Norton: How to get motivated when we become demotivated (column)
February is one of the hardest months for people to stay on track, especially for people who set new goals or New Year’s resolutions
Climbing to Success
Here we are, several weeks into the new year. But where exactly are we? Are we on track with our goals and resolutions? Are we still headed to the gym? Is our personal time being preserved? Have we stayed the course on our diet? Is our commitment that we made to ourselves to quit smoking or drinking too much even stronger now than it was when we first started? Are we in full pursuit of our goals and dreams?
Or, have we lost our motivation? It happens and happens to the best of us and the rest of us. And it can happen so quickly that we are right back to where we started. And we very comfortably get settled back into our comfort zone before we even know it.
And when that happens, how do we motivate ourselves through the demotivating feelings? Well, the first thing we must do is remember the “why” behind the “what.” Why did we set this goal in the first place? Why were we trying to break this habit? Why are we trying to improve our situation or become better in some area of our life? Once we can remember the “why” we usually get back to the “what” and “how” part of meeting and exceeding our goals.
February is one of the hardest months for people to stay on track, especially for people who set new goals or New Year’s resolutions. It’s when we start our negative self-talk and talk ourselves out of doing the activities and behaviors that will bring about the change we want to see and the person we want to be. Or we let others who have already given up buy into their discouragement.
Another way to motivate ourselves when we feel that demotivation factor kick in is to follow the Nike tagline, “Just Do It.” We may not want to go to the gym, but once we force ourselves to go and we begin the workout our motivation comes right back. The more we can walk past the bagels and doughnuts or resist the urge for a cigarette or a drink, the more we become inspired to stay the course and recommit to the promises we made to ourselves and others.
When we are feeling like giving up and have lost our motivation and inspiration, we must change what goes into our minds. We have deep resources, gifts, and talents within each of us, and when thinking about that, we are reminded that we can find the strength and endurance to pursue our goals with a renewed spirit and motivation. Regardless of how demotivated we may have become.
This last one is important, it speaks to our own healthy self-image. As Zig Ziglar said, “The greatest good we can do for anyone is not to share our wealth with them, but rather to reveal their own wealth to them. It’s astonishing how much talent and ability rests within a human being.” When we are feeling uninspired and demotivated, we would all do well to follow Zig’s encouragement and believe in who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing.
Since we already quoted Zig once, let’s close out this column with another Zig Ziglar classic, “People often tell me that motivation doesn’t last, and I tell them that bathing doesn’t either, that’s why I recommend it daily.” This is a classic quote and a true fact; we need to find something every day that inspires us, gets us fired up and reenergized, what follows will be nothing short of amazing.
So how about you? How is your motivation as we are several weeks into the new year? Are you strong and staying on track? Or do you need a little help with your motivation, behaviors and self-image? I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can find our inspiration and motivation again, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is the president of the Zig Ziglar Corporate Training Solutions Team, a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.