Updated February 11, 2019
Sometimes our goals and intention setting can be the easy step, but maintaining the necessary levels of motivation to keep moving forward can seem like tough part. However, Motivating yourself can be as simple as tricking your brain into seeing things in a new light.
One of the best ways to gain fresh perspective is actually to examine your past. It’s true. While many believe the past is best left behind, taking a look back can be incredibly useful when you purposefully pull out only the good things. Let me show you how you can stay motivated by looking at how far you’ve come.
#1 Examine Your Past
You can start by looking at the goal or intention you’re currently pursuing to find examples of times you’ve moved forward along this path. For example, if you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss, look back on the ways you’ve been successful on your journey so far. Reminding yourself of these weight loss accomplishments can give you the resolve to tackle the obstacle you’re up against right now.
If you’re finding it difficult taking that first step and you don’t have successes to pull from with regard to your newest goal, you’ll need to take a different approach. This one involves finding other areas in your life in which you’ve had success and have overcome difficulties. While that time may not be the same as this current challenge, this kind of self-examination lets you know that you have done hard things before. It gives you the confidence to know you can do them again.
#2 Write It Down
Once you’ve started thinking of the times in which you’ve been successful in the past, write them down as evidence you can return to during tough times. Record the past triumphs related to your current goal, but also choose other accomplishments of which you’re especially proud. You may even want to consider adding photos of certificates and awards or copies of positive employment reviews and congratulatory notes from colleagues. These can be a great addition to your file of visual reminders.
If you want to keep the motivation going and continue to see the worth in your current pursuits, it’s a good idea to keep a weekly record of small things you do well. Include tasks you accomplish for work, small triumphs in your personal life or projects you’ve taken care of around the house. Doing so can be a powerful confidence booster for when you’re not feeling that great about your potential.
#3 Make a Plan
Finally, you’ll want to use the evidence you collect as a resource for making a plan to attack your current struggle. Going back to our hypothetical weight loss plateau, you could review the goals you’ve accomplished already on the road to becoming more fit. Write down the tangible steps you took to get there and then take it farther by making a list of the types of personal strengths you utilized to make those goals a reality. Do the same thing by examining an unrelated accomplishment if you don’t have anything relevant to the immediate task at hand. Then brainstorm ways you can use those qualities to move past this slump. You may have discovered that it was your sheer stubbornness that helped you lose those first 10 pounds or so. Some may see being stubborn as a negative, but that’s not necessarily so in this case. Don’t be afraid to delve deep within and to be honest about what you find. Use those discoveries to your advantage to move push past your road block.
I hope you have an idea of how you can use past accomplishments to keep you motivated toward your goal or resolution. I’ve always found this to be a really empowering way to get back on track.
Call to Action: What past experience can always remind you of your potential, regardless of what your goal is?