At times, having a chronic illness can make it hard to stay motivated to reach goals. Some days you may not feel well enough. Other days you may think “what’s the point if I’m always going to be sick?”. Below are 10 tips to help you stay motivated to reach your goals.
1. Start with one goal: Often times it’s hard to get motivated because there’s just too much going on. When there are a million things going on in your life and five different things you want to achieve, it’s very hard to remain focused. Write down your goals and then prioritize. Choose one goal to work on and focus only on that goal. You will achieve your goal quicker and it will be easier to stay focused and motivated if you work on one goal at a time.
2. Start small: Once you have chosen the one goal you are going to focus on, write down baby steps you can take to get there…and I’m mean BABY steps. Start very small. It will be easier to continue to be motivated if you start small and are able to see your successes.
3. Recognize small successes: Each time you complete a small step toward your larger goal, recognize it and be proud of yourself! Recognizing that you are completing the steps necessary can be very motivating because you will see that you are getting there!
4. Set a timeframe for completing your goal: Think about what an appropriate, realistic timeframe would be for completing your goal and mark it on a calendar in red. Look at that day on your calendar regularly as a reminder and as a motivator.
5. Find inspiration: Whether it is from someone you know who is already doing what you are working toward, reading information online, reading blogs, books or magazines, finding inspiration to reach your goal can do a lot to give you a boost of motivation.
6. Remind yourself of your goal: Make a poster with a short sentence describing your goal or simply write it on a piece of paper in big letters and tape it up where you will see it every day; on your mirror, on your refrigerator, on your desk at work…you get the idea. It’s hard to ignore it when it’s in your face every day.
7. Tell people about your goal: Whether it’s just one person or a whole bunch of people, telling people about your goal will make you feel accountable, which in turn will help to motivate you to succeed.
8. Get support: If you have a friend or family member working toward the same goal as you, talk to them about doing it together. Having a buddy makes accomplishing a goal easier. You can rely on each other during the times you are each feeling less motivated and you can celebrate together when you have reached small milestones. If you don’t have a personal friend or family member working toward the same goal, look online for any support groups that may be out there.
9. Create a routine: Make accomplishing your goal a part of your daily or weekly routine. For example, if getting in shape is the goal you are struggling with, dedicate yourself to exercising on specific days of the week at the same time on each of those days. While it may be a struggle at first, once you get into a routine it will be easier to stay motivated.
10. Replace negative thinking with positive thinking: Instead of thinking “I will never be able to do this”, think “I can do this and I will do it!” Make an effort to recognize your negative thinking patterns and make a real effort to turn those around. Negative self-talk will make it ten times more difficult to stay motivated and reach your goals.