How often do you set goals without following through? How is this affecting you and your motivation level? Would you like to obtain specific skills that will help you follow through with your goals so that you feel happier?
Over the next few weeks, I will be writing about various topics that are included in The KARMA Method, the signature coaching and therapeutic method used by Bespoke Wellness Partners. My hope is that these topics will allow you to reflect and make you more aware of where you are on your specific journey with whatever struggles you may be facing.
Motivation is vital because it gives you goals to work for, assists you in problem solving, supports you in changing old habits, and helps you in dealing with difficulties and opportunities. How can you get yourself to be more motivated?
Tip #1: Practice Positive Self-Talk
What is happening to your thoughts when you are not following through with your goals? For some of us, positive self-talk is essential and beneficial for increasing motivation. According to cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Branch Coslett, self-talk does shape the physiology of perception, given that other sensory perceptions can be strongly influenced by opinions, assumptions, and blind spots; those who think more positively are more motivated.
Tip #2: Focus on one Goal at a time
Are you reviewing your goals and progress on a regular basis? Making progress is a terrific motivation in and of itself, and it also boosts your self-esteem. Continue to create new objectives. Consider what you want to accomplish in the coming week, month, and year. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, focus on one goal at a time. Keep the momentum going. It can take up to three months to form a new habit, so maintaining momentum and routine helps it feel more automatic over time.
Tip #3: Have Resilience
Setbacks are inevitable, but having resilience can help you keep going and pick up where you left off. Examine your goals to see if they are achievable within the timeframe you have chosen. You may need to divide your aim into smaller, more manageable chunks. Remember why you wanted to become inspired or achieve your goal in the first place. Take inspiration from others—get inspired by reading a book, talking to your mentor, or talking to friends or relatives who have achieved similar goals to yours. Sometimes you just need to step back and start over.
Tip #4: Acknowledge Your Related Thoughts and Feelings
Recognize what makes you uncomfortable. For example, I was walking around and saw a mother looking at her daughter with so much love and admiration. I acknowledged the sadness that washed over me and noticed the old storyline coming up, “Poor me…I live so far away from my mom and so many people I love… I am a lonely girl…'' I was going to distract myself and not give this voice the right attention because after all I am a successful woman residing in the most amazing city in the world and I can get on a plane and visit my family five times a year or more if I wanted. However, ignoring all of these feelings can end up causing an even bigger distraction in your life. You need to name the thoughts and feelings that you are having so that you can take appropriate action and get back to moving forward on whatever your goal might be.
In this case, simply stating the facts was helpful. I can acknowledge that my mom lives far away, and because of this, I miss her a lot. I can also call her to tell her I miss her and start planning my next trip. I don’t have to feel pity for myself but I should recognize what I am feeling when I am feeling it so the suppressed emotions don’t build up.
Tip #5: Assess your motivation level
Before you make a new resolution, ask yourself what it is that gets you motivated and what are the barriers that might be hindering your motivation. Motivational interviewing is a tactic that I use with my clients, and it is based on four guiding principles. The best way to remember this is referring to the acronym RULE.
R - RESIST telling them what to do: Avoid telling, directing, or convincing your friend about the right path to good health
U - UNDERSTAND their motivation: Seek to understand their values, needs, abilities, motivations, and potential barriers to changing behaviors
L - LISTEN with empathy: Seek to understand their values, needs, abilities, motivations, and potential barriers to changing behaviors
E - EMPOWER them: Work with your friends to set achievable goals and to identify techniques to overcome barriers
This strategy will help you get motivated to change negative behavior. RULE is used to elicit one’s motivation to change a specific negative behavior. While this is used by professionals to help clients, I would encourage you to practice this on yourself.
In addition to the above five steps, I always encourage my clients to practice mindfulness, which can help you stay relaxed and attentive. I also always encourage people to reward themselves when they accomplish a step or reach a goal. Lastly, look for mentors. A mentor is someone who has expertise with the habit you want to alter. Finding social or support groups with similar interests can assist you in finding a mentor. Surround yourself with individuals who are upbeat. Positive friends and family reinforce your positive self-talk, which also aids in the management of depression and anxiety symptoms.