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We all start our new years with resolutions but after few days lose the motivation to achieve our goals. You may have different goals in life: want to start exercising, stop eating junk food, quit smoking, study hard, or learn a new language or an instrument. But the success of your results is controlled by one common factor – MOTIVATION.

Here are a few simple and smart ways that can help you stay motivated and achieve your goals.

1. Desire: The most important thing before working on any goal is to see how badly you want to achieve that goal. Do you really want it or is it a goal set by your family for you?

2. Why?: What are the driving factors behind this goal? Do you want to lose weight to look better or stay healthy? Do you want to quit smoking because of your girlfriend or your lungs? Do you want to learn guitar to impress people or as a relaxation exercise? Once you know the real motivation behind your goals then it will be easier to stay motivated.

3. SMART goals: Make sure your goals are realistic and time-bound. You should be able to track them at regular intervals. Do NOT set goals that are too optimistic like losing 50 pounds in 4 weeks or speaking French in two days.

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Attainable
  • R – Relevant
  • T – Time-bound

4. Start small: You could be the most talented and hard-working person who may learn guitar in 3 months but setting small goals could help you stay positive and prevent you from getting overwhelmed. You wouldn’t mind exercising if you know it’s only for 5 minutes and not 30 minutes. The thought here is to start with a routine, which is converted into a habit and then a passion. Set a large goal and break it into multiple small goals.

You may want to achieve multiple things in life but prioritize your goals and start with the most important one.

5. Track it: Recording your progress could help you stay on track and get a nudge when needed. Numbers don’t lie. Without data, you may try to convince yourself that you are achieving your goals but you will be surprised once you start analyzing your regular check-ins.

6. Social SupportAnnounce your goals to your family or on social platforms. Sometimes we set goals when we are excited but after some time stop working on it as we know, nobody is checking on us. A small nudge from friends or family could keep you conscious and motivated whenever you think about quitting. Friends may share their experiences or a few tips as well.

7. Get a Partner: Having a study partner or exercise partner could help you stick to a schedule. It’s good to maintain a friendly competition with your partner. Remember that you should compare your achievements only to your prior achievements. Comparing your results with others could be disheartening.

8. Take a break: Don’t go overboard with your goals. It’s ok to have a cheat day during dieting or rest day in between your exercise schedule. Our body and mind need time to relax and recharge.

9. Learn from failures: If you have worked on this goal before then analyze your prior attempts to understand what you did right and what went wrong. Write your successful actions and apply them again during this attempt.

10. Rewards and punishments: Treat yourself with a reward (like a gadget or a food item) after achieving your first small goal. Keeping a punishment (like no electronics for a few hours or skipping your favorite meal) for missing small goals could act as a motivating factor for some people.

11. Watch inspirational movies or listen to motivational speeches or songs. Sports movies (Moneyball) or movies based on true stories (The Pursuit of Happyness) could be strong motivators. Watch this Steve Job’s Stanford Commencement speech for some motivation.

12. Visualize: Imagine that you have achieved your goal. Think of your life after that accomplishment. Do it every day for a few minutes and experience the feeling of triumph.

13. Perseverance is the key to success. Nothing can replace dedication, hard work and persistence.

What goals are you working on right now? Which methods you are planning to use to stay motivated? Do let us know in the comment section.

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