It seems like every year just around this time we start thinking about our goals. Of course, it makes sense because we just recently made another set of New Year’s resolutions, which are really nothing more than goals we’ve set for ourselves to accomplish in the coming 12 months. But, what most of us are lacking, and why we never seem to meet these goals, is motivation.
Perhaps instead of focusing so much on setting new goals for ourselves, we should be looking at tips on Examined Existence, such as those offered by American psychologist Angela Duckworth. Do you know what it will take to motivate yourself this year and every year going forward? That’s a challenge in and of itself, isn’t it? Let’s look at that for a minute.
Perhaps You’re Setting the Wrong Goals!
One thing that Angela observed is that the one characteristic that all people have in common is an underlying passion for what they are trying to achieve. They are successful because they found something to work towards that means something to them. Are you setting goals because of someone else’s expectations for you? Are you setting goals so far out in the future that it’s difficult to maintain a passionate drive towards the finish line? Maybe it’s time to learn to differentiate between ultimate goals and stops along the way.
Don’t Try to Do Too Much Too Soon
It’s pretty hard to keep your level of motivation high if you set your goal for the broad jump but can’t step across a crack in the sidewalk. Look at reaching your goals like building a roadmap. Draw a line from where you are now to where you want to be when you reach your goal. Define that goal and make it the last stop on your journey – this journey, that is. Remember, there will be others!
Next, think about what it will take to get there. Each of those tasks or minor accomplishments will be stops along the way, points on your map. Be realistic about what you can do within a given amount of time. For example, you want to lose 50 pounds. You could chart a roadmap to success with this being week one, your 50-pound weight loss week 52 and that leaves 50 weeks in between where you can lose a pound a week. Doesn’t that make more sense than trying to lose 50 pounds by Easter or by summer vacation? As you lose a pound a week, your passion builds because you see the finish line more clearly by the week.
Remember the Direct Correlation between Passion and Motivation
In the end, it’s pretty hard to stay motivated about something you could care less about. Don’t be disappointed if you can’t reach goals which mean little to you. Motivation is at its best when you are working towards something you are passionate about. These are the goals you need to learn to set for yourself, and these will be the goals you’ll meet.
Remember, motivation and passion go hand in hand. Each step towards the finish line is a victory and as the excitement mounts, you will get that much closer to your goal, each step being easier than the ones before. That driving ambition, that motivation, comes from a sincere passion to win the race, and that’s where passion comes in. Learn to motivate yourself with that driving passion and you will reach your goals.