An Introduction to Staying Motivated
It's pretty safe to say that we all have our own personal goals in life, and with such goals come the inevitable deadlines. Whether it's acing a test in school, getting your summer body, or obtaining an important certification, there exists a moment on the horizon that you must firmly acknowledge, in order to effectively plan working towards and finishing at. When we first start working towards a new goal, we are functioning at our familiar highest level of motivation
I can't believe I just bombed that test. I have to kill the next one, I'm going to start studying much earlier this time.
January first? Time to be the person who I've always wanted to be! I'm going to cut out fast food, ace every class, and make an effort to meet new people.
I'm so excited to start my first day at work, I'm going to outwork all the other employees and get promoted as quickly as possible and make a shit ton of money.
Outstanding, it's great to be positive and take action in our lives, but what happens after a few weeks? Willpower begins to weaken. Motivation begins to dip, and before we know it, we're back to our old habits, and the goals we were so excited about just a little while ago, are swept under the rug and forgotten. So what just happened?
Well, there was too much sudden and drastic change in a lifestyle. A lifestyle is an accumulation of mental and physical habits day in and day out that eventually begin to constitute how you live your life in thought and on the physical plane. So how can you possibly expect to change that in one day? "New Year, New Me" is the biggest lie out there; true change is not something that occurs overnight, it's something that slowly accumulates over time through repetition and nourishment. When you decide that you're going to wake up as a new person on January 1st, you embark on a mental war against every single one of your old life habits that you believe need to be changed. It's comparable to a 100 against 1 battle, and more often than not, it's a losing one. As Psychology says, willpower is a diminishing asset that needs to be recharged - burning out is a real phenomenon that frequently results from mental overload, which in this case, are all the new things that you want to appear in your life, and all the old things that need to be dropped.
Thanks for spitting all over my goals and personality. What's your genius idea?
The goal is to stay continuously motivated - as motivated as you were when a new idea first popped up in your head. If you can't change over one night, try changing over thirty ones. Whichever habits you want to start incorporating in your life, incorporate them for thirty days. Whichever habits you want to leave behind in your life, leave them behind for thirty days. Focus on each day at a time, not on finishing the thirty days. No fast food for one day, no gossip for two days, review chemistry for the first three days in a row while the exam is still a month away. Slow and steady truly does win the race of change, and by attacking each day as a single day, it is much easier to keep your motivation high and to ultimately ease into your new, desired lifestyle. So you completed thirty days of change? Good fucking job, man. Now do thirty more. See the pattern?