Make sure to SEE your progress. Seeing progress propels you, giving each day a stronger momentum toward the next.
The other day I was sitting at my desk and I found myself lost in a daydream. This doesn’t happen too often but when it does I know I’m longing for something. Usually these daydreams are visions of the future. I imagine accomplishing something major or finishing a project I’ve been working on. It’s easy for me to get lost in the idea of completing something big, while still finding it hard to maintain the motivation to actually do it.
Motivation is a tricky thing. Sometimes I’ll get a burst of inspiration and can work for hours on something, but then in the following days that inspiration isn’t quite as strong and it becomes hard for me to keep going. This pattern that so many of us can relate to begs a few questions. Why is motivation so fleeting? How does a person get and stay inspired – perpetually driven to reach their goals?
Last year, a friend of mine decided that she was going to run a marathon. She is a mom and works full-time, so taking on a marathon is a huge project and requires a big commitment. She told me that in order to complete her training program, she had to wake up early and run – before her kids woke up – because that was the only time of day she could fit it in. I asked her if there ever were mornings she awoke and just didn’t want to go run. She laughed, “Of course! Everyone has bad days. You just have to power through it and focus on your goal.”
Her statement got me to think deeply about goal-setting. It’s no secret, and there has been extensive research that supports the idea that people that actively set goals are more likely to be successful.* But having a goal isn’t the end of the story. I’ve learned through experience and study, that it’s important to also break these goals down into something manageable. If you want to run a marathon but are not active, a marathon can seem unapproachable. However, if you break that down into several smaller goals – for instance, the goal of completing 3 smaller runs in a week, then running a 5K, then running a half-marathon – suddenly it’s not as intimidating. Over time your goal becomes less of a dream and more of an intention. Your destination is now in reach.
When I was working towards launching this website, I found that tracking my progress was helpful in my motivation. At the end of the day, I could check off a list of things I completed and it was gratifying to see my hard work paying off. I also built in weekly milestones to look at bigger accomplishments and challenges. Questions like “did you accomplish what you wanted?” or “what can you do better this week?” became important guides. These lists and questions weren’t about stroking my ego. Seeing progress propelled me into the next day, giving each day a stronger momentum toward the next.
When working towards something, it can be easy to get discouraged, but be kind to yourself. We all have days where we don’t feel as productive as we think we should be. But one thing I know for sure is that negativity, guilt, and shame will kill motivation. The opposites, gratitude and positivity, will make all the difference on your journey towards seeing your dreams become real.
- Take some time to reconnect with a goal you want to reach.
- Identify the smaller parts of your goal by thinking of the things that need to happen or the steps that you need to take in order to get there.
- Make special note of the things that might impede your progress. But don’t get stuck here; just make a note of those things and think of the ways you can work around those hurdles. Write these strategies down. You might need a reminder later.
- Before jumping headfirst into your endeavor, adopt an explorer's mindset. There will be many twists and turns along the way. It probably won’t go exactly the way you planned. But if your mindset (curiosity, passion, and focus) keeps you moving in the right direction, you are assured to arrive at your destination.
- And for a little extra boost, check out the The Science of Setting Goals. (link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vanessa-van-edwards/the-science-of-goal-setting_b_6335764.html)
Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala French Toast with Yogurt Mint Chutney
- 4 slices of bread
- ½ tsp Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- ¼ cup of milk
- 3 eggs
- Salt to taste
- 4 cups mint leaves
- 3-4 tbsp greek yogurt
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 green chili
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt (to taste)
Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala French Toast
In a large bowl combine eggs, chili powder, milk and Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala and whisk.
Add in salt to taste.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Take a slice of bread and dunk each side into the egg mixture.
Cook until golden on both sides.
Drizzle with mint chutney.
Yogurt Mint Chutney
Add mint leaves, Greek Yogurt, garlic, chili, lemon juice and salt into the blender and purée.