Here are my five tips for getting motivated:
1. Choose a challenge sufficiently bold to stir your heart and mind
Some people believe in baby steps. While there is merit in that during the journey I think you first need to have an over-the-top idea to inspire you to take those first baby steps. For example, these are some of the challenges I’ve set for myself in the past (with various degrees of success): “I’m moving to Los Angeles to become a movie star,” “I’m running a marathon,” “I’m going to publish a children’s book,” “I’m going to raise $100,000 for charity,” “I’m going to enter a bikini competition, even though I’m size 14 and age 38, and oh yeah, I’m going to write a blog about it.”
2. Tell everyone you know
You know that your challenge was sufficiently bold enough if your friends and family react with wide eyes, gaping mouths and comments along the line of, “wait, you’re going to what?” The best part about telling your friends and family of your plans (other that seeing their shocked expressions) is that you have now made an army of minions to hold you accountable to your ridiculously stupid challenge you just set up for yourself. You know that each time you see them they will hound (I mean encourage) you by saying things like, “How’s the move to LA going? Have you found an agent yet?” Or, “How’s the charity fundraising progressing? $5,000 is good, but it’s a long way from $100,000, isn’t it?” Or, “If you’re going on stage in a bikini, are you sure you really want to eat that cupcake?” Yes, you might have a mental Kodak moment of their shocked expression, but they get several months of payback at your sanity’s expense.
3. Outsource your will power to someone who sees things as Black-White vs. Shades of Gray
You probably wouldn’t want to outsource your will power to me because I would let you off the hook too easily. That’s because I see everything in shades of gray. “You had some birthday cake at your daughter’s fifth birthday party yesterday? Well, she only turns five once, and birthday cake doesn’t have any calories if it is a) your birthday or b) the birthday of someone who hung out in your womb for nine or ten months.” NO! This does not help you! You need someone with no mercy. “So it was your daughter’s birthday yesterday? Isn’t she going to be five ALL YEAR? Couldn’t you eat cake AFTER the competition?” Black-White is the only personality type to outsource to.
4. Reward yourself at various intervals
When you are running a marathon, they don’t make you suffer through the entire race with only the promise of a medal at the very end. No, they have all sorts of rewards for you along the way. Mile 1 they give you water, Mile 3 there is a band playing music, Mile 5 you get some orange slices and well wishers are stationed to cheer you on. The longer you endure the better the rewards. At Mile 20 they serve you beer. Seriously. So make sure you reward your own progress. For this bikini competition my first reward was being able to go shopping in my closet. I missed my old clothes! When I lost 30 lbs. I got my belly button re-pierced. Last week I finally used my gift certificate from Meghan and got a massage. Rewards help, so plan for some really good ones whenever you hit big milestones.
5. Savor the moment!
At some point the challenge will be over. You’ve moved to a new city; you finished writing the novel; you’ve flexed your muscles on stage. Don’t immediately go to the next challenge. Take a deep breath and a moment alone to reflect on all you’ve achieved. This would be a good time to take a picture of yourself too, so when you’re in the middle of your next big challenge and you feel like quitting, you can recall that moment in time when you didn’t quit on yourself and the world seemed alive with possibilities.
Good luck in whatever challenge you choose to pursue!
Sheslosingit.net (c) 2012 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.