Celebrating Progress: How to Stay Motivated

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When you make a commitment to a long-term goal, one of the hardest things is staying motivated to follow it through to the end. On the path to anything meaningful you want to achieve, there will be ups and downs. Having some strategies in place like “Celebrating Progress” to help you stay on track and keep your energy moving forward is the key to success.

Weekly planning sessions and ‘To Do’ lists are frameworks for action but what happens when you achieve the goals? Although crossing off the item is deeply satisfying, that probably won’t be enough to keep you going day after day.

Most of us have 3 typical reactions when we get something done:

1) Absolutely Nothing – no reaction – this means there is no positive reinforcement for getting things done and a likelihood of lacking motivation to do things.

2) Endless Criticism of what we have done, or a feeling it is not enough– this is something that we have literally been programmed by society to do, “to strive harder”, which focuses on the negative. This makes it really hard to have energy and enthusiasm about getting anything done.

3) Overwhelm – This sounds like: “There’s so much more to do”. “What’s the point? “Keep going. Move, move, move.”

There’s a rule we’re often taught at a young age not to “blow your own trumpet”, so even in our own heads we are modest and humble, thinking, “Well, it could’ve been better”.

The problem with “it could have been better” is that it’s always true. In the infinite realm of possibilities, you could always improve something. So saying to yourself, “I should have, could have” is an argument you can’t win. It is very easy to lead then to “I didn’t do enough or didn’t do enough yet or I don’t deserve yet because”… & “I’ll celebrate when I finish but there are 10 more steps to go“

Without celebration, there is no happiness or joy.

We need to retrain ourselves to celebrate progress to help re-wire the nervous system and energize our motivation. The very nature of celebration means you are happy and people around you will feel that energy. Celebrating progress is a way of building in positive reinforcement as you work towards your goal.

What are the ways you can celebrate progress?

  • get a buddy or friend who you share your goals with, who can support you on your journey and give each other mutual support
  • set accountability goals with others and check-in with motivation and progress

This reinforcement of the positive will breed more enthusiasm, energy and excitement.

A Final Note..

The last thing I want to add is about rewarding yourself. It is so important to spoil yourself when you have made some progress, even in a small way. This may be a treat if you’ve been dieting, or a massage, or a work break. Whatever it is, make sure you reward yourself to signal progress, self care and self love. Give yourself whatever you need to feel proud and celebrate yourself.

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