How to implement changes effectively #3: Finding motivation and staying accountable

Hello there and welcome back!

This is the third and last post in the series on how to implement changes effectively. I hope the tips I've given you so far helped you in trying to get closer to accomplishing your goals! Or, if you’re new here, be sure to check out the two previous posts of this series:

#1 Developing the right mindset

#2 Figuring out and setting goals

So now, after you’ve taken the time to decide what you want to change and achieve, and understand why, after you’ve set goals and sub-goals, it’s time to plan how to keep yourself motivated during this journey. While setting the right goals and making sure you’re doing this for the right seasons is a very important part of the process, the more challenging part is actually sticking to what you had planned.


How to implement changes effectively #3: Finding motivation and staying accountable


Stick to a schedule

This is where planning comes in again, this time in more detail. While by now you should have decided on several or many sub-goals to get you where you want to be in a certain amount of time, what’s even more helpful is to plan specific activities that will get you closer to your goals. What really comes in handy is a planner – and, guess what, that’s exactly what I have for you today – a free planner template!

It’s especially useful for those of you who prefer to do most things digitally and to keep everything on their laptops. One template file is meant for one month; it’s split into weeks on different sheets. In each one, I created some space where you can just write whatever’s on your mind – I literally called it Brain dump – and then mark it according to priority. Then you can create actual tasks or activities based on what you know you need to get done that week. There’s space dedicated to a more detailed day-by-day planning. And you can put an “x” next to a completed task or color it. I know from my own experience, and I’m sure many people would agree, that writing down a task, completing it and then ticking it off is very gratifying, keeps you motivated and accountable.


Don’t put yourself down

Whenever you feel you can’t get through a certain task, just split it into smaller activities. Sometimes big, important tasks feel just too overwhelming if we were to tackle them at one go. Which brings me to another very important point: don’t be too hard on yourself. If you don’t manage to meet your targets for a particular day or week, simply reschedule them for another time and do your best to keep up with your schedule from then onwards.


Be reasonable

If you keep failing to complete the tasks you set for yourself, maybe you need to review your weekly or monthly plans and adjust them – give yourself more time, split some tasks into a few smaller ones or whatever else that might help you. However, there’s a fine line between plans that really are too challenging and pure laziness and lack of determination. So when you’re failing to finish a certain task, make sure to figure out if rescheduling it will actually benefit you or rather hurt you in the long term by giving yourself too much slack.


Keep yourself inspired

If you do find yourself procrastinating or lacking motivation, there is no better pick-me-up than motivational videos, articles, books – you name it! My favorites include TED talks, blog posts I find simply by googling whatever issue I’m having, or even Pinterest boards. Did you know Smoothies and Sunshine pins some super motivating and inspiring quotes? Check them out whenever you’re in need of some encouragement and positive vibes!


Enjoy the process

Alright! Now that you’ve got your planner template open and ready to be filled out, stop for just a second and take a step back. Ask yourself: am I going to enjoy the coming weeks/months? Because you totally should! Of course, it won’t all be easy – change usually is quite demanding and, at times, frustrating – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the process. That should be something you take into account when planning your tasks for specific days, weeks, months, etc. If you’re having trouble keeping up with your schedule, always try to motivate and encourage yourself by making the activities more fun!


Appreciate yourself

Oh, and one last thing. Even though you’re probably all pumped up and super super excited for what’s to come, the amazing results you’ll achieve and how much better you’ll feel, please please don’t forget to appreciate yourself as you are now. After all, the you in this moment is the one who is making this change. Basically what I’m trying to say is that you’re pretty awesome to be doing this, you know? So don’t forget that!

Healthy (and not-so-healthy) snacks

How to implement changes effectively #2: figuring out and setting goals