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New starts, motivation and keeping it up



What is it about a fresh start that brings out the extremes in us? Whether a new year, a new job or hobby, even a new home.

We start with great intentions and enthusiasm for our adventure. We are all plans and lists and throw ourselves into it with excitement. We tell ourselves ‘I will start as I mean to continue’. A diet which starts with ‘I will stick to this for a month’ becomes a diet of exceptions… ‘well, I’ll have to drink for Sarah’s hen night and the wedding is the end of the month’ and then there is a friend’s birthday dinner and a family BBQ…. Why not check your diary at the beginning and be realistic?

Play the 80-20 rule. If I stick to my plan 80% of the time I will achieve my goal. Life happens…plan for it and accept you can’t put things on hold.

We often focus on the fun elements or the visible parts. Like I have a friend who was so excited to move into her first home…. She had dedicated hours to decisions on the décor; cushion covers, tiles, sofa…. she got so carried away she forgot to get insurance or re-direct her post.

As a result all the admin hit at once and she was miserable for a week rushing around trying to pay overdue bills and source insurance. Make sure you are seeing the big picture so you can enjoy this exciting new time of your life. There are checklists on the internet for almost everything.

And when we have got over the initial enthusiasm interest wanes, results may not be visible quick enough and others encourage us to bend the rules. Ensure you have a clear timeline of what you are committed to doing when & how you will know when you have achieved it.

When starting to learn a new hobby… swimming for example, do you want to enjoy this once a week, become more confident in the water for your holidays, do you want to be on a competitive swimming team? Set your expectations and measure yourself regularly.

It is also worth considering those around you – our nearest & dearest want the best for us but sometimes also want us to stay the same & not change. Let them know & solicit their support. If they don’t cooperate or put down your efforts ‘this will be the same as the last time, you’ll never succeed’ have a back-up phrase ready – ‘I respect that’s your opinion but I have taken a different approach and know I will succeed.’

So how can we maintain our efforts?

  • Start with goals in mind – be realistic, honest & relevant.
  • Apply the 80-20 rule.
  • Ask what you are procrastinating about? Why? What are you resisting?
  • Listen to internal & external doubts – are they realistic & challenge them
  • Have fun & enjoy the journey

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Neale Donald Walsch

So what about your fresh starts? Will you manage to keep enthusiasm?



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The Author:

Anthea is a qualified life coach who is passionate about stress management and emotional intelligence. She works with individuals and groups to enhance their personal and work lives with a holistic view of where they are now & where they want to be. Having experienced a busy corporate career herself she can empathize with her clients. Her background is in hospitality and human resources. http://awaken.ie

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