One afternoon, while resting from my workout at the gym, I found myself staring at the wall across the bench I was sitting on.
Posted on the wall, is a big sign that read, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
I’ve seen that quote so many times and yet I’m amazed at how it always inspires me whenever I read it.
Indeed, with enough motivation, we can usually take that “first step” towards change very easily; but without that “habit” – we often fail to follow through with our efforts and eventually never reach our goal.
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution last January? It’s now the middle of the year. Are you still good on your promises?
So were you able to lose weight? Stop smoking? Save more money? If not, don’t blame yourself, for you still have half a year to make your goal.
But this time, maybe it will help if you try these tips on how you can “keep it going”.
Adapt a long term perspective with your motivation
You want to go on vacation by the end of the year, so you decide to save money for it. While that may be a good and effective reason, it’s also seems short-term.
Instead, make yourself form that habit of saving money because you want to have the means to go on vacation anytime.
Write it down
Whenever you want something done, always write it down then post it where you’ll often see it. Reading your goal in bold letters really helps in reinforcing positive habits.
Read more reasons why you should write down your goals on paper.
Know your obstacles and prepare a solution
So you decided to start saving money, but you know you’re an impulse buyer. What can you do? Perhaps leave your credit cards at home or avoid going to malls when there’s a sale.
It’s important to know the things that will “break your momentum” so you can prepare and be ready when they come.
Take baby steps, break it down
You want to cut your spending? Don’t altogether change your lifestyle in one day or you’ll end up hating it. Do one thing at a time like simply bringing your own lunch to work a few times a week.
Then once you get the hang of that, start taking the bus instead of riding a cab to work. Then maybe after a month, change another thing and so on.
Make a schedule
As I’ve said in the previous tip – take baby steps. This also means taking the time to write down a schedule of the things you plan do across your calendar.
It’s not enough to just keep it in your head. Like your goals, writing your tasks helps in forming them into a habit.
Announce it to the world
When you tell your family and friends about a positive habit you’re working on, you’ll most likely become more committed to it. If you’re feeling shy, then at least one “commitment-checker” will do.
Doing this will likewise gain you the moral support you’ll need when things become rough and tough.
Measure your progress, and report it
The best part of forming a positive habit, seeing that you’re actually making progress. Your piggy bank is now half-full? Tell and promise your “commitment-checker” you’ll open and count the money in front of them when it becomes full.
Sharing such anticipation to others will really help in making you “cross that finish line.”
Persist, despite failures
“Falling off the wagon” is not fatal. It can and it does happen. And it helps to remember that when you fail, you don’t really go back from where you started, you actually begin from where you left off and continue from there.
Which means you’re wiser and better this time around. Keep in mind that habits are formed because of persistence and not because of perfection.
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Photo credit: foxypar4
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