Last month I wrote about building and keeping motivation and I touched on something that I want to delve into a little more.
I know most people are unique in the way they approach life but there are some behavioral similarities in us all. For instance, I think it safe to say that if you’re reading this blog then at some time in life you may have been a slave to procrastination. Most of us have also felt unmotivated or spent time in a slump.
When that happens to me I find it helpful to give deep thoughts on somewhere in my life that I’d like to see myself do better. Is it writing more, reading more, exercise? I want to suggest that if you haven’t challenged yourself lately that you take this week to come up with something that you can press yourself toward. Do you need to get to bed earlier? Try getting ready for bed every night an hour earlier.
Any challenge I take on is usually something I feel will improve my well being, add discipline or bring me closer to a future goal that I desire. Provided I follow through, these challenges help bring me a re-energized focus that can break me out of slumps. Giving yourself a focused challenge is a little different then just starting a new habit although the general idea is the same. When people make new years’ resolutions and other changes, they usually decide that this new habit will be a part of their life forever. Some people may be able to keep it up but I think more often then not, people eventually get distracted or forget about it until it’s in a distant background. It starts with thinking it’s ok if I miss (new habit) today because I’ll get (new habit) in tomorrow and then the streak is over because if you skip one day it’s so much easier to skip the next. And where a new habit might come up again here and there the general feeling is that you can pick it up whenever you want… which you probably won’t do because there’s nothing really pressing you to.
Giving yourself a challenge is a little different in that it is a short focused time -maybe a week or two where all of your attention is focused on the priority of getting to that challenge each day. If you are having difficulty you can use this specific challenge time to tweak what works best for you. No matter what don’t break your challenge! When you accomplish your challenge your positive feelings will encourage you to start another one or maybe go longer. Next week I’ll give you six tips on how to start and set up your challenge.
Jump into a challenge this week or brainstorm something you would like to try!