Motivation: that burst of optimism and energy we feel after we’ve heard an inspiring speaker or read a book on achieving our goals. We find ourselves hopeful and excited as we pursue our dreams once again…yet that feeling of euphoria is often gone in the blink of an eye. Getting motivated isn’t always the problem, it’s how to STAY motivated!
Think back to the last time you felt that streak of motivation coursing through you. You were more organized, focused, and decided to do whatever was needed to achieve your goal. Nothing could stop you! But what happened? The fire quickly burned out. You started making excuses as to why you couldn’t accomplish your goal. You returned to your old habits. Your comfort zone. (Even if it isn’t all that comfortable!)
Soon you read another book or listen to another speaker and your motivation spikes and you repeat the scenario all over again. The fact is that it’s not hard to GET motivated, it’s STAYING motivated where most people fail. As humans we don’t like change or challenge, even if it means giving up on our dreams.
So how do you stay motivated? What can you do right here and now that will push you out of your comfort zone and into a place where you steadily reach your goals and dreams? How do you move forward even when challenges get in your way at every turn?
You need a strong goal with focus. Not just something like, “I want to lose weight. I really need to lose weight. I have to get rid of this weight!” Take a look at where you’re at now and where you want to be. Set a reasonable time frame for accomplishing the goal then set up mini-goals along the way. For instance, say your goal is to lose 50 pounds. You didn’t put the weight on over night, so don’t expect it to fall off within days or weeks. Give yourself a reasonable time frame of one year to lose it. Your mini-goal is one pound a week. One pound a week is definitely doable! How will you lose the weight? Moderate exercise three times a week? Cutting out on sugary and fatty foods? Make it something easy that you can stick with. You want to keep your motivation level consistent not a constant roller coaster!
Focus on the end results. Most worthy goals take time. Say you have your own business and you’re trying to increase your income. First you cut out some non-essentials that will help your budget and maybe you bring in a few new clients or contracts. Right now this may seem like mere pennies in a bucket, but over time these small steps add up. Energy works on inertia. It’s hard to get it moving, but once it does there’s often a snowball effect! If you focus on where you want to be, it’s easier to take steps daily that will help get you there. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."
Constant reminders. Out of sight equals out of mind. Don’t lose sight of your dreams! Write down your goals on a card and carry it with you. Make it a habit to read this several times a day—in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening. Many multi-millionaires have used this tip to stay focused and remind themselves of their goals. Write your goals on Post-its and stick them around the house. Send yourself a motivational voicemail and listen to it daily, or at least when you find your energy failing.
Tell others. By letting friends and family know that we’re pursuing our goals it makes it a bit more difficult to toss it aside when we lose our motivation. Pride often keeps us going. When someone asks you, “Hey, how’s your project going?” You don’t want to reply, “Oh, I lost motivation. I gave up. I couldn’t do it.” (Oh you may have a list of other excuses, but basically that’s what you’re saying.)
Staying motivated takes practice, but it’s a skill anyone can learn. The more changes you see in your life, however small at first, the more incentive you have to tackle more and more goals. You CAN change your life. It doesn’t matter where you currently are that matters, the future is up to you!
Until next time...