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#1 Factor in Staying Motivated Is…

January 17, 2016 · by mark mcnamara · No Comments

How to Stay Motivated…

January can be tricky.  Many of us start the month with such hope and determination. “This is going to be my BEST year ever!”  Then a couple weeks in, life happens and before we know it we’re back to our old ways.  But wait – don’t give up!

If you are one of those individuals that always accomplish your every goal – congrats!  (How do you do it?  I’m constantly trying!  With four kids and all their daily demands sucking the life out of me on a regular basis I often struggle.  But really,awesome for you!  There’s no need for you to continue reading.)  But if you’re like me and find yourself needing a pep talk every now and then, here we go.

I’ve spent tons of time researching what keeps us motivated, happy, and how we can develop positive habits.  What have I discovered?

The #1 way to staying motivated and kicking some resolution behind is…
SEEING PROGRESS.  

When you see results in what you are doing you increase your chances of staying motivated for a longer period, therefore accomplishing your goals.

Often the reason we fail to accomplish our goals is because we’re trying to do too much at once.  (That statement totally applied to me!  I’ve succeeded when I FOCUSED on ONE THING.)

EXAMPLE:  A few years ago I read numerous books on healthy eating.  I quickly became overwhelmed by everything I was supposed to be doing – or not doing – and I decided I needed to start somewhere and PICK ONE HEALTHY HABIT.

It was obvious that healthy individuals often ate a more plant-based diet.  So I decided that I would eat a SALAD-A-DAY.  It was simple. It could either be for lunch or dinner and once I started I honestly never looked back.  All the cliches applied:  I began to feel better, had more energy, and lost 7 pounds.  (The magic is when you incorporate one positive habit often others follow.)  I’ll beat myself up for this and that, but the salad-a-day thing is one area where I’m still proud of myself (and it’s been 3 years!).

TIPS FOR CREATING POSITIVE HABITS AND STAYING MOTIVATED:

  • FOCUS:  As stated previously, when you try to change many things at once you set yourself up for failure.  We are creatures of habit, wired to do what we’ve always done, too much change and overwhelm sets in.  Narrow down your goaland write it down.
  • SET A REMINDER:  Encode your new behavior into something you already do.  A great way to succeed is to set up a visible reminder and link the new habit with your current behavior.  A trigger makes the change much easier.  (Practice moments of gratitude with your first sip of coffee/tea, etc.)
  • CREATE MINI HABITS:  A mini habit is a small positive behavior that you force yourself to do everyday.  Make the habit so easy it’s “too small to fail”.  Think one push-up, one minute of meditation / prayer, or one salad.  It’s that first step that feels like you’re scaling a mountain, but then you’ve started, and before you know it you’re on your way to accomplishing your goals and living “your BEST year ever!”.
  • CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself when you’ve done well!  (It’s easy to feel guilt when we don’t do something… but when we do, we need to balance that with praise.)

Also, enlisting some ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS makes the journey all that more fruitful and FUN!  Know you’ll have both good and bad days, but don’t beat yourself up and quit.  Lasting change is a product of daily habits and in order to keep yourself motivated it’s really important to celebrate those mini accomplishments.  Now go get ’em!

Thank you for your business.  Hope you’re on our way to a year of bliss!
– Jennifer McNamara, Bliss & Vinegar

P.S.  Enjoy Bliss & Vinegar dressings at home!  We now offer our DRESSINGS TO-GO! Choose your favorite and we’ll bottle it.  Also, make salads at home easier with the our DOUBLE BLADE SALAD CUTTER.  Available for purchase at Bliss.

REFERENCES:
Stephen Guise, Mini Habits, Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit, B.J. Fogg, Stanford University, Tiny Habits, Jason Harvey, Achieve Anything in Just One Year

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