Crush your 2019 goals with these tips on how to stay motivated with your goals.
Many of you set intentions or goals for 2019. As we approach February, the sparkle of the new year wanes a bit and we’re past the initial enthusiasm and many of you are left wondering how to maintain motivation.
I’m sharing a technique from my coaching toolbox today that I use with high performance athletes, students and entrepreneurs that you may not have seen before, and it helps you maintain momentum.
It will help you with dialling in your motivation.
To sustain motivation and crush your goals, it is important to get used to this X and Y axis above. It describes the three places that our mind works.
1.) The Past
2.) The Present
3.) The Future
When we think about the past, the present and the future, we are either negative, or positive about it.
Example: We can have negative memories of working out. Or positive memories of working out.
“Ugh, that workout was terrible.”
“That workout was hard but it challenged me and I feel awesome about the growth.”
You may be wondering about that yellow circle.
The yellow circle above indicates that this person is thinking about the future in a positive way. This person is YOU, the goal crusher doing 2019 Goal Setting.
We assume that setting a goal is all we need to do to keep our motivation up…. but let me tell you something.
The moment you decide to take action on your goal (ie: go workout)
The brain likes to think about the past.
It then uses the past to discourage you from taking risks or doing uncomfortable things!
And guess what?
+ You can have positive past memories
– Or negative past memories. <– The brain likes these. And we develop a bad habit of this.
Take a moment and look at where the yellow circle moved.
When you take a new action toward a goal,
Your brain WILL go to negative past references.
It will think about the last workout you did, specifically reference the unpleasant parts of it and instantly you will feel that “meh” of waning motivation.
This is EXACTLY the moment your brain starts feeding you defeating, de-motivational thoughts that continue that feeling.
Moral of the story?
We want to get BETTER at referencing past positive memories.
We can choose to file any moment away as a positive experience.
What you are experiencing RIGHT NOW is being filed away into short term memory. The brain will decide whether this moment is worthy of long term memory storage.
Then, it will decide whether to make it a past positive memory or a past negative memory.
If our brain is going to go digging around in the past anyways, we want it to find motivational things, that SUPPORT our goals.
So how can you begin to hack your memory?
Every time you take action on your goal,
look for, NOTICE and ACKNOWLEDGE three great things.
Maybe the weather was great on your run. Maybe you had a nice coffee while you worked on your project. Maybe the sunset was gorgeous.
How else do we make sure that we are saving moments to the long term, and saving them as past positive memories?
-Take photos and post them or share them. Ie: Instagram (most of us are afraid of bragging. It’s not. It’s celebrating life and inspiring others.)
-Journaling (the act of writing is linked with deeper cognitive processing.)
-Adding notes in your iphone
-Taking a moment to stop and acknowledge that you are taking action.
-Noting down 3 successes / positive things.
-Choosing to talk about those things to other people.
I used to file away past negative thoughts about trail runs which serve to demotivate me the next time I step out. So, I started adding photos to each run log – so that all I remember are specific moments of beauty in nature.
If you study successful people and their habits, many of them have a journaling practice that supports locking down past positive memories. Tim Ferriss explains the five-minute journal technique he uses here in this youtube video for example.
I hope you enjoyed today’s advanced goal setting for busy people session!
Now get out there, take action and start locking in positive memories, so that each time you go out and take action, your brain references positive memories and you feel more motivated.