Reaching your goals means staying motivated. Along the way you will have successes and difficulties. It can be tempting to give up when you face problems. The key is to continue building on small successes to help you stay motivated.
The smallest success can be all you need to instill action. It’s what gives you a belief in yourself and your ability to succeed. When you face obstacles, look at the small success you’ve achieved so far.
Often the reason your motivation slacks off is from a lack of confidence. You may be focusing on the big goal. Instead, think of all the smaller successful steps you’ve already taken towards your goal. Maybe you want to lose 50 pounds. Instead of focusing on how far off that final goal is, look at how you’ve already changed your eating habits, started an exercise routine, and have lost 5 pounds. Looking at these small success creates confidence in your belief you can succeed.
When first starting out, ensure early success. Choose activities you know you can do without fail. Gradually increase the difficulty of the tasks so you’re able to achieve them. If you’re new to exercising, for example, then start with a simple fifteen minute walk or do one set of strength training exercises. Later, when you become comfortable, increase the intensity level a little bit.
Focus on what you can do each day. The big goal is your guide to where you want to go, but it’s the daily small success steps you take that get you to it. For example, if your goal is to pay off debt, your daily steps should be to spend less while earning more.
Focusing on the small successes along the way allows you to see results. It builds your confidence to move to the next level, to take a bigger step.
Here are some examples of ways to build on small successes:
• If you want to lose weight, you move from buying a pedometer to walking 100 steps the first week. Then the next week you walk 150 steps. Each week you increase your steps each week, building on the previous week’s success.
• If you want to write a book, start with one paragraph a day for a week. Increase your writing the next week to two paragraphs, then a page, increasing your writing time over time until you have finished your book
• If you want to eat healthier, start by eliminating one unhealthy food each week and adding a healthier version, then the next week replace another unhealthy food with a healthier version, and continue this successful system until you are eating only healthy foods.
• If you want to be more organized at home or work, start by choosing one area (such as a desk drawer), then begin eliminating one unnecessary thing every few days, eventually getting rid of all clutter. By building on this small success you will have the confidence to organize other areas.
Staying motivated can be difficult when you only look at the big goal at the end of things. A better approach is to build on the small successes you achieve, adding more or harder steps as you gain confidence.