Tag Archives: Motivation

Overcome Burn-out and Stay Motivated

2 Mar

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” -Wayne Dyer

One of the things I enjoy most about being a life coach is helping others outline their goals and then watching as they achieve them. There’s no better feeling than setting out to accomplish something and then actually accomplishing it.  Earlier in the year I shared my goal setting process with you so I just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing with your own goals. It’s March 1st, which means that 1/3 of our year has already gone by. I’m not telling you this to set you into a frenzy. There’s still plenty of time left to keep working on the goals you’ve set for yourself and make 2010 rock your socks.  If you’re truckin’ along, Great – That’s Awesome! But maybe you’re feeling a little stuck. It can be hard to stay motivated and not get burned out. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re trying to achieve big goals.

  1. Create & Track Milestones –  Working towards a large goal can be overwhelming and it can be easy to get frustrated and give up when you don’t think you’re moving the needle. Acknowledge when you make it to smaller milestones. If there aren’t any small milestones – make them up. If one of your goals is to run a marathon, start keeping track of when you successfully complete each mile.  Running 1 more mile each week sounds a lot more manageable than running 26.2 miles.
  2. Stay Focused on Your Compelling Vision – It’s a lot easier to tackle tough goals if you know it all fits into your overarching compelling vision. What’s your big “why?” Losing 20 pounds doesn’t sound like fun but if you know that losing 20 pounds fits into your long term compelling vision of being healthy and feeling great about yourself, it makes it a bit easier.
  3. Be Realistic – Make sure that your ultimate goal is realistic. Maybe the reason you are facing burn-out is because you are trying to achieve the impossible. Make sure you’ve set appropriate timelines for yourself.  Setting a way too aggressive goal for yourself does nothing but bring disappointment.
  4. Give Yourself a Break – We’ve all done it – We set a goal up for ourselves that we’re so excited about, we never want to stop working on it. Make sure that you take a break from what you’re working on. Taking a step back from your project or goal from time to time will help you re-energize and you’ll feel much more refreshed when you pick it back up again.
  5. Get A Buddy – If you are repeatedly getting stuck, reach out to others who may be working on similar goals. Creating an accountability group can help get you through you’re burn-out phase. It’ll also give you the added bonus of having a built-in cheering section.

Ultimately, when you’re feeling a bit unmotivated you just need to learn to power through. I’m hoping the above tips can help you get going again.

Feel free to let me know what you’re working on and what you’ve accomplished in the comments section. I promise that this will be a safe place for you to brag about all that you’ve achieved so far!

Until Next Time,


Need some more help getting motivated? Here’s some additional reading on Goal-Setting, Procrastination, and Setting The Bar Too High


Can Setting The Bar Too High Backfire?

18 Feb

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

I was supposed to run 6 miles today. I ran 2 and a half. There were a number of variables working against me: It was hot as hell today, I had been feeling a bit under the weather and I hadn’t run since last Wednesday. Despite all of this, I pushed myself to run 6 miles instead of easing back into my running routine. This was a colossal fail on my part. I had to cut the run short and by the time I got back home I felt terrible. Physically I was dehydrated and over-heated. Mentally I felt defeated and discouraged.

I’m sure you can relate: I had set an unrealistic goal for myself and when I failed to achieve it, I was left feeling worthless. As 20-somethings we often push ourselves to set a lofty and ambitious goal – which is great – but we are unrealistic as to how we can accomplish these goals – not so great. Either we set a timeline that is far too aggressive or we are not prepared actually achieve the goal. Perhaps we lack education or experience or basic know-how. A lot of the time we simply lack patience. It’s easy to say that you want to own a home in the next 6 months, but if you don’t take the time to properly research your decision, you could be left feeling discouraged when it doesn’t pan out. Worse, you could be stuck with a payment you can’t afford because you didn’t prepare for meeting your goal. Don’t get me wrong, we should all be setting ambitious goals for ourselves. It helps to push us to our limits and allows us to accomplish things we never thought possible. But it is absolutely crucial to prepare ourselves sufficiently for what we are about to undertake. More importantly we need to be patient and realistic with our timelines.

So instead of feeling discouraged by my failed run this afternoon, I’m going to evaluate what went wrong and correct it so I can have a successful run tomorrow.

Until Next Time,


Developing Your Strategic Plan For The Future – Part 2

28 Dec

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement. – Brian Tracy

We’ve all experienced it.  The dreaded New Year’s Resolution that we haphazardly make on the 1st of January only to completely forget about it by the 1st of March (sometimes sooner). I believe that one of the reasons that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work is because we set outrageous goals for ourselves and don’t really assess how to achieve them. Then we plow wholeheartedly into the goal for the first few weeks only to become burned out and discouraged. As part 2 of my Strategic Planning series we’ll delve into goal-setting & more importantly goal-keeping.

So by now, you’ve completed Step 1 of your Strategic Plan and have fully assessed your 2009.  Also by now you’ve hopefully gone out and celebrated the end of an awesome 2009.  Here’s what Step 2 looks like:

Step 2:  Determine Goals for Upcoming Year:

  • Determine your  Compelling Vision or Theme for the Year
  • Outline your Goals
  • Make sure goals are SMART
  • Bridge the Gap
  • Stay Motivated

Compelling Vision – This is something new that I just incorporated into my goal setting process. I read about it on The Art of Non-Conformity blog – the author has a similar planning process for his upcoming year. Think about what you want 2010 to represent? Determining a compelling vision for the year can help shape your goals and bring everything together under one umbrella. Your compelling vision should help give you an extra kick when the motivation is low because you are working towards a greater goal. My theme for 2009 was Renaissance and my theme for 2010 is Expansion.

Outline your Goals in Buckets – A lot of us have a ton of things we want to accomplish and thinking about all of them at the same time can be über overwhelming. I like to break my goals into buckets to make them more clear and achievable. Here are my buckets for 2010: Education Goals, Fitness Goals,  Life Balance Goals, Safiya Beauty Goals and Polka Dot Coaching Goals. Every major goal I’d like to accomplish can be put into one of these buckets. This makes it easier for me to determine where I’m going.

Make sure Goals are SMART – A lot of the times we develop goals for ourselves that are not Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic or Time-sensitive which is just setting ourselves up for failure. Make sure that your goal contains each of these aspects. What will it look like if you accomplish the goal? Develop a statement for a successful end result: I will train for and complete a half marathons by May 1st 2010.

Bridging the Gap – Now we should bridge the gap between reality and our goal. Sure I’d like to run a half marathon but where am I right now? What do I need to do to get there? Outline your specific action steps for each goal. Your action steps will evolve as you continue to make progress towards your goal. Make sure your action steps are realistic and you are not biting off too much to chew.

Motivation – Think about what keeps you motivated and incorporate that into your goals. Take the time to celebrate small victories and re-adjust your goals & action steps if necessary. For example, I bought a new Levenger binder for myself after becoming certified as a coach. Another way to stay motivated is to think of all of the reasons you may fail and then plan for them. This way when the excuse comes up you are prepared to combat it. Another trick I learned when I first started running was to develop a personal mantra. Mine was “sexy, healthy legs” and I would think that when I felt like stopping.

So hopefully you feel armed to tackle some good goals for the upcoming year. Outlining where I wanted to go and developing goals to get there really helped me dig out of my 20-something crisis. What do you think? Is this helpful? Do you have goal-setting techniques that work for you?As always, feel free to share them with me.

Have a Happy &  Safe New Year!