Motivation Laura Ridout

Five steps to help your resolution stick

This blog is going to help you identify what motivation means to you and give you the five main steps to make your change stick.

We all know the meaning of motivation and we know that without it we won’t get anything done. Motivation is what causes us to act, whether it’s something as little as getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or something much greater such as wanting to climb Everest.

I’m writing this blog in January as this is a time when people are feeling higher on motivation. The new year ahead becomes the driver to change ourselves in some way. We pledge to change something about us from being fitter and healthier to changing our direction in life. Now, while I’m not a promoter of new years’ resolutions, as they can often fall by the way side in February, if it’s done with thought and planning, it can be successful.

Here are the five steps.

1. Values – the key to your own successful resolution

For a change to take place and be successful, it has to come from a place of meaning and value for you. So the first part is to spend time thinking about what’s important to you. So what do you value? Write them down. Your values are what provide you with your upfront motivation in life. They determine how we think, feel and behave, make decisions and prioritise. They are generally single words such as love, honesty, courage, family, wealth, health, balance, beauty etc. So splurge out as many as you can and then gradually reduce them to five. You’ll find that some of your values can be condensed into one word.

Now that you have your five values, you can start to consider how they align with what it is that you want to change. Remember, these are what will keep you motivated. Have them written down and keep them somewhere that you will see them every day.

2. Make it public

Tell someone who you’re close to what you’re intending on doing and when by. You can share it wider than this if you want to. If you tell someone, you can then be accountable to them for achieving your change. They can support you when you’re feeling a bit glum or if you need a boost.

3. Intentions

You may have just a small change that you want to make or it could be life changing. Whatever it is, you still need to go through the same process to make it stick.

Some people refer to goal setting and some call it setting ‘intentions’. Either way, it’s important to be able to see where you want to get to. We call this a ‘vision’. For me, this is about really feeling this vision not just seeing it in your head.

So go ahead and imagine where you’re going to be in 6 months or a year.

What does it feel like. Are you happy, excited, relieved, still wanting more? What are you doing, where do you live, who are you with? Ask yourself lots of questions and feel it in your body. Does it feel great?

Draw it, be playful with it. Cut out pictures that help you see it better. Make a vision board.

Now for the goals/intentions. I want you to place yourself in this future state and ask yourself ‘what was I doing 3 months ago, 6 months ago and 1 year ago to get to this place?’ Go back in your mind and imagine what happened at each of these stages that have led to your future and write it down. What you’re doing is rather than setting specific goals in the future, you’re imagining that it’s already happened at each stage. Again, feel all of this in your body. Your body is your compass. It will point you towards what is right for you.

Now you have your 3 months, six months and 1 year of intentions written down. Does it feel good? You need to make your plan on how this will happen.  You know the saying ‘if you don’t have a plan you’re just planning to fail’.

4. Chunk it down

Quite often we can feel overwhelmed with the task that we have set ourselves. This is when motivation can start to fade and when we can give up and go back to our old ways. Your dream no matter how big or small may start to feel out of reach.

Well first of all, you’ve got to be prepared for it to be hard and not all plain sailing. Secondly, you must make it as easy as possible for yourself. The best way to do this is to chunk down your tasks and each goal/intention that you set. So you may set yourself something each day, each week, each month. Whatever it takes to keep you going in a forward direction. And keep ‘feeling’ it. Think towards your vision. Keep it strong in your mind. Go back to your vision board that you made. Whatever you feel most comfortable with, just focus on that.

5. Jump up and down for joy

You need to make sure that you celebrate each time that you reach your goal/intention. No matter how small you’ve chunked it down, if you’ve got to that milestone you need to shout ‘yippee’. Give yourself some time to go and replenish. It could be just a cup of tea, a walk, a long bath or a trip out with a friend. Whatever you need to feel that you’ve recognised how far you’ve come and that you deserve a reward.

We all need a helping hand. We are stronger together. If you are serious and you need support, then invest in yourself. Ask me about Sister’s Circle and join a community of like-minded women who will inspire and support you.