Give Yourself a Pep Talk

Sometimes, it’s easy to be down on yourself. Especially if you don’t think that you are seeing results fast enough. I’ve been struggling lately with staying motivated to exercise and eat right. It’s been made especially hard by the fact that it takes so much longer to get back in shape than to gain weight — something I’ve been disappointed with after a three week hiatus from doing what I should.

Of course, there are plenty of other things that can be frustrating. From learning a new language, to becoming adept at a musical instrument, to getting your home business off the ground, life is full of challenges. Staying motivated can be tough when results are slow in coming. If you are looking for a little motivation, here are some ideas for keeping yourself going with a positive pep talk.

Think About the Progress You Have Made

You don’t have to talk to yourself out loud, of course. But you do need to consider re-focusing your thoughts. Rather than dwelling on where you wish you were right now, consider how far you’ve come. Think about the progress you have made up to this point. In my case, just staying under a certain weight should be considered a victory, since I ended up not exercising for three weeks. I remind myself of that, and then look at the incremental progress I’ve made as I work back toward my goal.

Sometimes, you need to look at how far you’ve come, whether it’s mastering a new verbal conjugation, or nailing a particularly difficult passage on the piano. Even making progress in your home business, by finishing your web page or by settling on an ecommerce web host, can be a reason to celebrate. Focus on these things and remind yourself that you are getting somewhere.

Tell Yourself What You Need to Do Next

After acknowledging that you are making some progress, you need to think about what comes next. This week, I am increasing my workout from 30 minutes to 40 minutes a day. You can figure out what your next goal will be, and what you need to do to tackle it. Whether you want to read another chapter in a book about business, or master a difficult chord change on the guitar, set your next goal. Make it achievable, and get excited about what comes next. Focusing on a smaller goal can help you feel as though you can do it.

Often, looking at the end result, and wishing you were already there, can be overwhelming and discouraging. Instead, find milestones along the way, and look forward to that next one. It will be easier to convince yourself to keep going when you have a smaller goal. Often, if we look at the end result, we get discouraged, thinking that it’s impossible to get there. A good pep talk to help you get to the next milestone will keep you focused on the small victories along the way.

Use Action Words

As you think about starting the next mini-project to help you reach your larger goal, use powerful, action words. State your next accomplishment as fact. I will exercise each day this week. I will master the next eight measures of this challenging piano piece. Then, get to work.

One Response to Give Yourself a Pep Talk

  1. Miranda,

    Great article!

    This is true – we should celebrate (and remember) even the smallest steps forward. Just today I had one of these moments. I was a little bit frustrated first, but remembering that I was able to improve a bit from the last time, was enough to feel me good.

    I think that comparing ourselves to others is another “great” way to put us down (“he/she is so much better than me …”). Once we learn how not to do that, it will make us feel much better about ourselves.


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