Ways to Stay Motivated: Tips from a Trans POV

Having a hard time staying motivated? You’re not alone! We can all feel too tired or busy to stay on top of our goals – no matter what they might be – which is why staying motivated is important for us all. With the right motivation, you can accomplish anything.

Folks often ask us how we stay motivated, especially when it comes to coming out as trans* and living authentically, or staying on top of general fitness and wellness, or anything else. Here are our best tips!

1. Write down your goal, then visualize

Writing down your goals is the easiest and most effective way of achieving them. A Harvard study once surveyed graduate students to see how many of them had clear goals, and how many of them wrote those goals down. “The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down was earning twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals. The 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined!”

Whether or not your goals are related to finances doesn’t really matter. Writing down your dreams and goals helps prepare you for a vision, and along the way, you can start to visualize how your success will come to be. You can think about potential challenges and plan how you’ll conquer them, too.

2. Next, make a list of why you want this goal

You know what your goal is. Write down everything you can about why it’s so important to you.

  • In one sentence, why do you want to hit your goal?
  • How will reaching your goal make you feel about yourself?
  • What impact will this have on your day-to-day life? Your career or education? Your relationships?
  • What benefits will hitting your goal have on your health?

Then revisit this list when you need more inspiration. Remembering the “why” of your goal will keep you motivated throughout your journey!

3. Break big dreams into smaller ones

Say your goal is to come out as trans* and present full-time – for many of us first starting our transition, that’s a huge goal! It is normal to think it’s very intimidating or maybe impossible. Instead, break that down into smaller benchmarks. Maybe you buy a piece or two of clothing, maybe you paint your nails or cut your hair a certain way. Maybe you present as your gender identity full-time at home, and then slowly start to go out in public as the true you. Each day you succeed will keep you on track. Or, say you’re trying to stay motivated to go to the gym. Get a calendar and cross off every day you go to the gym, focusing on taking it one day or one week at a time. Over the months, you’ll see how each of these smaller successes are coming together towards your main goal.

4. Get positive

We know: easier said than done, right? Positivity is so important to achieving your goals, so take steps to reframe your situation. Surround yourself with a network of friends, family, and other people who will help support your goals or make you feel good. Negative people and conversations may make you focus on the wrong things. If your gender identity isn’t being affirmed by one of your friends, for example, you may consider cutting conversations short with that person and instead spending more time and energy with friends who get it. Or, say you’re trying to hit the gym more. If your family is discouraging your efforts, find a gym buddy or trainer who you can work out with, and you can inspire one another. Plus, positivity can start just with you — words have power, so regardless of what is going on around you, speak your goals out loud to yourself every day to help refocus.

5. Reward yourself

Staying motivated should be fun, too. Don’t forget to see how far you’ve come and congratulate yourself when you hit certain benchmarks. Come up with a simple, easy reward for maintaining progress toward your goals. For example, Jeff from Point 5cc says when he struggled with needle anxiety, he would reward himself after each successful HRT injection with a specialty drink from Starbucks. It was a little quirky something that worked for him. Think about how you’ll celebrate your success and it’ll help motivate you even more!

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