Almost all of my early attempts to quit drinking or change my relationship with food have failed.
This time I am succeeding and I think some of that success comes from topping up my motivation on a daily basis. In the past, I wrote goals in journals and didn’t look at them again. I also had no specific strategies to keep me feeling strong or help me recover when I was low. It meant that when I lost focus or got bored or tired I had no motivation left in the tank to keep going. Over the last 91 days, my everyday activities have kept my goals fresh and kept me focused on why I’m doing this, why it matters and why I believed I could succeed in the first place.
Here are some of the ways I kept motivation topped up:
Every day, if I faced a challenge or had a craving, I thought about the blog and what I’d prefer to write – “I failed” or “I nailed it”. If I only wrote sporadically, I don’t think it would have had the same effect. The clear link between “today’s experiences” and “today’s blog” made the difference. Even though my reader numbers remained small and there were times when I thought, “What’s the point? Nobody is reading it anyway.” I thought about how much I was benefitting from the daily practice of writing it and chose to carry on – plus I kept telling myself that eventually people would start reading it and I would be glad I had kept going.
I find other peoples words enormously motivating and often turn to quotes to help top up my motivation.
As an example, a quote that helped me keep blogging when I felt despondent about reader numbers was this:
How you do anything is how you do everything.
T. Harv Eker / Derek Sivers
Because of this quote, the blog became a metaphor for tenacity and staying the course. I started seeing the blog as confirmation of my commitment and felt that if I quit writing, I would quit my alcohol and sugar projects too because, of course, how you do anything is how you do everything.
I find quotes shape my thinking in these ways all the time. They give little boosts and offer new perspectives when you can’t find them for yourself.
Affirmations are brilliant for topping up motivation every day, but more importantly, they tap into the power of the subconscious mind and shape your self-talk – so beliefs and self-talk become more motivating. Over time, the changes to your self-talk and beliefs change your thoughts, behavior, and results. They’re nifty little tools to hack your beliefs if you use them effectively!
How to write affirmations:
- Keep them short – Use as few words as possible and include only one idea in each affirmation. You can have multiple affirmations but each one stands on its own.
- Use present tense – “I am healthy” versus “I will be healthy”
- Use positive language – Affirmations include words like “do” and “am” rather than “don’t” and “won’t”. They rely on ‘towards motivation’ rather than ‘away-from motivation’.
- Use definite language – “I am” instead of “I might” or “I could”. The point of affirmations is to rewire your beliefs and self-talk. They only work if the language is iron-clad and drives your thinking in a specific, very clear ways.
If you’re considering using them, this blog is really helpful in explaining how and why they work.
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.