How To Stay Motivated and Focused on Your Goals
This is the time of year when many people set ambitious goals and resolutions. As we head into a brand new year, it is a common time to look ahead and think where we want to be in 12 months’ time. Whether for personal goals, entrepreneurs or established businesses, goal setting is not only admirable, it is critical. Without goals to drive us and keep us on track, we would never move forward.
However it is not enough to simply set goals, you need to work to achieve them. According to Forbes, only 8% of people stick to their New Years’ resolution. And for this, you need to stay motivated and focused. This is also something that can be difficult to achieve at this time of year, when wrapped up in the excitement and drama of the holidays, or when returning to work after a busy holiday season.
Stay Motivated and Focused on Your Goals
Now, then, is an excellent time to check in with these top tips for staying motivated and focused on your goals.
Be Ready to Make Sacrifices
The first thing you need to acknowledge is that in order to achieve your goals, whatever they are, you will need to make sacrifices. These sacrifices could be about the time you put in, giving up doing something else you enjoy, or they may be financial sacrifices as you invest in your goals. Acknowledging this and being ready to make sacrifices is key to staying motivated and keeping on track.
Remind yourself that these sacrifices are necessary in order to achieve what you want to achieve and get where you want to go. Also keep in mind that (usually) the sacrifice will be short-lived and once you achieve your goals you will be able to enjoy whatever you were missing out on, plus the additional benefits.
Stay Engaged with Your Goals
One of the biggest killers for motivation is disengagement, or losing your connection to the bigger picture and to the goals you are working to achieve. Disengagement is fatal on many levels, from individual to companies. According to UK Consultancy Inspire Me, disengaged employees cost the UK £348 billion annually due to absence and unproductivity.
It is important to keep your goals in constant focus. Remind yourself of the bigger picture goals of what you are doing and how each task, however tedious, will help you to reach those goals. It can even be helpful to have a visual reminder, such as writing out your goals and pining them up above your desk. The real key to this make sure that your goals are ones that resonate with you. If your goals are those that are linked to your own true sense of purpose, you will be naturally driven to achieve them.
Acknowledge That Your Motivation Will Fail Sometimes
As much as it is important to stay driven and focused on your goals, it is also important to be conscious that this will slip from time to time. There will be times that your motivation will wane. This could be due to exhaustion, overwhelm, or simply needing a break. Acknowledge that this is normal, and don’t be hard on yourself when it happens.
Rather, pre-prepare how you will deal with those times when your motivation fades. Have strategies in place that you can implement at these times. This could be referring back to your goals and reminding yourself of why you are doing what you are doing. It could also be tapping into the things you find most inspiring, whether listening to podcasts, reading your favourite writer in your industry, or listening to TED Talks.
Perhaps most importantly, these moments may be a sign it is time to take a break. A break could mean anything from a five minute break from work or a two week holiday. Allowing yourself regular breaks from relentlessly pursuing your goals are critical for long-term success.
Improve Your General Wellbeing
General wellbeing is critical to our productivity and motivation. Our wellbeing underlies everything else in our lives: our work, our personal projects, our studies and our relationships. Better wellbeing is vital to maintaining motivation and staying on track to meet our goals, and has been found to be linked to better productivity at work, as well as reducing classroom absence in students.
Improving your general wellbeing means looking after your physical, mental and emotional health. Make sure you eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep. Also consider yoga, meditation and contact with friends and family to support your mental wellbeing. All of these elements are interlinked, and all are critical to be able to have the necessary energy and concentration that will mean you are at your best and able to focus on working toward your goals.