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Staying Motivated

Even though it’s the shortest month of the year, it often feels like the longest.  There’s something about February that seems to kill motivation.  Maybe it’s because the resolutions of January 1st are all but forgotten, or perhaps its because Spring Break is still a month away.  Here in Winnipeg it has a lot to do with the weather too.  It’s still winter and will be for at least another month or (heaven-forbid) two!  My husband (a native Albertan) saw the snow melting during a warm spell a couple of weeks ago and said “All this snow is going to melt and then I won’t be able to go snowmobiling again”.  I laughed knowing what ever Manitoban knows, winter is never over in February.  The snow will fly again, maybe even in April and May.

So how can we keep our motivation high in this dull month?  Here are a few ideas to inspire you and hopefully keep you on track with your long and short term goals for 2011.

1. Try Something New! 

Why not try something new this week?  Go for a jog with your friend or spouse, take a cooking class, join an art class, or start volunteering at a local charity.  It’s amazing how just getting out there, trying something different and meeting new people can jump start your motivation.  My goal this week is to go to a prenatal yoga class.  I’ve been wanting to stay fit during my pregnancy and there’s no time like now to try it out.  What have you been wanting to do or try for the longest time but haven’t got around to yet?  This week is the week to do it.

2. Review your Goals

It’s been about 2 months since you made those new years resolutions for 2011.  Maybe it’s time to look back on those goals or create some if you haven’t already.  As you look at what you’re hoping to accomplish this year, ask yourself what steps you can take this week to get closer to your goal.  One of my goals for this year is to finish my first book by June when our little one is due to arrive.  I hadn’t been making much progress in the last couple of months, but last week I re-established this goal and even came up with a little reward for myself when I finish it!  I also gave myself a due date for completing the rough draft.  It’s amazing how much this helped get me back on track and last week alone I wrote about 20 pages!  Set yourself some attainable steps and a reward for when you complete them. 

3. Work Together

There is nothing like accountability to help get the job done.  Have you shared your goals for the year with anyone?  Do you have a mentor or close friend who you can ask to keep you accountable to your goals?  For me just telling my spouse about what I’m planning to accomplish this week helps me get it done.  But even better than that is finding a no-nonsense friend who will ask you what your goals are and check in periodically to make sure you’re staying on track.  If you don’t have someone like this in your life, ask God to who that person could be.  We weren’t meant to do this journey alone and when we surround ourselves with other motivated people, it’s amazing how it keeps us on track. 

My hope for you is that at the end of 2011 you’ll be able to look back at your list of goals and check every single one off.  And not only that, but you’ll find you’ve accomplished even more than you could’ve hoped or imagined.  This is what God wants for you as well.  I’ll leave you with my favorite verse to inspire and encourage you on the final day of February 2011:

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20

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