More and more people become addicted to working non-stop; we like to think of ourselves as busy and incredibly important, so off we go tethering ourselves to the Internet and mostly communicate with the rest of the world via screens. We could be going at hyper speeds smashing goals, reaching new highs and from a distance, things look great but on the inside, we often are failing and lose balance, and can’t even see how being busy and working extra hard is destroying us right until we hit the wall and face burnout. But there’s a way out of this turmoil.
We are, by nature, intrinsically motivated to succeed, achieve and improve our lives on all fronts. We crave the bliss that is crossing the finish line, marking off things on our to-do list and fighting for that last pound of our weight loss goal.
These roads are often long, taxing and obstacle-laden, especially with broader goals and bigger mountains to climb emotionally. So often, those who are pursuing big goals fail because they disregard their emotional state when navigating the path to success. It’s no wonder that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail miserably, long before they see any signs of improvement.
Having achieved two massive goals of note in my life, I’ve tested and succeeded by implementing three simple elements into my daily life to keep myself focused, balanced and energized, even at the darkest of hours along the way. In losing over 100lbs (and keeping it off for 22 years) and training and finishing the New York City Marathon, these strategies were critical to succeeding with both.
So, whether you’re setting out at the beginning of a personal challenge, or if you’re down the path a bit, these three tips will keep you moving forward when you so badly want to sit still or give up:
Start With WHY
When Simon Sinek talked and wrote about “Start With Why?” it is something that has been integral to my life as it is the concept to identify the reason why you’re trying to accomplish something. It is the core emotional purpose for your pursuit of change, improvement or happiness.
Yes, having a why is critical but recording that why, whether it’s writing it down or even taking it a step further and recording it, will bring your focus to that purpose.
I highly recommend recording it either on video or audio as you will be able to hear the emotion behind the message.
Keep that file on your desktop and phone if you feel a rut coming on. Play it immediately and get back to the fire that started your journey in the first place.
Meditation and Prayer
When I think about the span of my life, and I think about the times I’ve been motivated to do things, where I have achieved another level of success or another level of goal attainment, meditation and prayer have always had a strong place in my daily life.
Transcendental meditation has become one of the most powerful things to provide clarity and focus in my life.
With the day to day noise of distraction, negativity and the societal pressure to be “busy,” by blocking 15-20 minutes every morning and night, I’ve provided myself a time to focus on what is important to me first thing and to let the weight and stress of the day melt away in the evening.
Whether it’s prioritizing what happened during my day or, sometimes, having a completely transformative experience, I’m a changed person for the better because of it.
Music has saved my life. Whether the lyrics mean something to you, or the beat gets you going, there’s some serious motivation there. I encourage you to create an inspirational playlist of songs that mean something to you in a positively strong way. Maybe it’s one or two songs, perhaps it’s 100 songs, but having that playlist to pull up in frustrating times is a game changer.
As a former DJ, I have always been moved by music and have witnessed the impact that it has on people. Even the first couple of notes of the right song can change your mood instantly.
I’ve got a go-to playlist of songs that reach in and grab me right in the middle of my heart every single time.
I have also built additional playlists for my workouts, meditation and other moods or activities that are critical to me maintaining positive energy in my life.
If you need a starting point of recommendations, feel free to connect with me on Spotify and follow a few of my built playlists for some ideas.
As you look to incorporate one, or all, of these activities into your life, I recommend doing it right now!
Life is a persistent current of potential distraction that will pull you away from an idea or task in a heartbeat if you’re not focused. By establishing the habits today, you can ensure that you will dictate the structure of your happiness and keep pressing forward towards the finish line, no matter how far away it is.