Do you ever wake up in the morning, and the last thing you want to do is get out of bed? How about the mornings when you wake up, hop out of bed ready to take on the world? What’s the difference between those two scenarios? Motivation. Motivation is what compels us to set goals, and more importantly – drives us towards them. Are you satisfied with your motivation level? If not, here are some suggestions to help you tap into the power of your motivation.
Know What You Want
What do you want out of life? Why are you here? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, it’s very hard to even find a reason to get motivated. It may seem scary at first, but it is important to have a clear vision of exactly what you desire. You need to be clear, determined, and strong in your purpose or you won’t be able to build up enough motivation to get through the obstacles you are sure to face along the way.
Know Why You Want It
One of the questions I always used to hate was, “What is your why?” It got to the point that it was asked at every conference I went to and got to be so overused it ended up on a buzzword bingo game card at one point. However, over the years I’ve learned that this step is just as important as knowing what you want. You need to be able to answer these tough questions: Why do you want to reach specific goals? What will it mean to your life? Think about all the people in your life that you don’t want to let down. These are the “whys,” and they are essential.
Set Goals That Excite You
Big goals are important, and they are what ultimately get you to where you want to be. They are exciting, and look great on the five-year plan. Those big goals can be a bit overwhelming in themselves, so it is also very important to break them down into smaller goals that you accomplish over time. For example, let’s say Bob is motivated to get out of debt, but he has a low paying job and his debts are equivalent to a few years of his take home pay. If he breaks the big goal into mini sized goals, he could focus on paying off pieces of his debt one piece at a time. Remember the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The same goes for big goals.
Track and Measure Your Results
Tracking and measuring your progress is key to motivation. When you can actually see your efforts paying off, your motivation will naturally rise. If you don’t track and measure, how else will you know if you are making progress? One of the benefits of setting the mini sized goals is they are easier to track and measure.
While you are tracking your progress, make sure you reward yourself as well. Use those mini sized goals for small rewards, and then when you complete the big goals go all out. Maybe one of your goals is to develop healthier habits. As you meet the mini sized goals, you may want to treat yourself to a nice massage. When you make the big goal, maybe take a trip to a favorite destination to celebrate the healthier version of yourself. Rewarding yourself along the way will help you stay motivated. You are more likely to keep plugging away when you can see that reward getting closer and closer – especially the big one at the end.
It’s very important to stay connected with friends and family. Don’t get so focused that you disappear from your social circle. Building accountability through your social circle is also great way to stay motivated. When you have a big goal you want to achieve, let the people in your life know. Besides them potentially helping you along the way, it will also make you more accountable. It also helps to find one person you can count on to be your accountability buddy. Check in with them often.
Pretend When Necessary
Not feeling motivated or energetic today? Try pretending. Make a game out of it. Play some of your favorite motivational music. Grab some good nutrition. Move around in any way that makes you feel more energetic – work out, run, dance, whatever you enjoy. Tell yourself in the mirror that you’ve got this, and repeat it until you believe it. A few minutes of pretending just might get you back on track.
Just Do It
Sometimes we get into that mode that there is so much to do, we don’t do anything. We just sit there. Next time that happens, pick one thing and just do it. Find the thing that you can do quickly and easily and see the results. Once you accomplish that first item, sort through the rest and do them one at a time. Just knowing you’ve accomplished something already should give you the motivation to keep going.
Find Your Inspiration
People get inspired by different things. If you want to stay motivated, then you need to figure out what inspires you. Maybe it’s your family, or it’s taking time to listen to the music that moves your soul. Perhaps it’s a view from your house or a walk in nature. It could be listening to a motivational speaker. Find out what inspires you and schedule some time to immerse yourself in it each day.
THREE ACTION STEPS that can help you keep going
- Think about all of your goals and desires. Make a list and include why each one is important to you. Make this a living document that you can change as you go. If it is easier to get started, then just focus on one or two primary goals and add more later.
- Keep thinking about the goals you listed in step one. Now, think about how you can reward yourself for hitting milestones along the way. When is a good time for a reward? What is a good reward? Consider making those rewards visible – make a vision board, or post them on the mirror or refrigerator – anywhere they stay fresh on your mind.
- Find two or three things that truly inspire you. Maybe it’s a TedTalk on YouTube. It might be a music playlist you can put on whenever you need it. Regardless of what it is, find what inspires you, and immerse yourself in it at least once a day.
The most important thing in all of this is to keep going – don’t quit on yourself! You are here for a purpose. Your friends and family need you. Your co-workers need you. The world needs you. You Matter.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
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