The Scientific Guide on How to Get and Stay Motivated
When I started The Sleeping Beauty Co I had no idea where to start. I had worked in marketing and hospitality and knew little about manufacturing my idea about an anti-wrinkle pillow. I had sewn a pillow which worked well for me but was so clueless when it came to scaling my idea so I could help other women feel more confident.
I was going to have to save my own money, manufacture it and somehow get my idea to women who needed the pillow. Where should I start? Thoughts came to my mind about my idea being stupid.
Motivation is the key for us to achieve hefty goals.
If only you could control your cravings OR have the discipline to study for that exam OR have the will power to get up and do Pilates tonight instead of popping open a bottle of wine and nibbling on some chocolate while bingeing on Netflix, that sounds so great! Lack of motivation and willpower is what most of us blame when we fall short of achieving our goals, especially when trying to lose weight or become healthier.
But I believe goals don’t require will power. Goals are the product of habits. Habits are processes operating in the background that power our goals.
“The fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits.” — Tom Ziglar
Many people overlook the importance of habits because they are viewed as routines. But habits are the bread and butter of success because what we do today determines our tomorrow.
It is time to quit the ‘motivation porn’ that is rife on social media and get serious about success! Once you form a habit, willpower becomes obsolete.
Before you can transform physically, you need to assess and transform your mental state. We make thousands of choices every day. According to a study conducted by the European Journal of Social Psychology. On average it takes two to three months, for a new habit to form. Are your prepared to spend a challenging three months working on your goal? That brings us to the importance of picking the right goal.
IDENTIFY HABITS AND REPLACE THEM
Now that you’ve picked your goal, you need to identify which habits are stopping you from achieving that goal. These are some common habits:
- Are you snacking?
- Are you drinking your calories? Replace that morning big latte with cereal!
- Are you drinking too much alcohol on the weekend with your friends? Replace it with a walk and cappuccino
- Are you night snacking? (eating too much after dinner)
- Are you skipping workouts? Work out with a buddy or trainer!
- Are you not meal prepping or making healthy snacks for the 3pm slump
- Are you drinking 2 glasses of wine each night? That’s 14 glasses a week so think of the accumulative impact!
We all have weak spots where we may get stressed or bored and make poor decisions. For instance, I often fuel myself with sugary junk food to stay awake when finishing projects. I have tried going for a walk and reading magazines and meditating. But when I decided to replace the junk food with baked pumpkin, my weight and sugar cravings dropped off. It was easier to deny what was happening and not make an alternative snack but I acknowledged what I was doing and experimented until I found the right solution.
Perhaps you want to do Pilates daily at 5am. In the past your often missed classes because you decided to go to Pilates at 5am on Tuesday but you stayed at work until 8pm on Monday, you got home at 9pm, you cooked dinner and watched Netflix until midnight. You felt like you were so tired in the morning that you couldn’t safely drive you to the studio. We’ve all done this. We made decisions the night before that stopped us from achieving our goals. Your morning starts the night before. If you want to do Pilates in the morning then you need to design the night before so you can do it.
You can also try to transform weekly catch ups you have and use them as a source of wellness. For example, one of my closest friends and I regularly had movie nights and ate out. We both wanted to get more fit so we decided to replace out movie nights with tennis night. We have got much fitter and love mingling with other fit people while sneaking in a fun workout! This brings us to the importance of having a supportive social network that encourages you to achieve fitness goals.
Go Big or Go Home is one of the worst mindsets to adopt when trying to achieve goals.
Instead of being all or nothing. Adopt a growth mindset.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Bill Gates
Giant action, is not sustainable, at least at the beginning. For example, Dale Carnegie, the best-selling author of How to Win Friends and Influence People started off small before writing a book!
“I prepared a short talk. I called it ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ I say ‘short.’ It was short in the beginning, but it soon expanded to a lecture that consumed one hour and thirty minutes.”
“We started with a set of rules printed on a card no larger than a postcard. The next season we printed a larger card, then a leaflet, then a series of booklets, each one expanding in size and scope. After fifteen years of experimentation and research came this book.”
“Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity” – Bruce Lee
Remember how I told you that I snack on sugary food after dinner. I tried to go cold turkey but that didn’t work.
Although I LOVE Pilates and want to be in this industry, if you hate pilates, then don’t do it (but make sure you try it haha).
Often when I’ve had a really draining day and I’m feeling tired. I tell myself that I will just do 25 minutes. At the 25 minute mark, I add just a few more minutes on and before I know it, I’ve reached the 30 minute mark.
Thinking big is POSITIVE but STARTING SMALL is essential to getting big results.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY IS PIVOTAL TO ACHIEVING GOALS
“You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with,”
Creating a community with social support, and common goals, can help enormously with achieving goals. Social support plays a key role in people sticking with their goals as supported by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Create an amazing group of friends where people feel welcomed and at home. If people feel like they are exercising with friends, they will feel super motivated.