Often we make the decision that we would like to make changes or undertake new resolutions only to have them fail not long after we undertake the changes. I recall a famous quote by Mark Twain; ‘Giving up smoking is the easiest thing I’ve ever done, I’ve done it hundreds of times’. So what can be done to ensure that we don’t give up or persist when the going gets tough?
One of the techniques that has been found to be useful in ensuring that you stick to your goals is to identify possible problems that you may encounter that could disrupt you from sticking to your new regime. Maybe you want to get fitter and therefore want to start exercising more regularly. However, you find that by the time you get home from work, you are too tired to go out to the gym.
Now a problem has been identified, brainstorm possible solutions that can overcome that problem. So you too tired to go to the gym once you get home from work, therefore, what can be done to overcome this? Possible solutions: go to the gym before work, go straight to gym from work, go during lunchtime, go on the weekends, go with friends who are relying on you, do other activities/exercise problems besides gym. The possible solutions can be anything.
Once a solution has been identified, run with it, try it out. If it works, great, keep using it. If not, that’s fine, identify the problem and then brainstorm solutions.
In identifying problems and possible solutions, individuals are more likely to stay motivated and less likely to give up. In identifying solutions before issues arise, we realise that we have the resources to deal with and overcome difficulties as they arise and therefore feel less overwhelmed when things don’t go to plan.
In summary, to maintain motivation and stay on track:
- Identify your goal
- Identify difficulties that may stop you from achieving your goal
- Plan possible solutions to overcome those difficulties