Last month I asked a question regarding what’s keeping people from reaching their health and fitness goals. Lack of time, poor nutrition and lack of motivation were the top 3 reasons that were given. In previous posts I addressed time and nutrition, now it’s motivations turn.

The amount of people I see who can’t do what they want on their own terms because of failed health or obesity related disease is staggering. The knowledge is out there and readily available, what’s lacking is deliberate practice to improve.

Many people that lack motivation to work towards a goal is due to the goal seeming distant to them. They view their success as the end goal, not along the journey. It’s a lot of work to get there, and then to stay there. In effort to combat this thinking, I recommend using “bright spots” to celebrate small successes along the way. These “bright spots” are like bread crumbs leading to your goal. You can find “bright spots” for the day, week, year, etc. The key is to find small successes that keep you motivated. At times, it’ll be difficult to find something, but work hard to find something, as small as it may be.

The easiest way to get motivated it by seeing success. Think about it. What happens when two people are trying to lose weight and after 2 weeks, one person lost 7 pounds and the other person lost no weight? Who’s more motivated to continue? Of course, it’s the person that’s successful and eager for more.

If your goal is to lose 50+ pounds, run a mile without stopping, get healthy enough to get off your blood pressure medication, or even to start your own successful business….All of these will take time. You’re bound to stumble a few times. It’s human nature that these perceived failures will shine 10x brighter than any success you have had along the way. “Bright spots” is the tool to keep you moving and motivated.

Our mindset is another key to motivation. Which are you; the growth or fixed mindset?

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. People in a fixed mindset believe you either are or aren’t good at something, based on your inherent nature, because it’s just who you are. “It’s what I’m born with”, “It’s who I am” are two common statements you’ll hear from the fixed mindset crowd. This is a dangerous mindset to stick with if your goal is to change! They believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. These people see effort as weakness. They believe effort is for those who can’t make it on talent, so as a result, they live behind excuses.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is the growth mindset. People with a growth mindset believe that your basic qualities are things you can grow or change through effort and experience. For the growth mindset, mistakes are learning opportunities. Failure is not fatal. Failure is viewed only as feedback about performance. They are more resilient to criticism and obstacles. As opposed to a fixed mindset, the obstacles encountered and criticism they hear are seen as beneficial to learn and grow; whereas the person with a fixed mindset will take these as personal attacks and failures of their abilities.

The next time you’re struggling to make change or hit a road block along the way, search for a few “bright spots” and work towards a growth mindset and watch your motivation grow.