Starting something new is always the first step, but how do you get to step two? Often the next phase in any journey is to find what motivates you. Is there something about the goal you want to achieve that keeps you coming back? Is there a vision you have of yourself, a quote you’re reminded of, or something physical that you can touch and hold in your hands that reminds you of why you wanted to achieve that goal in the first place? What is it that keeps you going when you face obstacles?

New Year’s is often the time for resolutions. The whole “new year new me” comes into play. Then March rolls around and sometimes you just don’t feel that “new” anymore. I had a goal last year to move my body for 30 minutes every day. Whether it was lifting weights in the gym, walking around the neighborhood, doing yoga, or catching some snow on a ski run, I was going to move my body for 30 minutes every day. 

That first day was step one. I did my thirty minutes. Then on about day four I didn’t want to work out that day, but I kept going. As I think back on it now I wonder about what kept me going and what might work for others. I kept coming back because I knew that to achieve the goal I had to feel more fit, I needed to keep moving my body. I had this picture of myself as a confident person in a room and able to keep up during a workout. I had this vision of what I would feel like, and that’s what kept me going back each day. It was the way I wanted to feel that kept me going.

Not every day is going to be easy. Like I said, day four I didn’t really want to get up. It was sheer motivation that kept me going. Once I got past day ten or so, I didn’t want to have to restart the streak so I kept going. I found something, and on those days where motivation alone wasn’t going to cut it I went for a walk or did yoga. I put on my favorite workout gear (the ones I felt most confident in) and I got out there to get it done. I didn’t need a super cardio day, but rather I just needed to move for 30 minutes to keep the streak alive. On those days where I felt like I’d failed because I didn’t max out a bench press, I realized that it wasn’t failure and instead it was just a step in another direction. That other direction was still moving forward, but included a bit of a zig or a zag while I moved there. 

When you think about the goal you want to achieve, what is it that you picture? What does that achievement look like? Is it making your first sale as a business owner and seeing the deposit hit? Is it getting a medal after a long run? Is it landing the job you have been working towards? Whatever it is, know what it is that motivates you and what will keep you coming back when you face adversity. What’s your “step one”?