Have you ever noticed how much enthusiasm we have for our goals on January 1st? Our motivation soars as we imagine the incredible potential of a fresh new year. But then the rubber meets the road. We have a hungry day and approach the refrigerator like a starved banshee. Maybe we realize weeks have gone by and we still haven’t made visible progress on the storage closet we planned to organize. Or, we haven’t even finished writing the first chapter of that book we dream of writing.
Before the weeks of the new year slip by, I invite you to answer the same questions I’ve been answering myself. Together these questions have added clarity to my focus and momentum for my goals for this year.
Questions to answer in the New Year to Keep Your Motivation:
1. Who am I?
No, I don’t mean fall into an existential crisis wrestling with your identity. But instead brainstorm how you would complete the sentence “I am…” Spend fifteen to twenty minutes writing down everything that comes to mind. Don’t filter or edit the list as it flows. Simply get it out. Don’t settle for what you’re feeling at this moment and be sure to include positive affirmations such as I’m an overcomer or I’m a survivor, I’m determined or I’m growing. As you answer this question, be sure to include who God says you are from your own experience as well as from scripture. What has he said about who you are, or where has he given you insight that you haven’t yet fully embraced?
Once you complete your exercise, in a second session separate positive affirmations from negative thoughts grouping character qualities and feelings for each. For example if you wrote “I am weary” put that under feelings because “weary” isn’t a trait of who you are rather how you are feeling. It’s important to remind ourselves that feelings do not define who we are.
2. What do I need to re-frame?
In your first exercise of I am…, what words are phrases did you write that are negative or discouraging? Take time to write down your negative self-talk. Then work to re-frame each word or phrase you’ve written down. Maybe you’ve felt like change is out of your grasps because of the prior attempts didn’t work out. You could replace that with: “What I tried last year didn’t work but, I can learn from what didn’t work because I am determined.” Re-framing changes “I am a failure” to “I am determined.” Work through any negative feelings or words and re-phrase each. The shift in perspective will equip you when the journey gets tough.
3. What’s holding me back?
This question hit me right between the eyes when a friend asked me that the other day. Talking about my goals and dreams, and looking at some of my jewelry creations, I was asked “What’s holding you back?” I needed to be asked that question because it was an arrow of momentary truth that landed square in the center of my soul. When I had a few minutes, I pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down anything and everything that might be holding me back.
I let the words flow… all of the answers to that question including the “safe” ones that everyone might say such as time or energy, but I also included the raw, real, doubts or fears that many of have but keep tucked away. How do we expect to break free from the things holding us back if we can’t even name them? Go ahead… what’s holding you back? Once you’ve named them, you can address them. If there’s something you don’t know how to do and that’s what’s holding you back, enroll in a class, attend a workshop or do some research. When you attack your barriers with determination, personal growth happens.
It’s your turn.
Where will this year take you? That excitement you have about the possibilities is available every day of the year. Embrace it. Establish a structure that will help you succeed. And, when something doesn’t work out the way you think it should, learn from it, grow from it, and press on!
If you’ve found this post helpful, please be sure to comment and share.
I happy to be back blogging once a week. If this post encouraged you, be sure to sign up to be notified when the next post is available.
Until next time, be blessed!
Looking for more motivation or encouragement, you may also enjoy:
- What Tidying Up Taught Me About Perspective
- 5 Things You Need to Know About Tenacity I Learned from a Stranger
- 3 Lies You Need To Stop Believing
- 9 Things You Should Stop Doing
Subscribe for your free Intentional Living Goal Calendar and updates!
Join Susan's email list and receive your "My Intentional Living Goal Calendar" and recieve Susan's encouraging updates.