5 Ways To Stay Motivated and Succeed with your Goals

By Suzanne Leyden, Nutrition, Health and Wellness Coach and owner of The WellNow Co.

Establishing your goals is key to success, but how do we stay motivated and succeed to achieve these goals? This is such a common pain area for people trying to make changes in their life, regardless of the area they are working on – health, nutrition, lifestyle, career, fitness.  Any gym can attest to that with the sign-up levels in January being through the roof, and by June the attendance rates dropping out.  So, assuming the goals are set, let’s explore motivation in a little more detail. These 5 ways to stay motivated and succeed with your goals will help you to stay on track and achieve whatever you want to.

1. Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivation

There are two key types of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic.  Extrinsic is the external factors that feed into motivation – for instance, pay for your job, a promotion, the gold medal at the end of the race, the meal at the end of cooking…. you get the idea! These are all good for motivation and really help with achieving goals, but can often fall short of setting you up for 100% success.  Intrinsic motivation on the other hand are all the internal factors that motivate us.  We need to look inward to establish what these are.  You must really love and get joy from your job to be successful at carrying it out, you must want to run to get up at 6am and hit the road – new trainers and a 10k run in three weeks may not be enough.  And what happens after the 10k run, do you need to find another race?  Are you enjoying running?  Why are you running?  Is it for long term health benefits?  Is it for increased energy? Is it for the aesthetic benefits it brings? Is it a combination of all of these?  Is it a part of a bigger picture?  Only you can answer these questions and everyone will answer them differently.

2. Establishing what works for you

What we are attempting to do is set our goals and stick to them.  To begin with we can examine a few elements, which you may already know the answer to.  What motivates you now?  Is there something that you previously thought was a difficult thing to achieve but you now do it without thinking and with success?  What has worked for you in the past?  Have you achieved something that you had to commit to for a long period of time?  What common elements are there with these things?  What are your strengths that stand out when it comes to completing difficult challenges?  Look at your positive attributes that you can use to achieve things and recognise them, and congratulate yourself on them.

3. Your Vision

Setting a vision is a really effective tool for motivation and goal setting.  This can be part of your self-exploration at the goal setting stage and is such a powerful tool when looking to stay motivated. We want to know what we are working towards, so spending time outdoors with your friends and family might be a vision you come up with for yourself.  When you are struggling to peel yourself off the couch to go for a walk or run you can use this vision to help motivate you to that vision of living your best life.

4. Your Goals

Your goals in themselves will act as motivators.  And if set out correctly and broken down into SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) action steps will help you stay motivated.  Using your vision and other coaching tools can help you to establish what these goals might be.  For instance, a lot of people feel they want to lose weight.  This very often is not their actual goal when they do some self-exploration.  They may find that they need more balance in their life, they need more fun and leisure and connection.  So, by arranging active, fun things to do with friends may make them happier in themselves and take the focus off weight being an issue.  They may inadvertently get in better shape by setting these positive goals for themselves too.

5. Support & Accountability

We are all ultimately the only person that we are accountable to.  However, introducing change in our lives can be challenging when we are already busy working and living.  This is when getting the support of those people close to us can really make the difference – partner, family, friends or colleagues are ideal candidates.  You can share elements or all of what you are setting out to achieve and explain how they can help you, “if I say I’m going for a run every Tuesday and Thursday evening, don’t let me sit watching TV eating biscuits, encourage me to go out if I’m struggling”.  Once they have an idea of how they can be useful and why, they will generally really buy into your plan and help and encourage you to succeed and stay on track.

Success breeds success

Once you start succeeding in the smaller goals then this will motivate you in itself.  So, go for the low hanging fruit in terms of what you can achieve.  This is all about feeling positive and staying positive.  Keep the goals realistic and watch yourself flourish.

As health coaches, these are things we work on with individuals and groups to really help them succeed with the goals that they want to achieve for themselves.  There are many tools and techniques that work well to pull this together for the individual to live their best life.

Suzanne Leyden Health Coach Contact

Featured Image by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

7-Steps to Success: Goal Setting

The WellNow Co Goal Setting

By Suzanne Leyden, Nutrition Health & Wellness Coach and Owner of The WellNow Co

New Year’s resolutions – you either love them or hate them. Either way, 80% of of people fail to stick with their planned changes. But it doesn’t have to be the case if you approach the changes you want to make in a smart way. With these 7-steps to success, goal setting can really help to set you up for creating the change you want and experiencing the wellness transformation you are looking for. In fact it’s a perfect example of proper self-care.

1. EXPLORE

Self-exploration is fundamental to setting goals and achieving a successful outcome. Consider every aspect of your life from health, career, finances, relationships and social or fun time! Is there an area that stands out to you as needing some attention? If so, then this is where your focus should be initially. 

2. PERSONALISE

It’s also important to be true to yourself when setting goals and make sure that whatever you are setting out to do is personal to you and is in line with your values. Figuring out your ‘Why?’ will help you with always working with your purpose and core values at the heart of it. 

Warning: Don’t look to social media and set goals you think you should be doing, do what you want to be doing for you.

3. VISUALISE

How would you like to be living so that you are really thriving in all aspects of your life, rather than just surviving? Take time to really think about this and etch that vision into your mind. Now look at what your life is currently like today compared to the vision you have just set. Look at where you want to get to and what you might need to change in order to get there.

4. FOCUS

Once you’ve identified the areas to focus on, you can start setting small, achievable goals that are going to help move you from where you are today to where you want to be. It’s a case of taking brand areas of focus and chunking them down to attainable changes.

5. READINESS FOR CHANGE

Observing your readiness for change in any of the focus areas, and also the smaller, more specific changes, is key to success. Take the low hanging fruit, the easy wins. This will set you up for success. And we know success breeds success. There’s no point in starting with the most challenging change. Once you have a few wins under your belt, your confidence will be up and you will find more change possible.

6. S.M.A.R.T

How many people decide on January 1st that they are ‘going to get fit this year!’? This is a well-intended goal for many people but it’s too broad and without structure, making it easy to fob off or push out to ‘next week’. So if we took the goal of ‘getting fit this year’ and put it through the S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound) test it might change to something like ‘I’m going to run 5km every Monday and Thursday evening and sign up to a 10km race in June this year.’

7. SUPPORT & ACCOUNTABILITY

Making any change is hard, even if you know it’s leading to a positive outcome. Going for a run every Monday and Thursday evening can be very difficult in the winter months, after a long day at work, refereeing kids at bath time and Netflix calling, but if you have a friend to run with or a partner encouraging you to go, you’re much more likely to succeed. It might be that you find an accountability buddy, or group, it may depend on what the task at hand is. But we know for sure, that together is better.

Everyone’s individuality should be catered for. Making changes right now may not be right for you. Although, one small change now that brings you closer to your overall goal is a great start. Just remember that one step at a time is all you need.

Suzanne Leyden Health Coach Contact

Featured image: Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash