The reality is that refocusing, changing, or making a new start on something, no matter how small, is a big deal. But it’s not impossible. With the right approach, you can definitely do it.
How do you stay motivated and on track with your goal? It all comes down to good planning, realistic expectations, and a stick-to-it attitude. Here’s what you need to do:
- Make sure your goals are realistic.
If your goal is to run a marathon tomorrow without previous training, you will fail. It takes an average person at least 6 months of intense training to run in a marathon. A part of staying motivated is to be realistic about what you can achieve and the timeline that it will take to achieve it.
- Write it down.
Research shows that writing down a goal is part of the mental process of committing to it. Write your goal down every day to keep you focused and remind you how much you want it.
- Break it down.
Change requires self-discipline and the ability to visualize the benefits of the end result. Taking on too much at one time can become discouraging. You will have a greater chance of success and gain confidence by breaking down your large goal into small, achievable daily tasks.
- Have a plan for when you get off-course.
Thinking about actions you will take if you get off-course before it happens is the best method of staying on course. Remember: when you mess up, it’s not a fault — it’s an opportunity to learn something new about yourself. Pat yourself on the back for everything you did right. Don’t beat yourself up, no matter how far off track you get. Most people slip up when trying to make a change — it’s a natural part of the process.
- Recommit to your plan every day.
Every morning read what you wrote about your dream and visualize how you will feel when you meet your goal.
- Seek support from people who want you to succeed; ignore those who don’t.
If you’re not getting support from someone when you really need it, you may need to take a break from that relationship and surround yourself with people who want to help you succeed.
- Don’t give up.
Ending an unhealthy behavior or creating a new, exciting one is all about taking responsibility for our lives. Finding the motivation to do it isn’t necessarily easy, but it is always possible.
Staying engaged can be hard, especially when things are not going your way, or you feel bored. Some people get into a habit of quitting when “the going gets tough”. Don’t be one of them! Staying engaged means not quitting.
Did you know that Thomas Edison failed more than 1,000 times when trying to create the light bulb? What if he quit on the 999th time he tried and failed? We may be reading books by candlelight. Edison did not have a habit of quitting; instead he had a habit of seeing something to the end. In fact, when he was questioned about the number of times he failed, Edison said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”
The Good News . . . You can control your habits. You are stronger than your habits.
Try this: Cross your arms. Now, uncross them and cross them the opposite way. How does it feel? Kind of weird or different? The truth is that if you crossed your arms the opposite way of how you usually cross them, in just 30 days it would not feel strange, in fact you would not have to think about it as it would now be a habit.
It takes about 30 days to change a habit. Only 4 weeks!
What can you change in just 4 weeks if you stay on course?
Rebecca L. Johnson, CPOT, COT, COE is Ophthalmic Staff Coach & Trainer/President of EyeTrain4You, Inc. as well as an OWA Board Member and Co-Chair of the OWA Membership Committee. You can reach Rebecca at .
Reprinted from Optical Women One Minute Mentor