New Year, New Goals: How to Improve Your Own Motivation

2011 has come and gone, and 2012 has just taken off!

If you are reading this, congratulations on making it through yet another year! Can I ask you a question? Do you have any plans in store for the big twenty-twelve? Is there something you’ve been meaning to do or improve upon, and that celebratory date of New Year’s Day just seem to ironically fit the bill for a starting point? Well you’ve come to the right blog!

As cliché as New Year’s resolutions are, I actually welcome them with open arms and have set a few for myself this year. However, how often in the past have Januarys gone by with you saying you are going to quit smoking, yet continue to cave in, in the form of a sneakily, delightful after-dinner puff? How many countless times have you thought to yourself, “I’m definitely going to start working out and lose these love handles after the new year hits,” yet still cannot break the grasp of binge-playing Skyrim for hours on end? No matter what your goal, resolution or desire to change might be, here are a few common sense tips to help keep you motivated and improving towards your goals:

  • Write your goals down on paper or type them and print them out.

If you don’t remember reading my blog about goal setting and the Harvard study about writing goals down, then trust me, you want to get in the practice of writing your goals down and keeping them visible! Can you believe that statistics show that only 3% of Americans actually write down their goals?When you do this, you enable yourself to clearly define what it is you want while being able to start thinking about different ways to accomplish it. Not only are you giving yourself a defined starting point, but you are able to creatively assess what will and will not work for you and what it takes to reach your goal.

  • A failure is only a failure if you didn’t learn anything from it.

It is always too easy to look for the bad in something without seeing the good first. A good friend once told me, “Fighter pilots aren’t turned into aces without going through a few dog fights!” He was exactly right. Whenever you come up against adversity or something else that blocks your way in completing or living out one of your goals, look at it and use it as a learning experience. Keeping positive during times of affliction will only breed even more positivity. In fact it was Albert Einstein that once said, “In the middle of a difficulty lies opportunity.” To find that opportunity, sometimes we just need to take a step back from what we are doing and ask, “Why?”

  • Short-term goals create steady progress toward long-term goals.

I can’t tell you how often I find myself in a daydream tangent on ideas about how to improve things at Incept or even in my own life really. I can’t help it, it’s just in my nature of being never satisfied. I’m someone who can formulate brilliant ideas, but I admit when it comes to getting these ideas off the ground I have a tough time executing my intentions. If you are like me, then start setting short-term goals accordingly (that are realistic in helping you accomplish your long-term goals).

So you already know what you want out of this year. What is stopping you from achieving it? Nine times out of ten we already have what we need to be successful right in front of us!

Tell me about what you want to accomplish this year either professionally or personally. What tips do you have for staying motivated and seeing your goals through?