Stop thinking in terms of fear.
We're all guilty of thinking in the negative instead of the affirmative. We're busy not wanting things. That's fine and normal, but there is no action associated with not wanting something. You can't decide to do something because you don't want another. That's not how it works. That'll just keep you on the couch, doing nothing.
v Fear is harmful for two reasons: A) It keeps you unmotivated. A negative goal isn't something you can go to action on. But what's more, there's B) It's draining and exhausting. Living in fear sucks. It keeps you in a state of perpetual worry instead of action. When you're drained and exhausted and worried, you are not going to be motivated. There's no two ways around it.
Define your goal and your plan to achieve it.
Now that we have you thinking in the positive, you gotta know what you're getting positive about. Instead of, "I don't want to be homeless, poor, and live my life in a state of abject poverty," you're thinking, "I want to be financially secure." Awesome. Now - what's your plan to achieve that?
v Well, for that specific example, you'd create some type of income plan. It would involve making a budget, possibly going back to school, or expanding your business. You have concrete steps toward your goal. But for whatever you're facing -- be it weight loss, doing well in school, or following through with a dream -- you need to figure out what it is you want and just how you plan on doing that. If you really want it, it won't be all that hard to figure out.
Keep it to just one.
If you have a ton of things on your to-do list, sometimes it becomes daunting and you end up putting the list away and "tackling it later." But if you have one thing on that list of yours, that's it. That's doable. It's doable and you can focus on it -- spreading yourself thin over a dozen won't do you or your goals justice.
v You can't focus yourself if you're not focused on a specific goal. Break it down into small pieces as much as possible. If your goal is to shave 5 years off your appearance, attack it bit by bit. Start off with a new workout routine and get that down. Then, move to a new makeup regimen. Then, tackle your wardrobe. If you don't parse it out, your brain will raise it's arms (if brains had arms) up in surrender and you'll be left with no idea where to go or what to do
Make it fun.
Straight up, doing something you flat out despise won't be something you keep up with. The second you can drop it like a bad habit, you will. For that reason, whatever you're doing -- be it saving up money for that new car or losing 15 pounds -- you gotta make it enjoyable. The more enjoyable it is, the more you'll do it. The more you'll do it, the better you'll get at it. The better you get at it, the quicker the end result will come.
v Where there's a will, there's a way. Do you hate running? No problem. Take a kickboxing class -- the weight will fall off that way, too. Horrible at writing papers? Change to a topic that drives you. Can't save money to save your life? Switch environments. Your world is malleable -- what you make of it can change your motivation entirely.
Read about it.
On the outside, this kind of sounds silly. How could reading about something that you think about all the time really get you motivated? But it does. Hearing other people's success stories (especially when they make it sound super simple), gets your brain thinking, "Hey! There's no reason I can't do that, too!" You all of a sudden become logical. So stop Facebook stalking your high school peers and get to doing something useful.
v You may think reading stories of people who have succeeded in losing 100 pounds may make you feel overweight and unaccomplished (for example), but if anything, you should feel driven, empowered, and armed with resources. You can learn from these people! And if their success doesn't resonate with you, at least it can bring out your competitive edge.
Let's be honest: results just don't come soon enough. It takes years to make money from a new business, it takes months to reach weight loss goals, and it takes a virtual lifetime to be happy with yourself. That's just about the opposite of instant gratification. To overcome this unfortunate fact of life, give yourself rewards. Life sure isn't going to do it for you, so you might as well will.
v Don't just use rewards for the big end goal (though by all means do that!). Set up checkpoints for yourself and give rewards at those smaller successes, too. Lost 5 pounds? Great! That warrants a massage. Aced your last three tests? Super! A night out it is! Finished the first half of your book? Wonderful -- now it's time to go shopping.
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