In the beginning…
Feeling inspired to make a positive change in your life is a powerful feeling. It’s that aha moment where awareness meets momentum, and it’s the first step to making an impactful change. This can be an invigorating feeling and is an influential force for setting goals. But as that lightbulb moment dims, our momentum to accomplish goals might wane. Whether it’s feelings of inadequacy, perceived barriers, or new tasks, our commitment to change can fade. Taking a step back to plan while remembering that initial spark gives us the space and perspective to get back in the driver’s seat with our behavior change journey. Below are some strategies for keeping that initial feeling strong as you prepare to take action on your goals!
Get specific about what lights you up
Think back to that aha moment. What sparked that powerful feeling initially? What made it light up all of the juicy receptors in your brain to make you say, “Yes! This is something I want for myself!” Take a minute to note all of the things that led to that inspiration so that you can come back to that feeling. After that try and connect those feelings to the overall vision of what makes you feel like your most optimal self. Think through why this insight connects to the best version of yourself. Not sure what your optimal health looks like? Try out the exercise I outline here. The more detailed you can get about your vision the more you can connect the dots with that initial inspiration.
Do a mini self-assessment
Getting compassionately curious about where your head’s at in relation to your desired change is a great way to gain insight and stay motivated. Start by asking yourself two questions; First, On a scale of 1-10, how important is it that I make a change? (1 being, “eh, it’s not that important” and 10 being “this is super important!”) Once you rate yourself, ask why you arrived at that number and not a lower one – list out all the reasons why the number is as high as it is. Next, using that same scale, rate yourself on how confident you feel that you can make this change in your life. After you come up with a number, ask yourself what it would take to move it a notch or two higher – list those thoughts out as well. A good strategy for tapping into your confidence? Think back to a time when you accomplished something, either related to your specific goal or not. Note the feelings that come with that memory and see if that changes your perspective on future goals!
Prep for Action
Now that you’ve tapped into feelings of importance and confidence, it’s time to put all of the logistical goodness behind your goal. Sometimes when we’re inspired to make a change we want to jump into the deep-end, head first. If our goal is around running, we want to run the marathon. If it’s meditation, we want to practice for an hour every day. If it’s around nutrition, we want to make a major diet change. But often we don’t account for the prep that goes into setting us up for success. In other words, we need to do the groundwork first to keep our goal momentum strong. Next time you decided to make a change, figure out what steps are needed to prepare for the ultimate goal. So in the example of running ask yourself what needs to happen before your shoes hit the pavement. What time of day will you run? Do you need to wake up early? Will you listen to tunes? The more you can plan ahead, the less brainpower you’ll need to use when it comes to taking action!
Join a community
There’s a reason why LVL Wellbeing is all about building a wellness community – it’s because the research shows time and time again that it’s key for overall health and well-being! Joining a group of people who can help you stay motivated and on track can be a supportive force in accomplishing your goals. There are more community wellness opportunities available now than ever before, so take advantage of that!
If you’re like most people, you’ll run into a few days where the momentum will wane, and it will be hard to keep the inspiration alive. And sometimes, we miss those action steps or goals we set for ourselves. But if or when that happens, try your best to steer clear of harsh self-talk that implies you’ve failed in some way. If that sounds familiar, see if you can proactively practice self-compassion so it becomes easier for you. A great way to do this? Integrate some form of mindfulness into your life. Tuning into one of LVL’s meditations or taking a few minutes to focus on your breath provides both short and long-term benefits. And at the end of the day, thank yourself for your time and commitment to your wellness journey. That alone is worth celebrating!