Have you ever felt like giving up on your goal after months (or years) of pursuing it with no results? You’re not alone.
I once worked 14-hour days for 6 months to create an online course and prepare for its launch. When the big day to launch the course arrived, I was rewarded for my hard work with…nothing.Not one sale. The disappointment weighed so heavily on me that I considered quitting. After days drowning in dark feelings, I decided to do whatever it took to regain my motivation.
Here are the 7 steps to stay motivated even when you see no results:
1. Stop what you’re doing
If you insist on getting back to work when you are disappointed and unmotivated, you’re likely to make the same mistakes that prevented your success. Instead, take a day or even a week off to recharge and clear your mind. In my case, I drove to the coast and went for a long walk along the beach. The energy of the crashing waves took my mind away from what had happened.
2. Keep failure in perspective
Your efforts haven’t panned out. But is your goal a lost case? Contemplate whether the failure lies in the way you’re attempting to achieve your goal rather than in the goal itself. I realized I had made costly mistakes marketing my course, but this didn’t mean that I couldn’t succeed with this or future online training programs, or that my business was doomed.
“A failure is not a loss. It’s a gain. You learn. You change. You grow.” – Michael Barata
3. Take inventory of what you have accomplished
It’s easy to forget how far you have come. Take a moment to search through old emails, documents or journals. Did you know as much as you know now? Most likely, you’ll realize that you have grown personally and professionally over time. You have probably acquired new skills and gained knowledge that position you for future success. It’s time to give yourself a pat on the back! I searched for the first course I produced, and laughed at how rudimentary it was compared to my new programs. I had grown. I had improved. As a result, I felt my confidence soar.
4. Ask for feedback
Before you take further action, reach out to those who support you, especially your mentors. Ask them for candid feedback on what they think you could do better, and listen without judging or becoming offended. External feedback coupled with your own insights will help you pinpoint what isn’t working and will inspire you to find new ways to achieve what you desire. I was lucky to count on the members of my mastermind, who offered their ideas on what I could do better to launch my online program.
5. Create a detailed plan to change what isn’t working
When you lack results, you might feel that you have lost control of your destiny, which is a sure motivation killer. A detailed plan of action is essential to regain a feeling of control—and your motivation. I reworked my entire marketing plan, and devised more engaging ways to reach my audience. The clearer my plan became, the more empowered I felt to succeed.
List every action that isn’t yielding results, and ask yourself whether you can completely eliminate the task or change the way you are approaching it. For example, if you are in business on your own and social media isn’t working to get new clients, either switch your efforts to another lead generation tool or change your social media strategy.
6. Execute a quick-action item
Nothing feels better than accomplishing something that will help you achieve your goal. Find a quick task that is likely to yield positive results. Your sense of accomplishment will fuel your enthusiasm for what you do.My new marketing plan included contacting a list of possible joint-venture partners.
I reached out to most people on my list in a day, and the next day I was rewarded with my first few positive answers. I felt a renewed sense of hope in my own ability to succeed. What could you do today to build the positive momentum you need to stay motivated? Take immediate action.
“The path to success is to take massive determined action.” – Anthony Robbins
7. Celebrate small successes
No matter what little progress you make, congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished. You will feel empowered to take the next step in your plan, and if you continue celebrating your wins, you’ll create a self-perpetuating cycle of winning actions. I created an Excel log with my small successes, which I checked daily. As the success log expanded, so did my confidence and motivation.
Remain patient as you work toward your goal, and remember that undesirable results can become opportunities to grow and to find new, exciting ways to succeed.