zenhabits : breathe

Top 20 Motivation Hacks – #12

Quick intro: I first intended this Top 20 list to be in a single post, but I decided that breaking them into separate posts would allow me to concentrate on each a little more. So, I present my list of the Top 20 Motivation Hacks.

A number of people have commented that I must be dedicated to achieve some of the goals I’m going for: exercise, frugality, organization, healthy eating, etc. Well, I don’t believe in someone being naturally “dedicated” … it’s all a matter of motivation. You can achieve anything if you motivate yourself enough.

Motivation Hack #12: Break it into smaller, mini goals.

Sometimes large or longer-term goals can be overwhelming. After a couple weeks, we may lose motivation, because we still have several months or a year or more left to accomplish the goal. It’s hard to maintain motivation for a single goal for such a long time.

Solution: have smaller goals along the way. For example, in running, I may have a training plan that lasts three months. But along the way, I may have races every two or three weeks, and training for each race will keep me motivated. Also, on an even smaller scale, I might have a goal just for this week, and another just for today, in terms of my training. And finally, even within a single run, I might set smaller goals for each mile (“Just run another mile at this strong pace, don’t think about the five miles after that!”).

This can be done with any goal. Something that’s accomplishable and just ahead of you, instead of way down the road, is something you’re more likely to go after. Trying to get debt free? Focus on one small debt, and celebrate when it’s done. If your debts aren’t too small, focus on getting one debt down by $500 (for example), and then focus on the next $500, and so on.

Once you’re done with each mini goal, you celebrate. Then you set your sights on the next mini goal. Achieve enough of these, and you’ve made incredible progress on the larger goal. Once in awhile, step back and look at the larger picture. You’ll be pleased at how far you’ve come already.

Top 20
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