If you’re feeling a little sluggish by the end of January, you’re not alone. The holidays are over, the holiday weight is still on, and the early enthusiasm for new goals has waned considerably in the face of everyday obstacles. By the end of the first month, only 60 percent of people are still working towards their New Year’s resolution.
If you find yourself wavering on an old goal, about to start a new goal, or just need a little motivation to keep up the good work you are doing, here are six ways to keep your motivation fresh, inspired from ideas in the bestselling books of our top motivational and inspirational speakers.
- Do something meaningful
If you aspire to be successful in what you do, you should always choose to pursue something meaningful. You will know if some activity or goal is meaningful if you find it is something you would do even if you weren’t paid, or you would do despite criticism. Think about the activities that engage you so much that you lose track of time.
(From Mark Thompson, Executive Leadership Coach and Bestselling Co-author of Success Built to Last)
- Use unrounded numbers to get off the couch
If you want to get off the couch and exercise more, choose an unrounded number for your target goal. For example, would you rather run a 10k or 9.9k, do 30-minute or a 29-minute swim, go on a one- hour hike or a 59 minute hike?
While the number difference is small, the effect can be quite large for motivation. Robert Cialdini says by using unrounded numbers, the task seems more achievable.
- Set a number range to better meet your target goal
In the same vein, you are more likely to complete a goal when you set a number range rather than a single number. For example, if your goal was to lose weight: Would you lose more weight if you were asked to lose 1-3 pounds a week, or 2 pounds a week?
In a study on weight loss, Cialdini stated the 1-3 pound group lost more weight—an average of 2.67 pounds in the first three weeks compared to just 2.2 pounds for the 2 pound a week group.
Cialdini says that people find a number range more attainable. When you have a single number, you might give up if you don’t achieve that number, but with a number range, you are more likely to meet the goal.
(2 and 3 from Robert Cialdini, Behavioral Expert, Bestselling Author of Influence)
- Celebrate small wins
When you set goals, don’t wait until they are entirely complete to celebrate. To keep your motivation up, you should break your goal into smaller steps and celebrate those small wins.
If your goal was to start a new business in 2018, don’t wait until you open your doors to celebrate. Celebrate the progress along the way: completing the business plan, getting funding, etc.
There’s nothing like a small victory to keep you motivated for the next victory.
(From Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, Employee Engagement Experts and Authors of The Best Team Wins)
- Never let the pursuit of perfection hinder progress
Conditions are rarely ever perfect. The results that we envisioned and reality are often at odds, but it shouldn’t keep us from moving forward and doing the very best we can with what we have in the moment, every minute, every day. Success is a journey, not a destination.
- Be flexible
In our experience, “Semper Gumby” (Forever Flexible!) is also one of the hallmarks of a winner, as change is the only consistent thing when we’re trying to achieve world-class results in a constantly changing environment!
(5 and 6 from Robyn Benincasa, Teamwork Expert, Bestselling Author of How Winning Works)
Kyle Crocco is the Marketing Coordinator for BigSpeak, has a Ph.D. in Education from UCSB, and can be easily persuaded to do karaoke.