How to Stay Focused: How Mini-rewards Can Help You Stay Motivated
Now that we are over a month into the New Year, we are starting to reach the point where we begin to lose focus in reaching our new year’s resolutions. Some of us are still holding strong, while others have already start to lose momentum or stop altogether, so today I’m going to talk to you about how to stay focused and motivated when you set your long term goals.
1. Set Mini-rewards
The problem with setting a goal that takes over a few months to achieve is that you are only focused on the “big” reward at the very end. Instead, set multiple benchmarks to accomplish and give yourself a reward for reaching each benchmark. For example, if you are trying to lose 20 pounds, some benchmarks would be losing 5 lbs, 10 lbs, 15 lbs and then of course the “big” goal of losing 20 lbs. Another example is meeting sales goals; if you set a goal to bring in $100,000 in sales then some benchmarks would be bringing in sales of $20k, $40k, $60k, $80k and of course the main of goal of bringing in $100k in sales. Setting multiple rewards and benchmarks are a great way to help you stay motivated because it gives you several short term rewards to look forward to.
2. Do not Always Set the Same Reward for Each Benchmark
Don’t use the same reward for each benchmark, the closer you get to reaching your primary goal, the better the reward should be. The reward should vary based on what you think will motivate you. Think about it, how exciting is it to set benchmarks and have your mini-reward the same for each benchmark, it’s not that exciting. If we use the goal of losing 20lbs, then an example of the different mini-rewards you could set are when you lose your first 5 lbs, then you might go eat your favorite dessert as a reward, but when you lose 10 lbs, you would have a better reward such as going to your favorite restaurant. However, when you lose 15 lbs, you could buy some new outfits as a reward to show off your improved figure; when you reach your final goal of 20 lbs you could have a big reward of going on a vacation to a nice beach. Once again, the closer the benchmark is to your final goal, the better the reward should be.
3. Schedule breaks and Pace Yourself
Every once in a while, you need to take a break to allow yourself to recharge. Even high performing athletes, do not train every day, they understand that their muscles need to recover and recharge. It is the same thing when you set long term goals, every once in a while you need to a break to mentally recharge and recover and it’s better to schedule your breaks intentionally than to un-intentionally take a break as a result of lost motivation. When you intentionally schedule a break, not only do you avoid stress and the feeling of being burned out but you also preserve your confidence. You don’t feel bad taking a break when you know taking a day or two off was part of the plan. It helps preserve your confidence, stay focused and feel refreshed.