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Staying Motivated

It is not always easy staying motivated. In December or January everyone is excited about their New Year's Resolutions, but by February some folks fall off the wagon (me included). You have goals, aspirations and dreams but how do you stay motivated so that you can push yourself to keep working towards your goals (even when you don't want to). I have come up with the five P's to help you stay motivated, even if you lose steam. They are 1) Pictures, 2) People, 3) Progress, 4) Preparation and 5) Promises.


1. Pictures

Use pictures and put them in front of you daily to remind you of your goals. I recommend making a vision board (see my post on making a vision board here: If a vision board is not for you, then consider putting up pictures or post it notes to remind you of your goals and why your goal(s) are important to you. Post these where you can see them every day. You will take in these pictures / notes both consciously and unconsciously to help keep you going (when you don’t want to).

2. People

Surround yourself with like-minded people to encourage your endeavors. Get mentors, advisors or a support team (like a Superhero team, think Avengers or Justice League) and they can encourage you when you can’t encourage yourself. It's important to choose people who have already achieved their goals. You can connect with someone who is just starting and has the same goals as you but has not achieved them, but be cautious. Be careful with other people who might lose their motivation because they could cause you to lose yours too. For example, be careful of who you choose as your workout buddy. You don't want someone who will cancel or simply not show up at the gym. They could cause you to lose motivation, so stick with folks who are already successful. You can also like / follow social media pages of people that inspire and motivate you.

3. Progress

As you make progress, celebrate your successes along the way. NSV = non scale victories for those trying to lose weight. Clothes that are too too big or avoiding sweets are NSVs and should be celebrated (without food). Find a way to celebrate your successes along the way. If your goal is to run a 5K (3.1 miles) and you trained and are now able to run one mile without stopping that is progress and should be celebrated. How will you treat yourself? Think about this at the beginning of your journey so you can look forward to those celebrations and successes along the way to the final goal.

4. Preparation (Plan Ahead)

Put tasks or goals in your calendar (with reminders). You should have short to-do lists to help you achieve long term goals, plan them out every week. If exercise is your goal, pack your gym bag ahead of time! If eating right is your goal, plan your meals and plan your grocery shopping. Whatever long-term goals you have, plan out the short term tasks to help get you there. If you plan ahead you are more likely to complete the task.

5. Promises

When you are motivated make promises to yourself and to your support team. Write these down, put them in your calendar or post them on social media. If you are not motivated later you made a promise and now you have to stick to it! For example, join fitness challenges online or with a fitness tracker. Invite friends to exercise with you. That way if you don’t feel like exercising, you can push yourself to go to keep up with the challenge, or so you won’t disappoint your friend.

If you think of these five P's at the beginning and throughout your journey they can help keep you motivated and focused to continue working hard, even if you don't want to.

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