Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Staying consistently motivated is a challenge for most of us.
I bet that you fall into one of two categories:
You are so task-oriented and focused that not achieving that big and important items frustrates you.
You have a hard time finding the motivation to get started in the first place.
I have been in both places and it can suck the energy right out of you.
So, how do you kick-start yourself into the next gear? Great question!
Acknowledging small accomplishments every day is one way to do it.
I remember when I was training for my first half-marathon (not a small feat for an out-of-shape, +40 year old asthmatic).
I faced both of those categories at one time or another during my training.
There were days when I felt like I wasn't making enough progress.
And there were days when I felt like just sitting on the couch.
I can tell you that staying stuck on either end of that will leave you disappointed.
So I adopted a strategy of celebrating my small successes. If I put my running shoes on and went out the door, it was a WIN for that day.
But the next secret I am about to share with you pumped my game to a whole new level.
I discovered the power of appreciating myself. And not just appreciating myself inside of my own thoughts. But saying to myself out loud while looking into my own eyes in a mirror "Good job, Rebecca! You did it! You got out there and ran those miles. You absolutely rock!"
The first few times I did it, I could not believe the change it made in my energy and attitude. I count this one practice as a top motivator for me.
I know it sounds silly to talk to yourself and especially to talk to yourself in a mirror. But you will not be able to argue with the results if you try it for 30 days. I guarantee that your self motivation and confidence will increase.
"Good job, Rebecca! You did it! You got out there and ran those miles. You absolutely rock!"
Here is how you can turn your mirror, mirror on the wall into your best friend and motivational coach:
Just before going to bed, stand in front of a mirror.
Think about some things that you accomplished during your day. This can be anything that makes you proud. An achievement. A promise that you kept to yourself. A temptation that you avoided. Or a commitment that you kept.
Look yourself in the eyes. This may seem strange at first, but hold the gaze.
Say "I love you, (your name)" out loud. (NOTE: You may want to warn your housemates that you will be talking to yourself and its okay)
State what you are proud that you have accomplished for that day.
End with "I love you, (your name)."
Here is a personal example.
"Rebecca, I love you. Today was a great day. You did your devotional first thing this morning before looking at your phone. You ate healthy food for your body. And you refused that donut Sally tried to give you. Great job, Rebecca. You made it to all of your meetings on time and you turned in that assignment three days ahead of schedule. You fit your run into your busy day. And you took the time to call your friend to see how she was doing. She really needed you and you were there for her today. You are getting to bed at a decent time and not zoning out in front of the TV. You will get a good night's rest. Today has been an awesome day. And you were great today. I love you, Rebecca."
Doing this exercise consistently will silence your inner critic. And developing this as a habit will create a positive flow of self validation. The more of it you give yourself, the less of it you will need from other people.
And giving up on the validation of other people is a key component of learning how to live Your Unique.
Try this and let me know how it goes.
Remember, I am here cheering for you!