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Published on June 22, 2020

How to Get Yourself to Take Action Towards Your Goal

How to Get Yourself to Take Action Towards Your Goal

We’ve all been there. We get motivated to accomplish a goal, and we feel like we’re making real progress for the first few days.

However, after a week or two we notice that our motivation fades and with that, so do our efforts. Our progress tails off and eventually, we may quit altogether.

This is something that we need to avoid if we want to accomplish our goals. We can’t fall into some of the common traps that the average person falls into.

So, in this article, I am going to cover how you can take action toward your goals and get yourself to where you truly want to be in your life.

1. Study Those Who Came Before You

A little motivation never hurt anybody right?

On top of that, studying the people who previously accomplished the goal that you’re looking to accomplish can save you a lot of headaches in the long-run.

From these practices, you can begin to determine what challenges the person faced when they started to take action towards their goals. Furthermore, you can also gather information about what strategies they used to overcome those challenges.

Though what worked for someone else may not work exactly the same way for you, it’s definitely a good starting point. From this point, you can then begin to create and tailor your strategy based on the path that you want to take.

Once you know what path you want to take, you can begin mentally preparing yourself to take action.

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2. Mentally Prepare Yourself

There are a lot of traps we can fall into as we try to take action towards our goals. The first one is failing to mentally prepare ourselves for the journey.

Doing this means that you need to be able to visualize the obstacles and challenges that are going to confront you when you begin taking action and making progress. It also means that you can visualize yourself accomplishing the goal at the end of the journey.

Think about it this way, who do you think is more likely to overcome a challenge, the person who just dives into a task without any preparation or the person who has taken some to carefully consider the challenges and obstacles that they may face?

Obviously, the person who has taken the time to consider these challenges is more likely to succeed. But why?

Well, the answer to that question is that this individual has mentally prepared themselves for the challenges that they were likely to face. That way, when they begin to take action towards their goal, they have two crucial advantages in their back pocket.

First, these individuals know that these challenges are likely going to present themselves and that they will need to overcome them to achieve their goals. This means that they won’t be surprised or get negative when the obstacle presents itself because they already mentally prepared for it. They can continue taking action without being phased by the obstacle.

Second, because they knew this challenge was something that they were going to have to face, they will have been able to make a plan to cope with and overcome the challenge. This goes a long way to helping someone continually take action towards their goals.

3. Make a Plan

After you’ve studied what other people have done before you, figured out what works and what does, decided what’s likely to work for you, and then finally mentally prepared yourself for the journey, it’s time to make a plan.

This is the plan that you will follow as you begin to take action towards your goals. It’s often best to write these plans out in areas that are easy for you to view and access. This keeps your plan at the forefront of your mind and reminds you to keep your priorities at the top of your priority list.

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In this phase of your journey, you are going to create a step-by-step progression that you can follow. You’ll set the mini accomplishments throughout the journey as well as the milestones that you’ll achieve and surpass along the way.

You’ll also write down the challenges and obstacles that you mentally prepared yourself for in the previous steps and what your plan is to overcome them.

This can get overwhelming when it’s all done at once, so break your plan down into sections. Start with a section outlining the steps you’re going to take action on to accomplish your goals, and include the milestone you’ll pass in this process. Then, create a separate section where you outline the barriers and challenges you’ll face and how to overcome them.

Overall, just make sure that the plan makes sense for you personally.

Once you’ve created a plan, your next step is to figure out how you can begin tracking your progress as you begin to take action.

If you want more help with this check out this article.[1]

4. Track Yourself and Your Progress

Once you’ve created your personalized plan that you can use to take action, you should try to find ways to track your progress.

How you do this doesn’t really matter. You could create a habit tracker where you track the habits that you need to implement to achieve your goal. You could create a map of your milestones that you check off as you accomplish each of them. You could also even download an app that could enable you to track your progress with ease.

Just do something that makes sense to you.

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This allows you to figure out what’s working best for you and what isn’t working, and make adjustments accordingly. This is the crucial reason why we track our progress as we take action towards our goals.

Because it’s highly unlikely, regardless of how well you prepare, that the initial plan you create will get everything right. There will be things you didn’t think about and you will have to remain adaptable. Tracking your progress will enable you to do just that.

You’ll be able to take action and identify what habits allow you to make the most progress.

They say 20% of the things we dedicate our time to bring about approximately 80% of our results. If that’s the case, tracking your progress like this will help you figure out what moves that needle you and then adjust your plan accordingly.

If you want additional tips on staying motivated check out this article.[2]

5. Make it Fun and Stay Motivated

This is one of the more fun parts of learning how to take action towards your goals. If you want to make real progress, you have to make achieving the goal fun. Find ways that make it appealing to you.

For example, a reward system is often a good way to make taking action fun, and it’s a great way for us to remain motivated. This could be a small and fun reward after accomplishing a particular habit, such as going for a walk after writing a few pages of that book you’ve been working on forever.

You can very easily apply this to your goals as you take action.

Make a particular habit that you’re implementing as you work towards a goal something that you regularly reward yourself for. If your goal is to jog, maybe reward yourself with some relaxation time post-run. If your goal is to eat healthier, maybe go out for a fun activity after a week of healthy eating.

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Get creative and make it fun for you.

Doing this will help you stick with it through the tough times because there will be tough times. You’re going to be challenged on this journey, and that is the only thing that you can be sure of.

So, finding ways to stay motivated while you take action will go a long way to helping you continually take action towards your goals.

Bottom Line

So there you have it. Used effectively, these strategies will help you to take action towards some of your massive goals.

To sum things up, you’re going to study what people before you have done to accomplish similar goals and learn about their journey. Then, you’re going to mentally prepare yourself for the journey that is going to lay ahead of you as well as the challenges and barriers that you’re likely going to have to face, confront, and overcome.

Following that, you will have to create the plan you will follow as you take action. The important part of this is to remember that your plan has to be uniquely tailored to you and what you want to accomplish.

Then, find a way that works for you to track your progress so that you can figure out what works and what doesn’t, and invest more of your time and energy into the things that are working for you as you take action.

Then finally, make it fun for yourself so that you stay motivated to continue working even through the tough times.

More Tips if You Want to Take Action

Featured photo credit: Brad Neathery via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

9 Ways to Stop Complicating Life and Start Living 8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life Why Constant Self-Improvement May Be Bad Sometimes How to Stop Running Away from Difficult Problems in Life How to Get Yourself to Take Action Towards Your Goal

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

Memory plays an integral role in our lives, both in the short and long term. If you’re wondering how to improve memory, I’m here to tell you that there are natural and effective ways to do so.

Despite what you might think, improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it.

Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve memory efficiently and reduce the risk of memory loss.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts, and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder, then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. Research suggests that the more information and distractions you receive, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory[1].

Fortunately, meditation can help.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which, in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

While any amount of meditation will do something to help your memory, one study pointed out that “8 but not 4 weeks of brief, daily meditation decreased negative mood state and enhanced attention, working memory, and recognition memory as well as decreased state anxiety scores”[2].

Therefore, if you’re looking for the most benefits, try sticking with a meditation practice for at least 8 weeks.

However, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then it’s likely that you’re not able to remember well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities, including your memory.

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If you want to learn how to improve memory, how much sleep should you be getting?

Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation[3], you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things[4].

If you want to improve memory, get plenty of sleep.

    Maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!), but if you care about improving your long and short term memory, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

    Try these three things to naturally improve your sleep cycle:

    • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
    • Don’t eat too late
    • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

    Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

    However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory.

    3. Challenge Your Brain

    When was the last time you challenged your brain?

    I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or under-sleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and memory games.

    To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

    Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-solving ability, and memory.

    There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

    • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

    If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

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    Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it; try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

    4. Take More Breaks

    When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctly remember working all the hours under the sun—and many under the moon, too!

    At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat, and tears.

    However, if you want to know how to improve memory, taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative, and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

    Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

    One 2011 study from the University of Illinois concluded that “the brain is built to detect and respond to change…and prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance”[5].

    This is based on something called the “vigilance decrement.” This can be applied to many things. For example, we often don’t notice the feeling of clothing touch our bodies because our brain becomes accustomed to the sensation. However, if you change clothes, you’ll likely notice the difference in texture and temperature for a few minutes.

    When you take a break from memorizing information, it refocuses your attention and energy, leading to increased focus overall.

    It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart, and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

    Basically, make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

    5. Learn a New Skill

    I love this quote, as it’s 100% true but frequently overlooked:

    “Learning never exhausts the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

    From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

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    Let me give you an example of this:

    Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day, many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

    Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

    The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you rather than letting you work in your own way.

    Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction into learning a new skill (computer coding).

    It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career, and the ongoing learning made the call center job much more bearable.

    Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus, and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking out new information. When learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly becomes a habit, too.

    If you want to know how to learn something new every day, check out this article.

    6. Start Working out

    If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

    Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory[6].

    Regular physical activities increase blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. A well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

    Even if you don’t have much time, research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines[7].

    Interested in getting started?

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    Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

    • Join a gym
    • Join a sports team
    • Buy a bike
    • Take up hiking
    • Dance to your favorite music

    7. Eat Healthier Foods

    I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

    This applies to your brain, too.

    The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health, as well.

    Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery, and dark chocolate. But any fruits, vegetables, or foods high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory. Here’re some ideas: 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power

    Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain, leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

    If you want to improve your mental health, eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

    • Turmeric – Helps new brain cells grown
    • Broccoli – Protects the brain against damage
    • Nuts – Improves memory
    • Green tea – Enhances brain performance, memory and focus[8]
    • Fish oilFish oil supplements can increase your brain power

    Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

    Also, remember that your brain is about 75% water, so dehydration can have a huge effect on the way your brain functions. Stay hydrated if you really want to improve memory!

    Final Thoughts

    I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be helpful for you.

    You don’t need to implement them all, but you can try out the ones that appeal to you.

    But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory and avoiding cognitive decline, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested.

    More on How to Improve Memory

    Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

    Reference

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