Turn it around - getting motivated and setting goals!
Some people, on being told they have cancer, decide there is nothing to do but give up and wait for death. Some others putting their life on hold. They remain stagnant - unable to live from one doctor appointment to the next one. They become depressed or full of anxiety and cannot see the road ahead. Losing hope becomes a constant state of mind; causing you to focus on the negative rather than the positive. The problems become the primary focal point rather than overcoming the dilemmas which they face and living their life.
One day might bring feelings of confidence, the next, despair. Many people find it helps to set goals for themselves and their family, towards returning to their normal lives. You might set a goal for instance to get to the next outpatient appointment, walk to the shops or watch your children playing. Life continues despite your cancer, and each day will bring pleasures and responsibilities quite unrelated to cancer. Try to give this time and attention, rather than letting the illness dominate your thoughts. This is your choice! This is your life! Everyone deserves an opportunity to change their life and that includes you!
If you are ill with cancer, your priorities are most likely to heal yourself and your body, however, it is important that you have a vision for what you really want for yourself and your life. The next is to change the balance in your life, step by step, and watch your health blossom as you become more alive.
You don’t need to create a 180 degree overhaul in your life, though if you want to that’s great. Just small actions to start off will create tremendous changes in the long-run.
Everything starts from somewhere. It can be as simple as just spending 30 minutes a day, every day on the goal. 30 minutes exercising every day, 30 minutes planning your future, 30 minutes talking to your parents, 30 minutes chatting with your friends, 30 minutes working on your business plan. Imagine what this will bring you in just a month, much less 2, 3 years.
Remember, it’s not about neglecting the other parts of your life as you work on these areas. If you do that, you’re just going to end up in square one – a lopsided life where one is triumphing over another. It’s about weaving this area as part of your current life, rather than postponing it. This way, you maximize every part of your life and live your best life.
"Write balanced goals for what you want to do- including activities that provide personal meaning as well as pleasure.
Short term goals should identify sources of immediate pleasure and gratification. The longer range goals should express objectives that take longer to achieve and that affirm your expectation of living to meet them. Setting long term goals can sometimes be frustrating because you see a great gap between the desired object and your present situation. Yet, listing specific action steps needed to meet the goal will show you the precise activities you can perform to reach it. Breaking down even the longest range goal into it's component parts makes each step manageable and the end-product within reach. Action steps are not major acts or decisions but a series of modest, attainable steps."
Goals: "Turn It Around!"
Remember: We can only begin from where we currently are- Waiting until "things" get better before making improvements in our lives in unproductive.
Recognize we have a choice.
Know that what we believe about our current circumstances has a powerful effect on how we view our life, our health and our ability to reach our short and long term goals.
Be Aware and Move towards Shifting your Perspective!
Harness this creative process and use it for improving your health. Make sure your thoughts and the focus of your imagery work is on what you desire - NOT on the absence or lack of your desire.
If you are interested to learn more about motivation and goals you can read on...
Motivation is the fire within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn briefly.
Self motivation is an essential skill for anyone, but really important for people who are ill with cancer, as you require a constant renewal of impetus to push forward to new ground. Learning to get motivated when and where you want to, rather than waiting for the muse to strike or enthusiasm to re-ignite, will put you in charge of your creative output. The motivated mind gets a lot more done, and what it creates is of a higher order than that which is produced under duress. So are you ready to get motivated?
The problem with motivation is that it is often driven by short - term goals. We seldom look into the future - imagining how life will be for us when we have managed to take that healthy walk, refine from junk food,, stay of unhealthy habits. Most of us tend to procrastinate, especially when we are relative healthy. We feel we will get around some day to a healthier lifestyle one of these days. The fact that we might begin to feel better, look better and have more energy is seldom a powerful motivator for us. However, when your health is challenged by cancer you do not have the time on your side. Now is the only time to start!
The secret to self - motivation lies in your ability to "visualize" how life will change when you no longer have the disease; and using your mind's eye to see yourself doing what needs to be done. Before you go to bed, "see yourself" getting up at the time you plan to get up. See yourself shopping for the food that will be healthy, nourishing and healing. See yourself successfully engaging in all the individual aspects of your health programme.
Keep The Big Picture In Mind
As you already know, breaking our goal into smaller achievable goals/tasks is a great way to take pressure off. You don’t need to focus on achieving the huge goal, you simply need to focus on what needs to be done now. Unfortunately, when we focus only on small tasks, the big picture often gets forgotten. And without the big picture, chances of getting de-motivated are high. Never, ever forget the big picture, never forget the reason why you are doing all the work.
Define What Is The Prize
A prize is something you get after you achieve the target, after you finish what’s required.
What is the prize that you get on accomplishing the goal? Prize is not what you treat yourself with for achieving the goal or any kind of celebration for that matter. Prize is how is achieving the goal going to change your life for better?
How will your life change after that? How do you feel? How do you live?
How does this affect your life, your health, your confidence, your relationships, your career, your health, your happiness … examine each aspect of your life in detail, and more importantly, live it.
What you feel right now is what your prize is. Keep that picture of the life after goal in mind, keep that feeling alive to find the inner drive to jump all the way to your prize.
Find some inspiration.
This is the first and most important step in the healing process of getting re-motivated. It doesn’t matter if that inspiration is small,big or barely there at all, find something and focus on it. Motivation is in other words inner strength think about what gives you strength.
Motivation Follows Action
People often claim that they lack will-power or motivation, and in a sense this can be true. However, the problem is that they are waiting for the will-power and motivation to come out of nowhere before they take action.
They want to do something, but they don’t feel motivated about actually doing it. So, they wait around for something to happen that makes them feel like doing it. Waiting for will-power, motivation, or inspiration to arrive out of the blue on a dreary gray morning is a bit like waiting to be struck by a bolt of lightning.
Stop waiting for lightning to strike. Get up, get going, and start creating your own flashes of brilliance through simple and consistent action. Decide what you truly want to do, and take action, even when you don’t feel like it. The motivation and rewards will follow.
Have a Companion, a Mentor beside you, who supports you on your journey.
When you have someone to share the journey with, through conversations, jokes and even silence, things start seeming better and easier. Moreover, a buddy or mentor will hold you into account and "push" you to get things done.
Inspiration and motivation go hand in hand. They are both very helpful in enabling us to express our gifts and talents, and to live a purposeful life. Motivation is, perhaps, the mental equivalent of inspiration. It is the will, and the drive, to take action. Motivation pushes us to get off the couch, and to take steps that bring us in line with our goals and desires.
When you’re feeling totally demotivated and sometimes down in the dumps it may seem like an impossible feat to achieve but actually it is not very hard to self motivate yourself once you have decided to take this positive step. Inspiration and motivation come from action, and action can be taken as a purely mechanical physical activity. Once you have pushed yourself to begin taking action, the motion will then take on its own momentum, and begin to create the motivation and enthusiasm to keep going. The first step is almost always the hardest. Remember that ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,’ but you must take that one step.
The motivation to continue with positive action will also provide the opportunities for the bursts of inspiration that bring flashes of brilliance and light up your work and your life. Just remember that this brilliance is the icing, and not the cake. The cake is made of dedication, commitment, and perseverance to creating something of lasting value for yourself and others.
Motivation is not a one time thing – that once we get motivated, task is done and we can move ahead. Motivation is a continuous process; it never ends. If we don’t focus on staying motivated and make it a priority, then soon we will run out of steam and demotivation will set in.
In order to stay constantly motivated, surround yourself with motivation in all possible ways.
Get Motivated By Success Stories
There are numerous people who have walked your path and achieved outstanding success. Whether you find their references in books, on net or through other people, learn as much as you can about their success stories. Read them, live them, breathe them. Every success story says that your dream can come true. Success stories gives you faith when you have lost some, it motivates you in your times of demotivation and most importantly, stories of these inspiring people subtly show you the way to reach your destination.
Get Motivated By Your Loved Ones
You have some people in your life who will not give up on you even if you do the same. They are your lifetime cheer leaders, your lifetime believers. They will give you tough love if need be, they will do whatever is necessary for your good. They will push you forward and encourage you to keep taking just one step forward. They will hold you into account for your word and will not allow you to get away with excuses. Your loved ones truly are your best motivators – they cheer for you and demand best from you at the same time.
Get Motivated By Your Past Successes
The biggest motivator for you is of course you. Think back upon the times you have succeeded in similar or different situations. If you could do it then, you can definitely do it now. Look back to find how have you succeeded so far (or even lost for that matter) – and try to find patterns in them. What was common every time you succeeded? Bring all these common elements together because they are your strengths – your success blocks. The more your pattern becomes clear, the more you will know what works for you and then, it is simply a matter of following your pattern to success.
How do you surround yourself with motivation? Do share in comments.
Do things you have a passion for. We all have to do things we don’t want to. But if you have cancer and your life has become a chronic source of dull chores, you’ve got a big problem that needs to be resolved.
Without a desire there is no action.
Motivation is not going to just fall off the sky: you will have to take a decision in this direction. As long as you’re in a position to think and decide, decide in favor of motivating yourself.
Tell yourself that you’re going to motivate yourself no matter how adverse the circumstances are and you going to find your way around because this is the only choice you have. The decision is very crucial. If you’re not even sure of motivating yourself you are never going to struggle for a solution and will always be waiting for some miracle to happen. Miracles do happen but they are very random.
See your life in the positive sense.
Everyday is the first day of the rest of your life so everyday is a new beginning. Even if you are sick every breath is a blessing simply because you are still alive and as long as you’re alive you always got the fighting chance.
Self doubt “Do I deserve this? I am not good enough. I will never succeed. Who am I to aim so high.” Isn’t self doubt killing? It limits us, our dreams so much. It pulls us down and doesn’t let us succeed. Believe in yourself. Don’t let self doubt get to you.
Demotivating people Look closely at who you hear from. What are they telling you? Do they believe in you? Do they encourage you? Sadly, often it is our loved ones who act as our biggest demotivators. Maybe they want to protect us, maybe they don’t want us hurt, maybe they simply don’t believe in us … whatever the reason, we rather not listen to them.
You may need to clear out old relationships too if those people are really blocking your progress. However, it is amazing how people seem to change when we take responsibility for changing ourselves
Past experiences Is your past pulling you back? Is it giving you innumerable examples from your life where you did not succeed? Is it pestering you and putting seeds of fear and failure? Accept your past but don’t allow it to rule you. What happened in past, remains in past.
Are you alone in the venture that you have set for yourself? Nobody sees any worth in this. Nobody thinks alike. Are you the only one who believes in the worthiness of your goals? Don’t give up just because you are alone. Chances are, you could be the first one … the path breaking one.
No set goal What is your goal? Where are you headed? Not knowing where the finishing line is, is definitely demotivating. How to know how far to go. How to know how close are we. It is so difficult to keep going when we don’t know what we are moving towards.
Huge goal How far ahead do you want to go? How high do you want to reach? Does your dream seem unachievable right now? Does the goal seem too huge to achieve? Break it down so that it seems achievable.
Do you celebrate small victories? Or keep waiting for the final one?
Failure We might be all geared up to run towards our goals. But the first failure breaks everything down. It negates all motivation reasons. It demotivates us to even try further. Remember – If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try again.
You may be carrying a lot of inner baggage and psychic clutter accumulated over a lifetime.
If you keep working on your goals with or without motivation, soon enough, motivation will follow you. Sometimes, you need to immerse yourself into the task and then ask yourself, how can I make this fun? Or how can I make this more challenging? How can I make this interesting enough that I find motivation in it? You might then find your motivation. If not, you are anyways working towards your goals.
When you don’t rely on motivation, you rely on your words, on your integrity. If you are a kind of person who simply has to do what you said you would, by the time you said you would, then all you need to do is say aloud and promise yourself what are you going to do. And simply because you said you would, you will do it. Consider it as a kind of commitment you can’t get out of. You are stuck with it and you have to follow through because you committed in the first place.
What’s important over here is that not only you commit to your goal, but also to small actionable everyday items which lead you towards your goal. Review every night whether you finished your work item or not. If you haven’t finished it, you should have trouble sleeping because you didn’t stay true to your words.
Hold yourself firm and accountable towards whatever you promise, be strict with yourself, allow no excuses because what you aim for is worth far more than pain you might get right now in working towards it.
And anytime your pain or boredom or demotivation questions you, simply say that ‘I choose to do so, because I said I will do so’ … and that should be enough.
S - Specific, M - Measurable, A - Achievable,
R - Realistic, T - Timely
The beginnings of a new goal, a new project are wonderful. You are all worked up; full of excitement and action. However, somewhere down the line, goals remain, desire to achieve them remains but the action part goes missing. You simply lose the motivation to act on your dreams. And no matter how hard you try, you are stuck. You are stuck with inaction.
To achieve your goals, you need to find ways to motivate yourself to take action.
You need to figure out how to get motivated enough so that once again you start running towards your dream. At times like these, having a backup plan to motivate self and get rolling towards action is very helpful. Here are 10 powerful ways to get set and moving again, to get motivated to take action again.
What moves you, what tickles you?
The movers and shakers are things that make taking action easy for you, things that motivate you to get out of your inertia and act on your plan. There are no wrongs and rights when it comes to movers and shakers. Whatever works for you is the right answer. Ideally it’s better to know more than one mover and shaker. So that when one doesn’t work, you can rely on the other one(s).
What gets you grooving and moving? What turns you on? What are the movers and shakers for you?
Some movers and shakers which are quite effective
2. Meditating / Visualizing
4. Reading a couple of inspiring passages
5. Talking to friends
6. Tracking progress
7. Setting rewards
8. Setting punishments
9. Reminding yourself of the real reason behind your goal
10. Reminding yourself of the real cost of not meeting the goal
What are your Movers?
Make a list of at least 3 Movers & Shakers for you.
Find out easy ways to incorporate these in your day to day life so that you remain on high of motivation always.
Enjoy one mover and shaker right away.
Deal breakers promote de-motivation, lethargy, lack of interest, lack of focus and a lot of inaction. Deal breakers are those road bumps which slow you down or those road blocks which stop you completely from moving forward with your goals.
Anytime you identify something which is a deal breaker for you, remove it from your way. Find a way to get past them or not allow them to crop up in the first place.
No matter how hard you try, there will be times when deal breakers will come in your way – usually at the most inconvenient times. There will be times when you won’t have time or energy to deal with these deal breakers and will have to work on your action item in spite of them. For times like these, knowing some work around beforehand can come in quite handy..
Some Deal Breakers
1. Lack of sleep / energy
2. Dealing with energy vampires
3. Working on too many projects at once
4. Working on a huge overwhelming project
5. External distractions
What are your Deal Breakers?
Make a list of 3 Deal Breakers for you
Figure out how can you avoid them / eliminate them from your life
Figure out a work around for each of them
Not sure where to start in setting a goal?
You can begin by choosing an aspect of health where you want to make changes and taking the related assessment (all assessments are listed on the right). Once you have the results, you can set your goals.
Making changes in your life is not easy, we know (or we would all be slim, fit, and free from stress). But you can be successful if you follow these steps, developed by behavioral change experts.
Many self-improvement programs start by identifying weaknesses or deficiencies. In this programme, I want you to begin by recognizing the positive qualities and achievements identified in your self-assessment.
Acknowledging your strengths stops you from focusing on failure. When you know that you are already making positive steps, you find energy and enthusiasm for further change. So start with the evidence that you can make changes for the better.
Another way to enhance a feeling of success is to establish "working goals." You set this type of goal knowing that it will change. Then, if you don't achieve the goal exactly as it is stated, you don't see it as a failure, but a need to modify the goal. Each goal provides an opportunity to learn how to move forward.
For example, you might learn that you need to set a new goal that you are truly ready to work on or one that lets you change more slowly. With working goals, you learn how to curtail self-judgment, so don't blame yourself for "failures," get discouraged, and stop moving forward.
The first and most powerful goal is deciding to improve. Simply making the decision to improve or enhance your life is a breakthrough.
Envision yourself achieving your goals.
A huge goal or a long term goal can appear quite overwhelming when seen as one unit. They make it seem as if success is far away – not even within visible range. And when our days are filled with long hours of toiling without any kind of achievement in sight, it gets difficult to stay motivated. For tough times like these -
Create Mini Goals
Break your mega goal into a set of mini goals. A mini goal should seem easy to achieve. You will notice, when the same goal is seen as a stream of small connecting goals, it suddenly seems achievable. Success then does not seem impossible.
Creating mini goals make you think through the plan to achieve your goal well. This helps in creating a detailed plan. If there is anything that you had missed considering earlier, the process of creating mini goals will bring those into focus. Creating mini goals brings clarity to your action plan.
Within the stream of mini goals, set a milestone after some mini goals. For instance, If you have 20 mini goals, your milestone can be at every fifth mini goal.
Setting milestones help us highlight places in our stream of mini goals where we should step back and evaluate progress, learn from success and hardships, and fine tune the action plan accordingly.
Once you reach a milestone, celebrate. One reason to create milestone is that on reaching them you know you have progressed, you know you have succeeded in achieving a part of your goal. And every success is a cause for celebration.
Don’t wait till you complete your entire goal to celebrate. Celebrate in between – with every small victory. These smaller celebrations will push you forward and keep you energized to move towards your goals. Too much of celebration might leave no time to work towards your goals. Hence celebrate on reaching milestones and not mini goals.
Make goals specific and measurable. Goals are to be a of a realistic nature
Enlist a support network.
Avoid people who discourage you.
Goals are to be believable
Goals are to be harmonious with your higher values. They should be created with what you already know or interested in.
Goals are to be given completion and achievement dates. This way you can have markers for what is being created and what you need to do in order to complete a goal.
Goals are to be what you love. Only state the positive aspects of a goal.
Goals are written in the present tense.
Make Sure Your Goals Are Detailed and Specific- Detailed goals are more effective. By specifying the little ways how to achieve your goal, your mind is also mapping out the outcome of your goal. For example, write down the specific details you are planning to set up, how to set it up, the specific time when you want to accomplish this goal, etc.
Evaluate Your Progress- Review, update and revise. Effective goals needs periodic evaluation, which ensures that you are still on the right track and that your goals continue to be realistic, timely and well-defined. An honest assessment of your progress also increases your chances of achieving your goal.
Enjoy the Challenges- Enjoy every little thing accomplished; enjoy the challenges so achieving your goals doesn’t seem to require great effort. Enjoy, and never give up!
Now that you have identified where you want to make changes, it is important to see if you are really ready to do so.
Take the following quiz to find out what sorts of goals you are ready to tackle.
Start by thinking of one area identified in the self-assessment where you want to make changes and answer each question yes or no.
Yes - No
Yes - No
Yes - No
Yes - No
Every time you visualize yourself being healthy you will bring this reality closer to you.
This is so important and you need to daily remind yourself of the activities you are involved with and be sure that they are helping you to reach your interim or healing and life goals.
Take a little time at the end of your next meditation to sit with paper and pen and write down your life goals, and then think about achievable targets for the next seven years, seven months etc. Write them all down. If you want to, frame them and put them in your meditation place, so you can daily realign your intentions and focus to your goals.
The achievement of your interim goals should serve as an inspiration and reinforcement to your life goal. It will help keep you centered and focused and give your life structure.
Each individuals spiritual journey is unique and its unfolding seems to concentrate on specific areas at different times. We need to be aware of what these lessons are, so keep looking for the insights in the coincidences and/or the events of your life, dreams and intuitive feelings. With these inputs try and decide on what it is you would like be focusing your energies and then set little goals for yourself to live the new you.
Remember that you are working on being more conscious about yourself, your needs, desires and dreams.
You could set goals for yourself - as simple as "In addition to my regular meditation I will meditate 7 times for 3 minutes on being kind to myself and others today". Once you have achieved that goal for a day or two you will find yourself feeling very fulfilled.
To get started, here are some samples of questions you could ask yourself:
What would your ideal lifestyle be?
With whom would you like to share your life, your environment with?
How does your home looks like?
Do you live in the country or in town?
What is your dream job?
How would you like your working environment to be?
What values would you like your life to be based on?
What would be your ideal job, work for you?
How would you like your partnership or closest friendship to be?
Once you have formed a lifestyle goal, you might find the following questions helpful (Dr. Rosy Daniel / Health Creation Programme Health Creation Programme)
What help do you need to achieve your goal?
What information do you need to find?
What action will you take and when?
Who will your actions affect?
What do you need to communicate to whom?
How will you communicate your needs and plans?
What help will you need to do so?
An example of what you might write as a goal during this precontemplation stage might be: I will keep an open mind and heart about my desire for change in this area, revisiting it and learning more about it on a regular basis.
Write them all down. (And how can you start taking action on them today?)
Nurturing the soul
Have you created your agreements upon waking or have you created them beforehand? Make a list of the things you would like to do or need to do. Just make sure you write them down: e.g.: reaching out to Jane, organizing child minder, time for myself, yoga class, call GP, follow up appointment with your homeopath,..
At the end of the day, make a list of the things for which you are grateful for. What did you accomplish and what did you receive or benefit from? This is very important for you, as you acknowledging yourself for what you have done. Most people do not receive acknowledgments.
Be honest with yourself, if you are going to state your goal, discern if it is a real goal or if it’s a “let’s see if I can pull this off goal” is it realistic and attainable? Sometimes we make our goals so big that there really is no way to fulfill them and then we feel like we have failed, and that does not assist you in creating your desire outcome.
If you have a daily plan or a weekly one, making it realistic and according with your current situation and lifestyle, then you will be able to move through it easily and with grace, completing the task you have set out.
Take a look at where your energy goes daily, to your worries, to your family’s problems, your work load or your friends. Or does your energy stay within your circle of life, your needs and what makes you happy? How do you fulfill your personal needs? List them and include them into your daily, weekly goals.
This will show you the opportunities for change to take place that you might not have realized.
When you said you were going through about saying something to someone, did you followed through and say it and speak honestly? When you wanted something done, did you do it or are you waiting for someone else to do it for you?
Be honest with yourself. Just by following through on your agreements with yourself, you will allow your energy field to magnetize the positive of you.
Define your personal commandments to live your best life. What adages and principles do you want to follow in your life?
Discover your values.
Values are the essence of what makes you, you.
Hold yourself to the highest conduct.
Every one of us have our own set of ethics, principles and moral codes. Live true to them every day.
Design your ideal life.
What is your ideal life? Design it.
Stop putting life on hold.
Are you putting any parts of your life on hold? What is one area of your life you have been putting off/avoiding/denying? Uncover it and start working on it.
Create your life handbook.
Your life handbook is your life-long personal manual to live your best life – from your mission statement, your values, your long-term goals, short-term goals, personal strengths, blind spots to address, plans, among others. Create your book first then build on from there.
Set your goals.
After you design your ideal life, set your 10 - 5-year, 3-year and 1-year goals. The more specific your goals, the better!
Take action on your goals and dreams.
Create an action plan with your strategy, plan and immediate next steps.
Create a list, i.e. things to do before you die. Then, get out to achieve them.
Don’t do things for the sake of doing them.
Always evaluate what you’re doing and only do it if there is meaning behind them. Don’t be afraid to quit the things that don’t serve your path.
Do the things you love,
because life is too precious to spend it doing anything else. If you don’t enjoy something, then don’t do it. Spend your time and energy on things that bring you fulfillment and happiness.
Discover your passion in life.
What sets you on fire? Go out there (and explore inward) to know what you love to do.