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The start of each new year fills most of us with determination and optimism, for January at least. 😊

It’s a time when we naturally, and habitually, reflect on the past year before considering what we want in the year ahead. Then we start assessing and planning for the things that need to change in the coming months to bring us more happiness, an improved health status, and more success (whatever success means to you).

We want to make changes. We believe change is possible. We are ready to THINK BIG.

However, THINKING BIG requires copious amounts of our precious brainpower. I’m sure you, like me, at some point have experienced the determination it took to concentrate in a boring meeting. Remember how hard it was not to tune out and think of the other things you would rather be doing!

It’s no surprise then, that when we’re working toward our desired changes, our motivation can ebb and flow. Staying motivated and focused can sometimes be more difficult than achieving the goal itself, hence the saying ‘don’t eat the elephant in one go’!

The Harvard Business Review wrote a blog post in 2017. Here’s an excerpt:

“The problem is that excessive focus exhausts the focus circuits in your brain. It can drain your energy and make you lose self-control. This energy drain can also make you more impulsive and less helpful. As a result, decisions are poorly thought-out, and you become less collaborative.”

What is motivation?

The Oxford English Dictionary definition of motivation is “ A driving force or forces responsible for the initiation, persistence, direction, and vigour of goal-directed behaviour.”

Nurturing your motivation is key to achieving your goals. In the same way that if you neglect to put fuel in your car it will eventually run out of power and grind to a halt, so will your motivation.

How can you nurture your motivation?

Goals and Motivation Equal Success

A goal without motivation is likely to become another one of those failed New Year resolutions! Sad but true.

The Guardian reported that a YouGov survey taken at the end of 2022 found just 28% of people managed to stick to all of their resolutions. They went on to reflect that “People do self-evidently still make them, and 53% managed to carry out at least some of them”.

The International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring (IAPC&M) is the leading accreditation authority for professional coaches & mentors. With that in mind, their business director, Aurora Dawn Campbell, shared five ways to stay motivated throughout January so you can achieve your goals:

1. Connect with a mentor in a similar field.

Motivation is like Vitamin C; your body needs help to “make enough of it” so we need to find other sources.

Pursuing any BIG goal can often leave us tired and wondering if we’ll be able to make it to the finish line. That’s why it’s important to have the support of a mentor who has already achieved what you want to achieve. They will inspire and top-up your motivation levels.

Don’t be afraid to ask someone you aspire to, mentor you, most people love to be asked and are happy to help.

2. Break down the big goal into smaller goals.

By breaking goals into more achievable bite-sized targets, your goals won’t seem nearly as distant, after all, no one ever had a goal of running a marathon without training for it in incremental 5km chunks.

Also, remember to reward every successful milestone, no matter how small, and before you know it, you’ll have achieved something BIG.

3. Keep a daily success journal to record your achievements.

Every time someone gives you a compliment about your changes, note them down, they’ll help you through those doubtful times when you question if you’re on the right path…

4. Feed your brain inspirational material.

Willpower alone is not enough. We need to feast on other people’s success stories. Surrounding yourself with success will make you feel successful in an ‘If they can do it, so can I’ way.

Other people’s stories can be amazingly motivational, you can do this by reading, listening to audiobooks, going to seminars, listening to webinars and watching YouTube videos.

5. Share your goals with others.

Having an idea can sometimes be the hardest part of the process, we have so many, the trick is to pick one, prioritise it, create a plan, tell someone and build in that all-important accountability with your coach/mentor/supervisor.

Action and accountability are key to you following through on your desired change, this is why having a coach or mentor is so powerful as these statistics demonstrate!

How do I find a coach or Mentor?

For help, inspiration, guidance and motivation – work with a coach and or mentor and you’ll achieve your goals faster than you would on your own.

  • Choose from our trained, experienced practitioners who are independently and professionally accredited here
  • To help you choose the right coach or mentor, you’ll find this complimentary downloadable e-guide useful