Have you determined a goal you want to achieve but have not been able to take the steps required to get going?
Maybe you don’t know how to get started, don’t really want to get started, or you’ve already convinced yourself that you are going to fail so you never start.
I’ve made this mistake of trying to take my life to the next level by using willpower alone. It doesn’t work, but I’ve figured out the secret to getting self-motivated and working through self-sabotage.
First of all, nothing changes until our own behavior changes. This is true for losing weight, starting a business, making a business more profitable, getting happier, setting boundaries, etc… Literally everything you want in life is based on changing your own behavior – not the behavior of those around you.
Here are the five stages of habit change:
Stage 1: Identify the Change i.e. I want to lose weight
Stage 2: Determine the Solution i.e. I will follow the Keto diet and join a gym
Stage 3: Prepare for the Program i.e. Get a Keto recipe book, purchase ingredients, join the gym
Stage 4: Begin the Program i.e. Eat according to the diet plan and exercise at the gym
Stage 5: Practice Consistency i.e. I want to eat that toaster pastry but I will go to the gym instead.
Those five stages are not the secrets I’ve promised. They are just the stages which once you read them seem quite obvious, right?
The first secret to self-motivation is breaking down your change
The first secret I want to share with you is breaking down your change into chunks so you understand what the process is and you can easily find little successes through completing each of the five stages. From my experience, lack of clarity is one of the biggest reasons most people put off task or goals and fail to take action. So, if you want to initiate a change in your life but are having a difficult time getting going, write down the stages of the change that you want and then check them off as they are completed.
And, don’t forget to be proud of yourself with each check mark! Take a moment for gratitude that you took each step and maintain a positive attitude.
Reasons to be proud of yourself for taking action
- Action is the first step. Just making the list is action.
- Action confirms your courage
- Action facilitates potential
Take action and witness the birth of your new, healthy habits! Once you get down to the Steadfast Consistency stage you will need a new plan to dodge the self-sabotage that we know is coming.
Before I tell you the second secret to self-motivation, I want you to make a moment to review these common reasons people fail to take that first step of making your list. Do any of these resonate with you? If so, you need to dig deep and get rid of these negative thoughts that are trying to keep you down.
“I’m too tired today.”
“The conditions aren’t perfect.”
“I’ve tried this before and have failed.”
“I’m afraid to fail”
“What will people say if I am not immediately successful?
“I don’t want anyone to know I’m trying so they won’t know when I eventually fail”
“I need to do more research.”
“I don’t have enough money for this.”
“I’m too drained from my current obligations.”
“My husband and kids will wreck it all. They need so much of me.”
Some of those phrases are easily identifiable while others may be lurking in the back of your head. Really think about each one and make sure you combat them NOW!
The second secret to self-motivation is a defined space
This may sound too easy to be true, but research shows that it works — almost every time. We try to squeeze out every last ounce of discipline and willpower to get into action, but the surprising truth is that our environment determines success more than we realize.
Personal Development specialist Steve Pavlina said, “Your environment will eat your goals and plans for breakfast.”
For task-oriented activities try doing them in a reserved physical space. Adding your own flare to the space, such as area carpets, pillows, pictures or the like, will give your subconscious visual queues that it is time to take action.
Leave a comment and let me know what change you are going after!
Brooke Collins has a passion to help clients discover how to take responsibility for their health and gain awareness about their emotional wellness using a holistic approach targeting the mind, body, and spirit. Find more wellness blogs on her website.
Image courtesy of Alina Vilchenko.