How to Get and Stay Motivated
How to get and stay motivated so you can get things done.
The most outstanding characteristic of successful people is the ability to set goals and take action to achieve them. Everyone can do both. Where many fall short is not in setting goals but taking the disciplined and sustained action needed for success.
Why? Many people confuse true motivation with enthusiasm, will-power, and determination. While this combination may work well for some, others seem to “run-out of gas” and don’t go the distance. They repeatedly come up short. It’s not their fault, it’s like swimming upstream. Enthusiasm, will-power, and determination are finite and will eventually “run-out”, leaving one feeling exhausted and often defeated. What’s worse, every perceived failure makes it even harder to start-up again.
Here are some simple steps to get and stay motivated:
Try getting into a taxicab and telling the driver you’re not sure where you want to go, although you’re pretty sure where you don’t want to go. You won’t get too far!
You must know what you really, really, really want out of life. How can you possibly achieve something if you don’t know what it is and how will you know when you get there if success is not clearly defined?
- A simple strategy to create a vision: First, think of a goal and imagine you already have it. Take a few moments to let yourself experience what it means to be there. Try to involve all 5 senses. What does it look like? How does it feel? What sounds will you hear? Are there any smells or tastes specific to reaching your goal, literally or figuratively? When you have a crystal-clear vision of what you want, you can begin to lean into that goal as if it has already been achieved and become the person you need to be to reach success.
Know why you want it. Knowing what you want is powerful but knowing why you want it is how you find the passion to make it real. When you know why you want something, you have a clear purpose and you will act with confidence and conviction. Using the modal for Root Cause Analysis you can uncover your true passion. Ask yourself “why” 3-5 times and you will uncover the passion to keep you motivated:
For example, I want to lose weight and get in shape.
To feel better and be healthier.
Why (do you want to feel healthier)?
I’ll have more energy.
Why (do you want more energy)?
I’ll be more productive at work and do more with my kids.
I want to get promoted at work and be a better parent.
That’s what I value in life and how I define success.
Uncovering the deeper purpose is what sparks the passion to keep going when things get challenging.
When you uncover your reason behind your reason, you are uncovering gold!
Passion is a feeling, not an object.
We all have passions but it’s important to know the difference between what you can do and what you feel emotionally attracted to. You may be passionate about music but if you are not particularly gifted, it is unrealistic to set goals around being a professional musician. However, if you are naturally talented with planning and organizing, a great career goal might be an event coordinator at a venue that hosts concerts or musicals.
Leaning into your natural skills and strengths will boost confidence and give you energy to press-on through inevitable set-backs.
Science proves that what you hear in the first 20 minutes of your day has a powerful impact on your whole day (Entrepreneur). The most successful people tend to spend their early mornings pumping themselves up. They program themselves to think positive by (example) reading affirmations, exercising, being productive around the house, writing in a journal or taking time to learn. The more productive they are when they start their day, the more productive they are throughout the day. You will be too!
How you act is who you become. Doing one thing daily that is in line with your goal is how you become the person you want to be and achieve your goals.
Attitude is everything. Make challenges fun! No matter how you look at it, success is hard work. What energizes some to persevere when tasks become grueling or there are setbacks? They find ways to turn problems into games. They find ways to make something mundane interesting and something unpleasant fun. If you’re just starting a new exercise routine, think of ways you can make it fun. Listen to music, get a friend to do it with you, find something you enjoy doing. Don’t try and go from 0 to 60 the first day, go from 0 to 5 then 10 then 15…. congratulating yourself for each milestone and victory along the way.
Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! It’s all an inside job. Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Do one thing daily that is out of your comfort zone. Even the smallest step is a step and will get you closer to a goal than just thinking about big steps for weeks, months, or years without action. Focusing on everything you need to do to reach the end goal can be overwhelming and leads to greater procrastination. Give yourself credit for completing small tasks, as feeling successful will create more energy and motivation to do more things that lead to success.
Don’t be a perfectionist. To some, perfectionism seems virtuous, but it can be self-defeating in so many ways. Perfectionists are seldom satisfied and usually rob themselves of feeling joy with their accomplishments. Don’t let this be you.
Never be the smartest or most ambitious person you know. People who are optimistic and positive thinkers are not only the most pleasant to be around, they are typically more creative, inspiring, and successful. When you’re looking for ideas and influences to keep you moving forward, you must draw on something bigger than yourself. Open yourself up to new ideas through other people who have what you want to achieve. Even if you don’t use their ideas, they may inspire your creative genius. Have a friend or mentor or a life coach who will help you come up with winning strategies and keep you honest and accountable. You must do it yourself, but you don’t have to do it alone.
These are just a handful of ways you can take control of your inner voice and get the motivation juices flowing. There are countless others, the key is finding what works for you. Wanting to achieve a goal is fruitless if you’re not willing to make a change that includes action.