I have learned that most people find it hard to stay motivated in key areas of life like their:
- Spiritual life.
- Career life.
- Physical health.
Many people do not have a problem getting motivated… it’s staying motivated that is the problem. Think about that time when you got all excited about a new initiative, a new diet, or a new exercise plan. You most likely had high motivation levels in the beginning, but then life gets busy, things happen and you loose steam.
How does one stay motivated?
I have used these four practices to stay motivated in key areas of my life:
1. Begin every day with positive thoughts.
I wake up and begin my day with the most positive thoughts I can find. For years now I have followed a daily Bible reading program. I spend about 25 minutes reading the Bible and then I write down what inspired me. This practice has kept me motivated for years to stay close to God and far away from unwise and sinful behavior.
After I read my Bible I spend another 25-30 minutes reading or listening to something else that is incredibly motivating. There are plenty of wonderful books and podcasts available today for this use.
2. Set goals.
It has been proven time and time again that setting goals can be incredibly motivating. Goals keep you focused and moving forward in the key areas of life that you have identified as important. I recommend that everyone set goals for every area of their life. You can set goals in your relationships, your career, your finances, and your physical health.
Goals call your attention back to why you should even wake up in the morning. The motivation comes as you begin to see progress in your goals. Progress is the key, so be sure to set goals that are attainable. Otherwise your goals can have the opposite effect and end up discouraging you.
3. Use a tracking system.
If you track your progress every day with a journal or an app on your phone, you are more likely to stay motivated. Again, it is progress that we love. Recently I set a fitness goal of running 140 miles in one month, more than I have ever run. I use the app called “RunKeeper”. It tracks all my runs and gives me an updated graph showing me how close I am to my goal! It even sends me an email congratulating me when I do hit my goal! I am jazzed to run and then look at the updated graph! 140…here I come.
4. Stay healthy.
It is no secret by now that what we put into our bodies and how we train our bodies has a direct effect on the amount of energy we have. And energy is a huge part of staying motivated.
If you are eating the wrong foods and are mostly sedentary during the day you are going to struggle to be energized about anything.
Experts suggest that we should eat 6 small nutritious meals per day and exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes. Add 64 ounces of water and seven hours of sleep per night and you will be maximizing your energy. When you feel good it’s much easier to stay motivated on a daily basis.
I know it’s hard to stay motivated. Life has a way of beating away at our energy. But it is possible to keep your fires burning with some key motivational practices. I don’t wake up every day excited to jump out of bed, but many days I do! I expect to have many more!
My advice: Treat motivation like bathing. You must do it every day!