Your to-do list grows by the day and it seems like you rarely can mark anything off as completed. You set goals for yourself in your career, health, or relationships and just can’t make enough progress for it to be worth it. If you are feeling stuck in a rut and can’t move forward, it’s time to hit the refresh button in your life. Here are a few steps on how to accomplish a goal when you feel zero motivation.
1. Start with a clean slate
You need to correct your self-talk immediately because telling yourself that you have zero motivation isn’t true. You have at least some motivation, or you wouldn’t have developed an idea for a goal. Regardless of how long you have been working toward a goal, start with a clean slate. This doesn’t mean you dump all of the work you have already accomplished. Give yourself permission to stop beating yourself up for not being further along with your goal. This is a new start which means your pattern of negative self-talk doesn’t get an invitation.
2. Where do I want to be someday?
Whether your goal is about your health, work, relationships, or any other area ask yourself “Where do I want to be someday?” Look at the big picture by stepping out of the middle of the woods so you can see the trees. For example, let’s say your answer is “I want to be healthy and happy.” Your answer gives you direction and purpose for everything else in your life. This will determine forward movement and your to-do list. Don’t move forward with goal setting until you have your answer of where you want to be someday.
3. Write down all of your goals
Now you are ready to list all of your goals. The trick is to write each goal on a separate sheet of paper. This will give you space for the next step below. Don’t be afraid to create several goals, just make sure they relate to where you want be someday. Remember, this is a fresh start, and you only have the present moment so think big. Silence your self-doubt that will tell you that you can’t accomplish your goal.
4. Prioritize one goal and create steps
Looking back at your list of goals, pick the one that is most important to you right now. Yes, you read correctly, only pick one and don’t panic. If you are struggling to pick just one, ask yourself if I had to drop every other goal which one is the most important to me right at this moment. You have chosen the most immediate goal and now it’s time to break down all of the steps you need to achieve it. Your actions do not have to be in order. If you forget a step you can always add it to the list at a later time.
5. Take action right now
You can now take all of the actionable steps you listed previously and develop your roadmap. An example of your goal may be “I want to be more active or exercise more to feel better.” Your actions to accomplish this goal would be:
- Commit to doing something active 3 of 7 days per week
- Plan the days I will work out in my schedule and don’t allow anything to take their place
- Make a list of activities that I enjoy doing that will keep me from getting bored
- Find a buddy who can sometimes join me when I’m active
- Share with my loved ones that I am increasing my activity so they are aware, and it helps hold me accountable
- Create a new music playlist or new podcasts to listen to when I’m active
- Figure out that time of the day I have the most energy and time to be active
- Ask for help with chores, childcare, or other obligations that keep me from taking the time to be active
The most important thing is to take action right now on one of these steps because it will help you achieve your goal. There isn’t an excuse for why you can’t get started. Actions become habits and habits lead to you accomplishing your goals.
6. Tackle your next goal
Once you are moving in the right direction with your first goal, you have evidence that you can take action. It is important to remind yourself of your ability to accomplish your goals, especially when self-doubt creeps in. Now you are ready to move to your next goal, repeat the same action as above and you will continue to prove to yourself that nothing can get in your way.
Your ability to accomplish your goals doesn’t require magic. It takes creating, planning, action, and accountability. You can get big results, but what are you willing to do to make it happen. Have you ever accomplished a goal that you doubted you could make happen? What is your most significant goal you have accomplished?
A clinical sexologist and psychotherapist. From sex/intimacy, personal growth, and relationships, I am here to help you every step of the way.