Have you ever set a goal for yourself, like getting fit, making honor roll, or being picked for a team? Like lots of people, maybe you started out doing great, but then lost some of that drive and had trouble getting motivated again.

You’re Not Alone!

Everyone struggles with staying motivated and reaching their goals. Just look at how many people go on diets, lose weight, and then gain it back again!

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.

Getting Motivated

So 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:

First, know your goal. Start by writing down your major goal. Your major goal is the ultimate thing you’d like to see happen. For example, “I want to make honor roll,” or “I want to get fit enough to make the cross-country team,” or even, “I want to play in the Olympics” are all major goals because they’re the final thing the goal setter wants to see happen (obviously, some goals take longer and require more work than others). It’s OK to dream big. That’s how people accomplish stuff. You just have to remember that the bigger the goal, the more work it takes to get there.

Make it specific. It’s easier to plan for and master a specific goal than a vague one. Let’s say your goal is to get fit. That’s pretty vague. Make it specific by defining what you want to achieve (such as muscle tone and definition or endurance), why you want to get fit, and by when. This helps you make a plan to reach your goal.

Getting Motivated (continued)

Make it realistic. People often abandon their goals because their expectations are unreasonable. Maybe they expect to get ripped abs in weeks rather than months, or to quit smoking easily after years of lighting up.

Let’s say you want to run a marathon. If you try to run the entire distance of 26.2 miles tomorrow without any training, you’re unlikely to succeed. It takes the average person 4 months of training to run that far! But the bigger risk is that you’ll get so bummed out that you’ll give up your marathon dreams — and running — altogether.

Part of staying motivated is being realistic about what you can achieve within the timeframe you’ve planned. Competing on the Olympic ski team is a workable goal if you are 15 and already a star skier. But if you’re 18 and only just taking your first lesson, time isn’t exactly on your side.

Write it down. Put your specific goal in writing. Then write it down again. And again. 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. Making any change takes self-discipline. You need to pay constant attention so you don’t get sidetracked. One way to make this easier is to break a big goal into small steps. For example, let’s say you want to run a marathon. If it’s February and the marathon is in August, that’s a realistic timeframe to prepare. Start by planning to run 2 miles and work up gradually to the distance you need.

Then set specific daily tasks, like eating five servings of fruit and veggies and running a certain amount a day. Put these on a calendar or planner so you can check them off. Ask a coach to help you set doable mini-goals for additional mile amounts and for tasks to improve your performance, such as exercises to build strength and stamina so you’ll stay motivated to run farther.

Reaching frequent, smaller goals is something to celebrate. It gives you the confidence, courage, and motivation to keep running — or doing whatever it is you’re aiming to do. So reward yourself!

If you find yourself struggling to stay healthy we can help. Contact Us 

Dr Spencer Charlet

Chiropractor in Mooresville