Despite all our best intentions and plans, we don’t often hit all of the goals we set for ourselves. Life happens, and we fall off the bandwagon. The challenge is to jump back on again as when we stop it’s can become difficult to build momentum again. As such, in this post, I wanted to focus on 3 free ways to motivate yourself to start again and take the steps needed to reach your goals.
Free Ways to Motivate Yourself
#1- Write a Letter to Future You
I first heard about writing a letter to myself in a book club that I attended over 3 years ago. When I first tried this, I wrote a physical letter to myself which I placed in an envelope, sealed and handed to our book club facilitator. On our last book club meeting approximately 7 months later, we were given the letters. We re-read them and assessed whether we achieved everything we outlined in the letter. For the targets that we did not hit, we examined the reasons that may have prevented us from succeeding and we tweaked our goals accordingly going forward.
I found that this particular method worked for me, however, I wanted to find a way that I could do this electronically. This is how I discovered Future Me.
This free writing site allows you to write a letter to yourself (Future You) that will be emailed to you at the date you choose. You can choose how far in the future you would like the letter to arrive. I generally keep my short time frames so a year or shorter, however, I’m planning to write a 5-year letter soon. What I love about this is that it’s very versatile and you can write about whatever you want. Here are some examples of things you can write about:
- Your goals
- Your dreams
- Your milestones
- Your celebrations and accomplishments
- Who you want to be
There’s the option to read other people’s letters to themselves to also give you ideas of what else you can write about.
#2- Use Inspirational Quotes
Visual quotes are a great way to motivate and inspire yourself to keep pursuing your goals. There are thousands of quotes on so many different areas that you can write them down, memorize them, bookmark them, make them the background on your phone, add them to your vision board and/or share on social media so others can benefit. However, it’s important to have them somewhere you will see regularly to help you focussed.
Here are 3 current favourites:
If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse. Anonymous
If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be. Maya Angelou
Don’t downgrade your dream to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny. Anonymous
#3- Use Rewards at Strategic Times
This method relates more to order and timing. A simple way to motivate yourself especially with tasks you dislike or keep procrastinating on is to complete them before you spend some time doing something you enjoy. For example, if you enjoy a particular tv show or game, structure your schedule in a way that makes sure you complete the task you’re avoiding FIRST and then reward yourself with what you enjoy.
This intentional structuring of my day in this way is certainly one of the key reasons a lot of the tasks I dislike do not continue to pile up indefinitely. Also, I try to do these types of tasks when I am most alert as it is much more difficult to exert the effort to do them when I am already tired. That way I set myself up for success rather than failure.
What are ways that you keep yourself motivated?