People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar
Have you ever started working towards a goal, but after a while found it hard to stay motivated? I know I was guilty of this. I would write down my goals, create my strong “why” and strike out to conquer my little piece of the world. And then it would happen. One day I’d wake up and I just wouldn’t feel like dong anything productive. I knew what I needed to do, but all I wanted to do was lay on the sofa watching reruns of my favorite sitcom.
The “experts” would say my reasons for accomplishing the goal weren’t strong enough, but I personally don’t think that’s always the case. And despite the title of this post, there aren’t any magic pills for staying motivated and I don’t believe drinking 6 cups of coffee is the answer either. (That’s just my opinion.) The fact is, even the most determined people I know have times when they lack motivation. I don’t know why, but for most people motivation doesn’t last which is why you need a plan to re-ignite it when it’s gone. I don’t claim to be an expert, but here are my 10 ways for boosting motivation so you can stay on track to creating the life of your dreams.
1. Set daily goals –I like to end every day by making a list of goals for the next day. I find that by starting my day prepared to accomplish something specific, I’m more pumped up and motivated to face the day. The other benefit is that I don’t allow time wasters like daydreaming, surfing the Internet, or reading my friend’s social media posts to drain my motivation.
2. Read or listen to motivating media – Motivational quotes have a way of pulling on your heart strings or kicking you in the gut; either result will help to get you moving. (Don’t forget to subscribe to our email list to receive a motivational quote in your inbox every morning.) I also like YouTube videos because the speeches make me feel like I can accomplish anything and then I want go out to prove it. Some of my favorite channels are:
3. Change your mindset – I used to have a bad habit of saying, “I am trying to accomplish…” Or “I hope to become…”, but that attitude gave me a way out when I didn’t feel like doing what was necessary to accomplish my goal. I have learned that when I change my words to “I am going to accomplish…” and “I am going to become…” that I also change my level of commitment to my goals. I think in some ways, changing your mindset increases your belief in your ability to reach your goal which motivates you to work harder.
4. Track your results – Sometimes a loss of motivation comes from feeling discouraged because you aren’t where you think you should be. When you break your big goals down into smaller steps and keep track of what’s been completed, you can see just how much you’ve accomplished since you started. I know for me, seeing my progress helps me to dig my heels in and keep pushing forward.
5. Forgive yourself – When you don’t hit your goals, it’s important not to beat yourself up. I think most people are just too hard on themselves. (I know I struggle in this area.) We could all benefit from learning to forgive ourselves and accept that failure is all a part of life. For more information on dealing with failure, read our post – The Beauty of Failure.
6. Reward yourself – Don’t wait until you accomplish your goals to celebrate. As you write out your small steps include a small reward for accomplishing it. I look forward to a scoop of ice cream or a day at the beach, but it can also be a massage, a special dinner, bubble bath, etc. Just do something to pat yourself on the back for making progress.
7. Get an accountability partner – If you’re on an island by yourself, it can be difficult to stay motivated and keep your momentum going. That’s why you need someone to hold you accountable and it doesn’t matter if they’re working towards similar goals or not. The key is to find someone who wants to see you succeed, will encourage you, and kick you in the butt when you need it.
8. Use visible affirmations – Positive affirmations are a great way to reinforce your “why” and can serve as a great motivation tool. When I was growing up, my mother would place scripture on her mirrors that helped her stay focused on the task at hand. I like to use a vision board, but you can put affirmations on your smartphone or laptop background. Just make sure it’s in a place you’re going to see many times throughout the day.
9. Short burst of exercise – Sometimes when I spend a lot of time working on the same task, I can begin to feel sluggish and lose my motivation. Recently, I discovered that even light exercise can positively impact your mental state. So, whether it’s a brisk walk around the building, jumping jacks or even running in place, a short burst of exercise can get your blood pumping and your mind refocused to finish strong.
10. Take a break – If you’ve done all that you can, and you’re still not motivated you may just need a break. Take a day or a few hours away from working or thinking about your goals. Give your mind a chance to recharge and see if you don’t feel more energized when you get back to work.
Staying motivated may require some work, but having a plan is a key component to being successful. What are some of the things you do to maintain your motivation?
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