Staying motivated when trying to reach a goal is one of the most difficult things to do. The long-term goal can seem too far off and difficult to reach. A better option to stay motivated is to focus on short-term benefits along the way.
We’ve all had them. Goals we set that we never achieve. Over the years, setting and sticking to them has been difficult. You might have tried to write a book. Or lose weight. Or start a business. Or any number of other personal or business goals.
The cause of the failures could be that your motivation wanes when you begin facing difficulties.
Why should you focus on the benefits? Here are five reasons:
• Focusing on the benefits helps you see the reason you are working so hard. For example, after working out, when you’re exhausted, you feel grateful. Your stress levels have been reduced, and you feel cleansed and happy.
• Focusing on the benefits of your goal gives you a sense of accomplishment. For example, a healthy lifestyle is a benefit of eating healthful foods and exercising. The difficulties to this is having to give up your favorite sugary snacks or getting off the couch to exercise more. It’s easier to fall back into the old pattern if it seems that your goal is too far off.
• When things become difficult, you are tempted to quit. By focusing on the benefits of your goal, you can see the reasons you want to continue. Your difficulties will seem less. For example, let’s say you are trying to reach a particular financial goal. Instead of seeing how far you are from the desired amount or how long it is taking to achieve it, focus on the positive net worth changes every week.
• Losing weight is a very difficult goal. Focusing on the benefits of losing weight can help you stay motivated to exercise. For example, you will reduce your risks for certain diseases, and lower your blood pressure so you won’t have to take medication. You’ll be more active and feel better about yourself.
• Focusing on the benefits of your goal instead of the difficulties allows you to focus solely on one specific step of the goal. For example you overall goal is to run a marathon. One of the steps is to run 3 miles a day. The benefit from this individual step is that your resting heart rate has improved, your body has become leaner and your stamina has improved.
By focusing on the benefits, or the way our goals are helping us make positive changes, we are more likely to stay motivated to achieve those goals. Every goal you try to achieve will have difficulties at some point. It can be as simple as not knowing what to do next when you hit a roadblock or as daunting as having technical problems throw a wrench in your work. When these difficulties happen, it’s important to take another look at your goal and look at all the rewards and benefits you will get once it’s achieved.