Need motivation to achieve your goals?

Have you ever had a really rough day, week, or month, but you had something great to look forward to? If you’ve ever been in that situation, you know how much it can help to have something exciting looming on the horizon.

No matter how tough life can be, the power of anticipation can put a smile on your face.

 Fortunately, it’s easy to use the power of anticipation. It’s always available to you, and it doesn’t have to cost a dime. It’s a great way to enhance your mood and your success. 

Master the use of anticipation with these strategies: 

  • Use anticipation as motivation to achieve your goals. It’s easier to achieve your goals if you use anticipation in a positive way. For example, if your goal is to lose 25 pounds, you might anticipate how great you’re going to look. Or if you have identified how you want to celebrate your achievement (which I recommend you do for every goal) then you have that as your anticipation.

    • Anticipation will also help you overcome obstacles and persevere until you reach your goal.

  • Just thinking about doing something you like lightens your mood. Studies have shown that having something to look forward to puts you in a better mood. But you already knew this.

    • Whether you’re looking forward to receiving an exciting package in the mail, a date on Saturday night, a bonus at work, or a trip to Cancun, it certainly has a positive impact on your mood!

  • Give yourself something to look forward to each day, week, month, and year. Give yourself plenty of things to look forward to in both the short and long term. Here are a few examples.

    • Daily: A walk with your dog. A cup of your favorite coffee. Getting home and shutting out the world. Taking a bubble bath.

    • Weekly: Dinner with friends. Sleeping late on Saturday. Buying a new book. Lunch at your favorite restaurant.

    • Monthly: A weekend out of town. Buying yourself a treat. Going to a ballgame.

    • Annually: You might plan to buy a new car at the end of the year, take a big trip, or buy a house.

  • Consider the alternative. What if you didn’t have anything to look forward to? Imagine having a life so lacking in hope that you felt you had nothing to look forward to. It would be a challenging existence for sure.

    • No matter how bleak your life might look, ensure that you have something to look forward to in the future that gives you a reason to smile.

  • Stock up on gift cards when you have a little extra cash. This one can be a bit tricky but the idea is to buy gift cards for the places that you love when you have a little extra cash. Those gift cards can then be used on rough days when you need a little boost. The amount doesn’t have to be significant but it should be enough for a small purchase.

    • Keep gift cards on hand for your favorite ice cream places, coffee shops, book stores, game stores, restaurants, etc.

 

  • Have pocket money built into your budget. You work hard for your money and you deserve to enjoy it. The amount should be based on your budget and does not need to be much but it should be planned every payday. As your income increases, you should also incrementally increase your pocket money.

    • For years, I looked forward to my weekly Starbucks trip. At the time I wasn’t making much so I didn’t have a lot for a splurge. I got paid weekly on Fridays, and each Friday I spent about $10 at Starbucks but it was my treat to myself each week and it made me happy. It also made using the rest of my paycheck on bills a bit easier.

 

Remember Christmas as a kid? With a few weeks left in the semester, you were ready to be out of school. One of the things that kept you going was knowing that Christmas was just around the corner. Upcoming summer vacation created similar anticipation. Thinking about everything you were going to do over the summer was a great boost to your mood. 

As an adult, we don’t have as many exciting things built into our schedule. We have to take responsibility for giving ourselves things to look forward to. What are some of the things you truly enjoy? Where can you build time for them into your schedule? 

Start today and give yourself something to look forward to tomorrow. It can be as simple as relaxing on the couch with your dog and your favorite movie after work or a trip to the bookstore. A little anticipation can go a long way to changing your life for the better.