Sutton Full Potential Founder
Retain your motivation in 2020
The beginning of 2020 was not just the start of any year; it was the dawn of a brand-new decade. For many of us, this involved waking up on the 1st of January (or maybe even the 2nd of January if you were getting over the big New Year’s Eve bash you attended) and thinking, “This is going to be MY year. I’m going to SMASH my goals and live the life I’ve always dreamed of living.”
We are fast approaching the end of the first month of 2020, and although we are well into January, motivational quotes for the new year are still shared on social media. Sadly, for the majority of us, the New Year’s resolutions that we made with such gusto have been forgotten already.
We started 2020 full of eagerness and motivation to ride through the year with a heart-rending spirit of renewed goals, looking forward to what lay ahead for us across the year. But then came ‘Quitter’s Day – 2020’ that fell on the 19th of January. If you are wondering what Quitter’s Day is, it’s that fateful date when you feel your motivation takes a plunge and falter on your resolutions.
Have you noticed as adults how easily we give up on resolutions? It’s so unlike the resolve of children. Research shows that toddlers fall an average of 17 times an hour. New walkers tend to stumble approximately 69 times in 60 minutes.
You might have gone through this learning process as a toddler, but you were unceasing in your determination to walk. If you are anything like me, you still trip over your feet at least a couple of times a year, but you nonetheless get up and get going.
Why are we prompted to believe that our dreams and goals are not worth the effort required to see them through? Why are we willing to throw in the towel if we don’t see immediate results? Are we so impatient that we need to see the results of our resolutions – new habits and routines – in as little as 19 days? Does our desire to experience ‘instant gratification’ override all our lives’ learnings? Surely, the pleasure and the reward are so much sweeter when we think about how hard we’ve worked for it?
If you felt the impact of ‘Quitter’s Day’ and have gotten a bit slack on your aspirations, don’t worry. You still have most of the year left to take meaningful steps toward achieving your New Year resolutions.
I’m going to share a few tips to help you get back on track:
1. Find an ‘accountability buddy’
Research proves that you are more likely to achieve your goals when you share them with someone. An accountability buddy is a person whom you express your ambitions with. This individual will help you by holding you ‘accountable’ for reaching your targets. Once you’ve shared your goals, you feel more accountable and motivated to work towards fulfilling all your dreams.
Your accountability buddy should be someone who doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, but rather what you need to hear – the truth about your progress, as well as encouragement and support in the right direction. This article gives you more information on the importance of having an accountability buddy.
2. Break your goals into manageable and time-bound actions
One of the most common reasons for people giving up on their goals is that they are overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of their objectives and the inability to notice the wood for trees. Break your goals into smaller steps achievable on a weekly or monthly basis. Slicing down your big goals into stages makes them easier to achieve.
3. Let go of habits that get in the way of your new goals
Some habits support your new goals, and others prevent you from attaining them. Understand the difference between the two – this is important. Then, make a list of habits, routines, and rituals that you must let go of in order to progress toward your resolutions.
4. Learn from your setbacks
Achieving goals is not easy – if it were, you would’ve already succeeded. There are times when you might want to give up. It’s natural to meet resistance and setbacks along your journey.
Just like how the toddler learning to walk falls an average of 69 times every hour but gets up and takes a few more steps – learn from your setbacks. Embrace hardships and resistance as they are necessary to grow. Pick yourself up, change, adapt, and move on.
As Albert Einstein said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’
Finally, celebrate the little successes. Promise yourself a little something that you could gifted yourself with every small milestone that you pass.
Now is the time to deliver action. Don’t let another year go by without taking your resolutions seriously. If you remember nothing else from this article, keep in mind that COMMITMENT, CONSISTENCY, and PATIENCE are needed to fulfil your aspirations.