Keeping the flame of motivation bright as a family
Many families start out with a goal in mind. However, as time goes on we tend to feel less motivated. How can you rekindle the fire of motivation when it starts to die, before it becomes a goal of the past?
Has your family ever set out to accomplish a goal together then before you know it the goal has been put on the side, forgotten? What happened to the motivation? Later you may pick up the goal again and state "this time we are going to accomplish it." And perhaps you do or perhaps you find it in the pile of "goals to accomplish."
Goals are set with an intent to achieve in mind, not with the intent to partially accomplish. What happens? How can you stay motivated to accomplish the goals you have set?
With these 8 suggestions, keep a goal in mind that your family has set out to accomplish and find yourselves lacking the motivation to keep moving forward. I will refer to two goals that tend to be common goals within families — spending more time together and completing household chores. These tips are not just applicable to this two goals but can be applied to any you may have!
Remember why you made the goal. When a goal is created it is because we want something to change in our lives. For example, when chore charts are made, the desired outcome is a cleaner home where everyone is involved in the results and responsibility is being taught. Families may set goals to spend more time together to strengthen their relationships. Why did you make the goal in the first place?
Look at the success you have made so far. Every little hurdle you have had to overcome to accomplish the goal are great successes and proof that you can accomplish this goal. Goals do not accomplish themselves, you have had to put effort in no matter how far you have come. Perhaps your family is taking a walk together every two weeks whereas prior to the goal this was unheard of. Maybe chores are getting done once a week compared to not at all in the past. Way to go! These things didn't happen, you made an effort in your lifestyle to make that happen! You have been able to make it happen.
As stated in the second tip, each goal has small steps. If keeping the end result in mind is overwhelming, focus on the smaller steps. Focus on what you can do here and now and know that goals take time. If your goal is to have more family time, focus on what you can do this week to make it happen. Be happy with each of those steps as you accomplish them, as they are the ones that are taking you closer and closer to the finished product.
Have a support team. Believe it or not, you are not the only one out there that is striving for the same goal. And they, too, are struggling with staying motivated. Support teams help you remember why you made the goal, the successes you have made and the successes you can still make. Another advantage of being part of a support team is that they may be able to direct you to helpful information.
No excuses! Make your goal a priority. By putting your goal as a priority you are more likely to reach your goal. Instead of going to a movie with a friend, invite a family member, first. Before other events occur, ensure that chores are done first.
Reward yourself periodically. This reward can be something as little as taking a day off where the family goes on a day-cation or going to a favorite restaurant.
Next, remember to be patient with each other. Don't punish each other because the goal has not been reached. Remember nothing amazing was ever made in a day. The best things took time to make and be accomplished. All worthwhile goals take time. You are able to do anything you put your mind to. Don't believe me? You are able to read this, or at least listen to it and understand it, you were the one that put the work into learning to read and accomplished it. You were the one that put the work into understanding spoken language and accomplished it. Just as a light comes on by turning on a light switch so do so many of the goals you have accomplished and let become second nature to you.
For this last step, I want to you to imagine yourself at the finish line of reaching your goal. How does it feel to have made it there? What does it taste like? What does it sound like? What does it look like? What does it smell like? When you are feeling discouraged or starting to put the goal on the back burner, use this last step to kindle the fire of motivation.
You can do it. Each of the tips mentioned above can act as kindle on a fire to help keep your goals alive and burning. As you take these steps into consideration, it is my hope that you will find the motivation to reach your goals and be happy and successful in your families.
Laura da Silva is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor. She is on the board of the Utah Association of Play Therapy. Her Mental Health Practice is located in Sandy, Utah. Website: www.dasilvacounselin