“Only I can change my life, no one can do it for me.” – Carol Burnett
Like everyone, there have been times in my life when I have felt unfulfilled or discontented, but I could not see a way out of the fog. I knew I wanted something different, (relationship, location, job etc.) but the thought of change felt at best uncomfortable, at worst exhausting or even impossible. I didn’t feel I had the tools within me to make those changes.
Eventually, I took a few life coaching courses which helped me change the way I was thinking and some of those ideas and strategies have stayed with me.
To feel motivated is to be in a certain state of of mind. Periods of negative thinking can leave us in an “I can’t” mode , and although we know we are unhappy remaining in that state, it takes an overhaul in thinking to make a change. Sometimes risk is a concern; people will forgo satisfaction and fulfillment in their jobs/relationships/ lives, for a path that is safe and without risk, if ultimately unfulfilling.
We all need motivation to make changes occasionally. Life becomes too difficult and everything seems harder. Getting motivated to start the process for change can be challenging, but if we break it down into small steps, it can be achievable.
Start with thinking about what you want to achieve, then consider what steps could be taken to get there. That may seem ridiculously simple, but in my experience, whilst people may recognise that they are unfulfilled in an aspect of their lives, they are only harbouring vague ideas about how to change. Because those ideas are vague, so are the steps to change, therefore nothing ever takes proper form. It becomes a never ending cycle of half formed ideas and thoughts which are easily overcome by even the smallest degree of negativity. Clear ideas and goals are NOT so easily dismissed.
The sixty four million dollar question is therefore threefold: What do you want? Why do you want it? How can it be achieved?
1. Think about what you want (“what you really really want” as the Spice Girls would say). A new job? Promotion? Get fit? Lose weight? A new relationship? Write a book? Get a degree? Whatever it is, it’s within your grasp if you start to take genuine steps towards it.
2. Consider how much control you have over the path to your goal? Are there steps you can take today or does something else have to happen/ change first?
3. Unleash the power you have within you. What would you do if you knew that you could do anything? If you knew that you absolutely would not fail whatever you turned your hand to? Give yourself the freedom to think big!
4. Answer these questions: What am I good at? What do I want out of life? What do I like doing? What could go wrong? What sacrifices will I need to make to reach my goal?
5. Swap “ I can’t, it won’t work “ to “I can, and I’ll try.” Identify a negative thought which consistently holds you back. What keeps you thinking that way? What needs to happen to make a change?
6. Don’t forget to check why you wish for a particular goal. Think about this carefully and check your reasons for wanting change. For example, it’s not productive going from one job, relationship, or house to another, if you are still going to be feeling discontented. If you are feeling unfulfilled, consider whether achieving this goal will change your state of mind.
If you are at the point where you feel you have identified your goal/s, it is time to think about How are you going to achieve it/them.
1. Set your goals by defining them. They should be specific, interesting and inspiring, and very importantly they should also be realistic. They should have a timeframe. Write them down with a timeline if possible, and refer back to them frequently.
2. Visualise the reaching of those goals. Imagine yourself in that situation as clearly as you can. Don’t just imagine one aspect, consider what the rest of your life will be like when you have achieved this goal/s. Play that over in your head like a film.
3. Remember a time when everything was going well and you felt fulfilled. Why was that? Recall that period and do what you can to replicate those feelings. Imagine yourself at that point of success. Now think about the steps it will be necessary to take to get to that point with this particular goal.
4. Recognise the power in you to change! The feeling of powerlessness can stop us moving forward. You have the power within you to reach this goal. Perhaps this goal will lead to another. The opportunities and possibilities are endless!
5. Read an inspirational book by someone you admire. Think about how they achieved their goals and what you can learn from them.
6. Find support through friends. Surround yourself with like-minded motivated people and you will naturally develop and imitate similar skills.
7. Don’t be afraid of failing. Failure teaches us to keep trying until we get it right. If you experience a failure, consider it to be a learning opportunity, not a reason to stop following your dreams.
The hardest thing about getting motivated for change is starting. Procrastination is your enemy! Putting off changing your life for the better is wasting your precious time. Life is short and there are so many opportunities out there waiting for you. It may mean a big change such as new career; it may be something you have put off for a long time such as starting a fitness regime. Whatever it is, decide to go for it now! Make that commitment to yourself to make that change and get ready to be the motivated, successful person you are capable of being.
If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney