Many of us made New Year's resolutions at the beginning of 2020. Some of us may still feel motivated and focused on attaining these goals, while others may have strong intentions to act but feel stuck. Some of us may have even forgotten what our goals were. In this post, we outline strategies to help you stay motivated. We hope to cheer you on if you are already on your desired path, or to help you get on it.
To ignite our inspiration, we reached out to our Social & Networking Event Chair Rachel Zapp, who is the Senior Manager, Annual Giving, at the Canadian Cancer Society, to share some of the strategies that fuel her with motivation. Below is what Rachel shared with us:
"I like to share my personal and professional goals with others. That way, I feel more accountable. It's also nice to have regular check-ins to discuss my progress and share any accomplishments or challenges I'm experiencing. If and when I feel overwhelmed, I often take a break and turn to self-care to rest and recharge." -Rachel Zapp
Thank you, Rachel!
What strategies do you use? Next, let's dive in to reflect on your processes, strengths, and values that help you attain your goals. Let's look at three strategies that you can shape and tailor to meet your needs.
Susan Fowler, author of Master Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving Your Goals, details three strategies that can help you reclaim your discipline and willpower: Choice, Connection, and Competence. According to Fowler, these strategies create the motivation, described as the energy to act, that propels us to a state of thriving. We explore Fowler's concepts of Choice, Connection, and Competence below:
Our need to perceive that we have options emerges from a desire for mastery and control. When we recognize that we do not have an opportunity in a matter, we are more likely to give up. Upon entering this state of mind, achieving our goals becomes more challenging than when we believe we have options. This concept of creating choice reminded me of self-efficacy, which speaks to our belief in our capacity to act and produce our desired results (Bandura, 1977). Self-efficacy reflects our perspective that we have options to execute control over our actions. Thus, perceiving that we have choice contributes to our motivation to engage in intentional activity toward attaining our goals.
Think about one of your goals right now.
From the beginning, you have chosen to create this goal. Take a moment to reflect on the following questions:
What was the intention behind setting this goal for yourself?
How does this goal align with your values?
What would it mean for you to achieve this goal?
How confident do you feel in your capacity to achieve this goal?
Are there any concrete actions you could take to increase your confidence in your capacity to achieve this goal (e.g., the information you need to obtain; a skill you need to learn; a conversation that would give you clarity)?
Are you identifying blocks/challenges, what are they?
How have you gotten through past blocks/challenges in the past?
What is one small step you can take toward creating options for yourself to help you move closer toward your goal?
Of course, even with choices, we sometimes face certain limitations. Some limitations are rigid, while others are more flexible. Within what we can control, two ways of creating choice and perceive options when we are faced with more rigid limitations include using our creativity to think outside of the box and setting healthy boundaries. If you want to learn more about setting healthy boundaries, check out this video.<