Monday, June 9, 2014

When Self-Improvement Gets Boring, Try These 6 Motivational Strategies

As human beings, we're always striving to be better. The most common self-improvement goals people set, particularly this time of year, are things like losing weight, improving our cholesterol numbers or blood pressure, or getting in shape for a marathon. These are body goals. They are concrete and easy to understand. Because we have metrics to measure things like weight loss, for example, it's easy to track our progress and stay motivated.

Making "soul resolutions" is more challenging. These are the deeper aspects of self-growth. These would be things like trying to be less critical, more loving, more patient, or more optimistic. Soul resolutions are not so easy to measure.

And that can be a problem. Too often, when it comes to changing profound aspects of our attitudes, behavior, and character, we can get bored, uninspired, and discouraged after a while. We can't really tell sometimes if our efforts are "paying off."

To avoid the boredom of spirit that sometimes accompanies profound changes you're trying to make on yourself, here are some simple strategies for staying motivated.

Check in with your priorities. 
What's really important in your life? This is a question that will get you back on track quickly. Make changes in how your spend your time so that you can keep strengthening the behaviors that will reinforce your resolutions.

Learn from the discomfort. 
Trying to be a better person is challenging, difficult, and uncomfortable. It can even be painful and cause you to suffer -- particularly if you have to do things like apologize, change your friend group, or do a lot of self-examining. When things get hard to take, embrace the discomfort and ask yourself what it's teaching you.

Laugh and play more. 
It can be boring and tedious to be always working on self-improvement. Add pleasurable, fun activities to your life.