5 Tips for Setting Goals and Staying Motivated

5 Tips for Setting Goals and Staying Motivated

Woman looking at images pinned to wall - 5 Tips for Setting Goals and Staying Motivated - Article by The Therapy Centre

At the beginning of a new year many of us are looking ahead at 2023 with new goals, hopes and dreams in mind. Will this be the year you start a new hobby, take that trip you always dreamed of, or set yourself on a self-improvement plan? It can be easy to talk about big changes to our lives, but many people struggle to maintain that New Year motivation after the first few weeks. Here are a few tips on how to get yourself motivated and to maintain that momentum once you have started.

Goal Setting & Motivation Tips

  1. Create a clear and exciting vision of success
    If your goal isn’t something that makes you want to jump out of bed and get busy, then it won’t take long for you to start falling back into old habits that are more comfortable and familiar. Creating a vision board or putting up inspiring photos in areas you visit regularly (like on the fridge or next to the bathroom mirror), will remind you of your goal and keep you on track.
  2. Give purpose to your goals
    When you are brainstorming your goals, ask yourself “why” you want to make these changes in your life. Do you want to enrich your life with new experiences? Are you looking for more meaningful connections, or to increase your self-esteem? If your reasons are centered in fear and shame (ex. decluttering your house because you don’t want others to judge you) then every small setback will feel like a major failure that can stop that motivation in its tracks. Setting positive goals that are for you (ex. decluttering your house so you have more time to do other things you enjoy) will keep you feeling good about making changes even when things don’t go the way you expect.
  3. Break down big goals into smaller, easier micro-goals
    Big goals will keep you pushing forward but can easily become overwhelming when they take longer than expected to complete or you encounter setbacks. By breaking down a big goal into smaller, more manageable tasks, you are setting yourself up for easy wins that can be celebrated on a regular basis and bring you one step closer to that big change. Your brain will reward you with increased dopamine (the happy hormone) each time you complete one of those micro-goals and motivate you for future successes.
  4. Track your progress
    It can be easy to lose track of how far you have come when your end goal is far into the future. Something as simple as a calendar or to-do list that can be crossed off will help you focus you on the next step in your journey, as well as show you the path you have already completed. Keeping track of your wins and setbacks in a journal can also help you recognize what is working for you and what you may need to rethink as you continue towards your end goal.
  5. Acknowledge and reward your wins
    Everyone loves to be rewarded for their hard work and celebrating each step towards meeting your goal will only motivate you to keep going. Rewards don’t have to be something big or cost you anything, they just need to be something that makes you happy. When setting your goals, make a list of things that you can use to reward yourself, such as enjoying your favourite snack, purchasing a new book, taking a relaxing bath, or going out with friends.

Are you struggling to stay motivated and meet your goals?

At The Therapy Centre we have skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who can help you set and maintain realistic and healthy goals, as well as effectively treat a variety of issues that may be affecting your life, from everyday challenges to traumatic events with more lasting impact. We help individuals cope with difficult life circumstances like low self-esteem, the death of a loved one, a life-altering accident, or a serious illness as well as anxietydepression and other mental health issues. We also have a dietitian who can help with setting nutritional goals.

At The Therapy Centre we are now offering both in-person and  Virtual Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing.

Our offices are located across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville, 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton, and a NEW location in Toronto at 1849 Yonge St (Yonge and Davisville).