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Staying motivated can be a challenge, especially in February! New Year, with all its plans and hope for the coming 12 months seems an age ago. For many of us, it’s cold, it’s dark, and it’s a long way till Summer, but there are several things you can do to help keep your goals on track. Here are ten tips to help you stay motivated:

Make sure you have compelling, clear and measurable goals: Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve will support your focus and motivation. Make sure your goals excite you and are specific, measurable, and are a stretch, but not too much. If you have found that you are not taking regular steps to achieve them, it may be that you are not emotionally connected to your objectives and probably need to change the goal wording. Now is a great time to refocus: remind yourself why they are important to you and the life that you want.

Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks: If a task seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller steps that you can accomplish one at a time. This is brain-friendly as it will make the task feel less daunting and easier to complete. For each chunk focus on the solution, NOT the problem.

Create a schedule: Establishing a routine is the brain-friendly approach to help you stay motivated by providing structure and keeping you on track. Having a schedule will also mean that you prioritise and manage your time more effectively. You don’t need to think about what you have to do – that’s already been decided. All you need to do is get on with it, so it minimises the risk of procrastination.

Reward yourself: When you accomplish a goal or complete a task, reward yourself in some way. This can be something small, like taking a break or indulging in a favourite treat. The reward will help you stay motivated and give you something to look forward to. And the brain LOVES rewards! (If you are procrastinating a lot, try enjoying the reward first…).

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Get support from others: Having a support system can help you stay motivated. Surround yourself with people who are positive, supportive and will encourage you to achieve your goals. Having an executive coach, life coach or leadership coach will help! And of course, the obverse is worth bearing in mind: do what you can to avoid those who might be more inclined towards the negative. Limiting their effects on you, or at least being aware of them, can work wonders for your motivation.

Keep your focus on the big picture: When things get tough, it can be easy to lose sight of why you started. Remind yourself of the bigger picture and why the task or goal is important to you. Remember, you are the CEO (or President) of your own life. It’s your JOB to know where you’re heading and why.

Keep a positive attitude: maintaining your mindset will help you stay motivated, even when things get challenging. Believe in yourself and your abilities. You can do it! (OK, this one can be easier said than done, but there’s a huge amount of research and advice available to help. If you’d like to discuss your particular challenge, please contact me, I’d love to support you).

Keep learning: Learning something new fuels energy. The more you learn, the more you will want to learn. There’s always something new coming along: new ideas, new theories, new research. Get excited about it. Learning is good for your brain.

Take great care of yourself: Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly and partaking in whatever other self-care habits you have. These will be unique to you so experiment and find out what works for you. Looking after your brain and body are the foundation for creating an optimum neurochemistry for feeling good and therefore, getting stuff done!

Stay accountable: Keep track of your progress and stay accountable to yourself and others. This will support you to keep going. If you don’t have a coach, think of someone who can be your accountability partner: a friend, a colleague – there are even websites that can match you up with a stranger to fulfil this supportive role. Knowing someone is going to contact you every Friday to ask how you’ve been getting on with your goals is a strong motivator. Harness that power.

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