay Motivated and Accomplish Your Goals

Motivation is an important factor in accomplishing your goals. Without it, it will be more difficult to find the inspiration to reach for what you initially set your heart and mind to do. Fortunately, when motivation starts to dwindle, there are ways to bring it back. 

Here are some tips to stay motivated and on track to reach your goals:

  1. Visualize your goals.

    Visualization is a powerful, time-tested scientific tool that works at a subconscious level. When you set a goal, try visualizing the things you might see, feel and hear when you attain your goal (for example, the applause and the compliments of your colleagues after you delivered an excellent presentation). A lot of successful athletes use this technique to motivate themselves. They visualize their performance in advance and do this in such a detailed manner, that they can smell the sweat dripping from their face as they reach the finish line. An experiment was conducted with athletes in which some athletes were asked to run, and others were asked to visualize ‘as if’ they were running. Surprisingly the muscles of the athletes who visualized, responded in the same way as the people who actually ran, showing that the brain cannot clearly differentiate between reality and strong visualization! The brain perceives the visualized experience to be real, and organizes the body’s chemistry and physiology to respond accordingly. 

  1. Scrutinize your motivators.

    Know the specific reasons you want to attain a specific goal, and write these reasons down. For instance, if you want to attain something for your loved ones, this could be a powerful motivator as you’re not just motivated by self-interest. While self-interest is a good motivator, wanting to accomplish a goal for something other than self-interest can have more impact in sustaining your motivation for a long time. Some questions to ask are:

What are the greatest benefits for me if I achieve my goal?

What all will change positively in my life?

How will my life change when I achieve this?

How will I feel and how will my future look if I achieve this?

What kind of person can I become if I achieve this?

  1. Accept your mistakes.

    The path to attaining success may not be easy. There will be roadblocks along the way, and you’ll probably make mistakes in the process. Instead of beating yourself up for those mistakes, use them as learning opportunities. Don’t let them be the reasons you stop reaching for your goals. Use them as opportunities to learn what not to do in the future. Everyone makes mistakes! In fact, champions fail even more because they set higher goals than anyone else who chooses to be in the comfort zone. The only difference is how they treat their failures – champions learn from them, become stronger, and keep going. 

  2. Break down your main goal into chunks.

    Break your main goal into more task-oriented, smaller goals. Set a deadline for each one. For instance, if your primary goal is re-organizing your closet, know exactly when and where you should start. It could be your shoes, then belts and accessories, then shirts, etc. Breaking down a huge task into smaller ones will make the process more manageable, and will help to prevent the levels of stress which can damage motivation. By chunking it down or creating milestones, a big goal becomes more achievable and measurable. When you can measure and document progress and small success, this will help to sustain and builds more motivation.

  3. Compete with yourself.

    There are times when you tend to compare yourself with others and try to reach for perfection – making it harder to reach your goals. This can have a huge impact on your motivation, thereby sabotaging it, instead of maximizing it to push yourself forward. With that said it makes sense to compete with self and work on continuous improvement rather than getting bogged down by others or trying to race with others. It is definitely important to learn from others and their strategies, and model them if required, but remember, ‘whenever we just try to overtake people on the highway there will be always someone or the other ahead of us’.

Sustaining motivation can be tough, but with the right mindset and motivational training, you can tap into your inner motivation, harness it, and sustain it.


About the Author: Harrish Sairaman

Harrish SairamanHarrish Sairaman is a well-known motivational teacher in India, helping many to achieve which once seemed unachievable like increase motivation, leadership, Corporate Training, decrease stress etc. through Motivational Training Programs, Leadership training programs, team building training programs, Entrepreneur Coaching and Individual Coaching to name a few. His ability to deliver life changing, scientifically sound, relevant and metaphysical messages in a powerful, humorous and insightful manner integrated with high energy has earned him a reputation of bringing about a difference with a difference! 

Find out more about Harrish on www.harrishsairaman.comFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

2 Comments

Muhammad

Thanks for the tips. just like what Mr. Fawzy told me at almentor, just focus to your original goal and don’t make hasty decisions.

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For way too long, there’s been an idea that discipline has to make kids feel bad if it’s going to steer them away from bad choices. But my gosh we’ve been so wrong. 

The idea is a hangover from behaviourism, which built its ideas on studies done with animals. When they made animals scared of something, the animal stopped being drawn to that thing. It’s where the idea of punishment comes from - if we punish kids, they’ll feel scared or bad, and they’ll stop doing that thing. Sounds reasonable - except children aren’t animals. 

The big difference is that children have a frontal cortex (thinking brain) which animals and other mammals don’t have. 

All mammals have a feeling brain so they, like us, feel sad, scared, happy - but unlike us, they don’t feel shame. The reason animals stop doing things that make them feel bad is because on a primitive, instinctive level, that thing becomes associated with pain - so they stay away. There’s no deliberate decision making there. It’s raw instinct. 

With a thinking brain though, comes incredibly sophisticated capacities for complex emotions (shame), thinking about the past (learning, regret, guilt), the future (planning, anxiety), and developing theories about why things happen. When children are shamed, their theories can too easily build around ‘I get into trouble because I’m bad.’ 

Children don’t need to feel bad to do better. They do better when they know better, and when they feel calm and safe enough in their bodies to access their thinking brain. 

For this, they need our influence, but we won’t have that if they are in deep shame. Shame drives an internal collapse - a withdrawal from themselves, the world and us. For sure it might look like compliance, which is why the heady seduction with its powers - but we lose influence. We can’t teach them ways to do better when they are thinking the thing that has to change is who they are. They can change what they do - they can’t change who they are. 

Teaching (‘What can you do differently next time?’ ‘How can you put this right?’) and modelling rather than punishing or shaming, is the best way to grow beautiful little humans into beautiful big ones.

#parenting
Sometimes needs will come into being like falling stars - gently fading in and fading out. Sometimes they will happen like meteors - crashing through the air with force and fury. But they won’t always look like needs. Often they will look like big, unreachable, unfathomable behaviour. 

If needs and feelings are too big for words, they will speak through behaviour. Behaviour is the language of needs and feelings, and it is always a call for us to come closer. Big feelings happen as a way to recruit support to help carry an emotional load that feels too big for our kids and teens. We can help with this load by being a strong, calm, loving presence, and making space for that feeling or need to be ‘heard’. 

When big behaviour or big feelings are happening, whenever you can be curious about the need behind it. There will always be a valid one. Meet them where they without needing them to be different. Breathe, validate, and be with, and you don’t need to do more than that. 

Part of building resilience is recognising that some days and some things are rubbish, and that sometimes those days and things last for longer than they should, but we get through. First we feel floored, then we feel stuck, then we shift because the only choices we have we have are to stay down or move, even when moving hurts. Then, eventually we adjust - either ourselves, the problem, or to a new ‘is’. 

But the learning comes from experience. They can’t learn to manage big feelings unless they have big feelings. They can’t learn to read the needs behind their feelings if they don’t have the space to let those big feelings come back to small enough so the needs behind them can step forward. 

When their world has spikes, and when we give them a soft space to ‘be’, we ventilate their world. We help them find room for their out breath, and for influence, and for their wisdom to grow from their experiences and ours. In the end we have no choice. They will always be stronger and bigger and wiser and braver when they are with you, than when they are without. It’s just how it is.♥️
When kids or teens have big feelings, what they need more than anything is our strong, safe, loving presence. In those moments, it’s less about what we do in response to those big feelings, and more about who we are. Think of this like providing a shelter and gentle guidance for their distressed nervous system to help it find its way home, back to calm. 

Big feelings are the way the brain calls for support. It’s as though it’s saying, ‘This emotional load is too big for me to carry on my own. Can you help me carry it?’ 

Every time we meet them where they are, with a calm loving presence, we help those big feelings back to small enough. We help them carry the emotional load and build the emotional (neural) muscle for them to eventually be able to do it on their own. We strengthen the neural pathways between big feelings and calm, over and over, until that pathway is so clear and so strong, they can walk it on their own. 

Big beautiful neural pathways will let them do big, beautiful things - courage, resilience, independence, self regulation. Those pathways are only built through experience, so before children and teens can do any of this on their own, they’ll have to walk the pathway plenty of times with a strong, calm loving adult. Self-regulation only comes from many experiences of co-regulation. 

When they are calm and connected to us, then we can have the conversations that are growthful for them - ‘Can you help me understand what happened?’ ‘What can help you so this differently next time?’ ‘How can you put things right? Do you need my help to do that?’ We grow them by ‘doing with’ them♥️
Big feelings, and the big behaviour that comes from big feelings, are a sign of a distressed nervous system. Think of this like a burning building. The behaviour is the smoke. The fire is a distressed nervous system. It’s so tempting to respond directly to the behaviour (the smoke), but by doing this, we ignore the fire. Their behaviour and feelings in that moment are a call for support - for us to help that distressed brain and body find the way home. 

The most powerful language for any nervous system is another nervous system. They will catch our distress (as we will catch theirs) but they will also catch our calm. It can be tempting to move them to independence on this too quickly, but it just doesn’t work this way. Children can only learn to self-regulate with lots (and lots and lots) of experience co-regulating. 

This isn’t something that can be taught. It’s something that has to be experienced over and over. It’s like so many things - driving a car, playing the piano - we can talk all we want about ‘how’ but it’s not until we ‘do’ over and over that we get better at it. 

Self-regulation works the same way. It’s not until children have repeated experiences with an adult bringing them back to calm, that they develop the neural pathways to come back to calm on their own. 

An important part of this is making sure we are guiding that nervous system with tender, gentle hands and a steady heart. This is where our own self-regulation becomes important. Our nervous systems speak to each other every moment of every day. When our children or teens are distressed, we will start to feel that distress. It becomes a loop. We feel what they feel, they feel what we feel. Our own capacity to self-regulate is the circuit breaker. 

This can be so tough, but it can happen in microbreaks. A few strong steady breaths can calm our own nervous system, which we can then use to calm theirs. Breathe, and be with. It’s that simple, but so tough to do some days. When they come back to calm, then have those transformational chats - What happened? What can make it easier next time?

Who you are in the moment will always be more important than what you do.
How we are with them, when they are their everyday selves and when they aren’t so adorable, will build their view of three things: the world, its people, and themselves. This will then inform how they respond to the world and how they build their very important space in it. 

Will it be a loving, warm, open-hearted space with lots of doors for them to throw open to the people and experiences that are right for them? Or will it be a space with solid, too high walls that close out too many of the people and experiences that would nourish them.

They will learn from what we do with them and to them, for better or worse. We don’t teach them that the world is safe for them to reach into - we show them. We don’t teach them to be kind, respectful, and compassionate. We show them. We don’t teach them that they matter, and that other people matter, and that their voices and their opinions matter. We show them. We don’t teach them that they are little joy mongers who light up the world. We show them. 

But we have to be radically kind with ourselves too. None of this is about perfection. Parenting is hard, and days will be hard, and on too many of those days we’ll be hard too. That’s okay. We’ll say things we shouldn’t say and do things we shouldn’t do. We’re human too. Let’s not put pressure on our kiddos to be perfect by pretending that we are. As long as we repair the ruptures as soon as we can, and bathe them in love and the warmth of us as much as we can, they will be okay.

This also isn’t about not having boundaries. We need to be the guardians of their world and show them where the edges are. But in the guarding of those boundaries we can be strong and loving, strong and gentle. We can love them, and redirect their behaviour.

It’s when we own our stuff(ups) and when we let them see us fall and rise with strength, integrity, and compassion, and when we hold them gently through the mess of it all, that they learn about humility, and vulnerability, and the importance of holding bruised hearts with tender hands. It’s not about perfection, it’s about consistency, and honesty, and the way we respond to them the most.♥️

#parenting #mindfulparenting

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