Winters are tough for me. I look at the year ahead and know that I’m supposed to be working on fresh new goals.
But it’s tough getting motivated. Feeling lethargic, I tend to procrastinate, often feeling negative about myself.
Trading old habits for new ones can be daunting.
Losing weight, taking a new career step, saying yes to a blind date or simply moving forward on developing new business ideas or opportunities IS a lot of work.
No, let me repeat: Creating change in life IS hard work.
But it is also POSSIBLE.
Goals can be achieved. Businesses can be created. Relationships can begin anew. Health can be restored.
Here are 3 tips to get you motivated to move forward when you feel negative about yourself or plain old lazy in these winter months:
1. Remind yourself why you’re going after that goal
Rediscovering what achieving that specific goal means to our life can help to motivate us to move forward out of a funk.
When I first started writing this blog, I had no idea how to do it properly and wasn’t really sure if anyone was reading it. Sometimes I would start to feel negative about myself and thought, “what’s the point?”
Every time I felt negative, I would remind myself that I was writing this blog because I had a story to share that might help others get through their challenging times. I wasn’t writing a blog for fame or fortune but writing it so that I can express my ideas and share lessons I learned in my own journey that might help people in their own. That was my reason.
What often compels us to move forward during difficult times is what our actions mean for someone else.
A reader of my blog wrote to me at the time that my writing really helped her get through a tough time she was having. And I printed out that email and taped it on my computer. Because I had realized that I was writing this blog and subsequent book for her. She became my reason for continuing writing, in between my day job, managing kids and helping my spouse. Through it all, I never forgot her and others like her who now write to me.
Once I revisited that reason for pursuing that goal, I started focusing on it again and got back to work. It made me feel good that my actions were helping someone else. Having a face to a goal makes it more meaningful.
2. Constantly reinforce the message with positive voices
When you feel negative about yourself, it’s hard to listen to anything so hunky dory. It can be annoying. Especially when we’re feeling down because of a bad day.
But what I discovered is that we have to force ourselves to listen to other points of reference than our own skewed overthinking.
When I was going through uncertainty in my job, for a while I fell into this default negative mode and felt that no matter what I did, it wouldn’t make a difference.
After a while, that negativity burned months of action as I sat there and did nothing to change my own circumstance. Then one day, I happened upon a video on youtube from Brian Tracy, which broke me out of my negative trance.
Essentially, I realized that it’s natural to feel negative at times but we all have to proactively force our laziness out of ourselves. And one way to do this is to surround our mind with positive voices that encourage action.
By listening to more youtube videos, reading inspirational biographical books or going on to personal development blogs, I found myself feeling as though I was not alone in my quest and it gave me the strength to break the laziness and move forward in my goal.
3. Imagine yourself having achieved some progress
A tiny bit of progress makes us feel as though we’re on the right track. It gives us certainty and reinforces the action we took towards our goal.
When I was pitching my book idea to publishers, I wasn’t sure how it would be received. I would get up in the morning and be terrified at opening my inbox for the fear of rejection.
Then one day, I read about a well known author who creates a prop that he puts on his desk for every book idea he gets. He designs a cover and prints it out, cuts it and then tapes it on top of the cover of another book. It provided his mind with encouragement of the possibility of success. He created his own reality!
I did the same thing. Designed a front cover myself and pretended that it was my book that had been published already and put it on my desk.
Visualizing that my book was published already, in a way tricked my mind into thinking it was a done deal. Taking action on turning the idea into reality forced me to move forward, even when I was feeling negative about myself.
I believe that moving forward on a goal, a resolution or a plan for 2014 is not easy, especially for those of us who hibernate and get lazy in the winter months but it is possible and worthwhile. Breaking that negative pattern doesn’t require a trip to the tropics but something as simple as getting back to the core of what we do and why we do it.
Bob Miglani | Author, Embrace the Chaos