About the Author
I’ve always been one of those guys who has a ton of ideas, projects and goals, but after a few days of working on them, I somehow lose that spark I had when I started.
Especially in the workout arena, in the past, I’ve been notorious among my friends for my procrastination and for the phrase, “I’ll start tomorrow.”
Well if you’re like me, then you that tomorrow usually means never.
So how do you stay motivated? It’s actually not has hard as you may think.
It’s not a matter of willpower or trying harder. As many dieters and budgeters know, most people just can’t stick with it no matter how hard they try.
Don’t try harder, be smarter about your approach.
Here are a few tips that you can use to keep yourself motivated so you can stop “starting tomorrow” and instead get your ass in gear today.
Make Realistic and Specific Goals
Two of the most clichéd New Year’s resolutions that always seem to fail within about a week of them being made are “I want to lose weight” and “I’m going stick to my budget”.
On paper these are fantastic goals, but unless you’re a personal trainer or an accountant, just aren’t practical.
Whatever goal you set out for yourself, it has to be realistic and it has to be specific. That means doing a bit of research on the subject before you jump in so that you can systematically plan out each step that it takes to achieve this goal.
Turn “I want to lose weight” into “I want to lose 20 lbs. in six months”.
From there, plan out the steps that it will take to lose the weight so that you can break them up into manageable pieces.
Make Small Behavioral Changes
Trying to go from one extreme to another is an impossible task that usually undermines people’s goals.
Staying on the health kick example, if you’re overweight and sit on the couch all day and then try to become a gym rat, usually that doesn’t end well.
Instead, start implementing small changes gradually.
If you are trying to eat healthier, you can’t go from McDonald’s everyday to all vegan in just one day. Slowly replace the bad foods with good ones and, overtime, you will find yourself not even craving the junk food.
If you want to start biking in the morning but can’t even get out of bed in time, just go slow. Try adjusting just your sleep patterns at first. Maybe then try physically getting yourself out of bed when the alarm rings.
A great tip that I learned from the Art of Charm’s Jordan Harbinger’s podcast is just try putting on your workout clothes in the morning. Eventually you’ll learn that you don’t even want to go back into bed and feel like a jackass not biking even though you’re dressed for it.
It’s all about taking it slow because change doesn’t happen overnight.
Get an Accountability Buddy
There’s a reason why having a workout buddy usually keeps people motivated. You don’t want to let them down and they don’t want to let you down so keep going.
This can extend into all realms of your life.
A friend of mine wanted to start eating healthier, so he enlisted his friend to keep him accountable.
He gave his friend his credit card and told him that if he didn’t text him a picture of a healthy breakfast each morning that his friend had permission to put $20 worth of gas in his car.
That way, not only is he emotionally affected when he doesn’t put in the work, but his bank account is too, making the pain all too real.
While you don’t have to get as extreme as that, getting a buddy to keep you accountable is one of the most effective ways to stay focused and on track with your goals.