You want to make waves don’t you?
Become a CEO; build a super-successful startup; write a bestseller.
But do you ever have those moments? When you doubt whether you will achieve your goals? When you wonder if it’s worth it? All your hard work, all the sacrifices you are making?
You are in good company!
Every successful entrepreneur I have known have their moments of self-doubt.
But you know what the same people do really well?
They have ways to quickly get back in the game. They shake off their self-doubt and plunge right back into the fight. Because they know that the only thing that really stands between them and their goals are their limiting beliefs. And if they want to reach the stars, they can’t waste a single minute of their time.
What if you could do the same? What if you could quickly banish your moments of self-doubt and return to your quest with renewed motivation?
Here are 10 ways to supercharge your motivation in just 10 minutes…
1. Put Jobs on the job
Watching a Steve Jobs interview is every bit as energizing as a rock concert. It makes many of us want to put our own ‘dent in the universe’.
Who are the titans that inspire you? Mark Cuban? Jack Welch? Keep a few of their interview videos or podcasts in your phone. 10 minutes of listening to their words is all you need to get back in the game.
2. Get Physical
Our bodies have an astonishing influence on our mood. Doing a few pushups or a quick round of shadow boxing will give you a rush of adrenaline and set your heart racing.
And no, you don’t need training in boxing to throw a few punches! You just need to invoke your motivation to fight. Bring out the warrior in you and clash with your challenges head on.
3. Power Song
Do you have a song that can magically lift your mood? A ‘power song’ that you just have to shake your body to? Think ‘Rocky’ or ‘Superman’ soundtracks or anything else that gets you moving.
4. Borrow some Energy
Motivation is contagious. Just pick up the phone and call a friend or colleague who’s doing really well.
10 minutes of hearing about their success stories is all that it will take for you to hang up and get back to work!
If they can do it, why can’t you?
5. Write down your BHAGs
You might have SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound), but do you have BHAGs? (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals).
Your BHAGs should stretch the limits of your potential. They are long term goals that challenge you to think way outside your comfort zone. Write your BHAGS in large letters and place the sheet where you can see it multiple times during the day.
6. Get a Quick Win
When the odds look overwhelming, get a quick win. Do a quick task from your to-do list, perhaps a task that you had kept on the backburner.
How does this work? By giving you a feeling of progress. If you are feeling stuck, a small feeling of momentum is often all that you might need to recharge your motivational batteries.
7. Rewind and Flashback
Are you ignoring your past successes? Haven’t you cracked some really tough challenges in the past?
Think about your past successes and give yourself a part on the back. You can simply visualize them or you can write them down. It might be a great idea to keep a list of achievements and milestones in your computer that you can look at occasionally.
8. Make a Movie
Why are you doing all this? What are the rewards along your journey?
Take 10 minutes to close your eyes and visualize the rewards that lie ahead. Play a mental movie visualizing yourself in the future, reaping the rewards of your adventures. The more specific details your mental movie has, the more motivated you will feel.
9. Visit the Idea Factory
When you feel stuck, a great way to feel motivated is to churn out new ideas. These ideas can pertain to the current problem that you are facing, or they can be about your business strategy as a whole. Just keep writing down as many ideas as you can in 10 minutes.
The point of this exercise is not to arrive at a groundbreaking solution. Rather, it’s to energize you and make you remember the fact that there are a million possibilities out there. Just remember that you will figure out a way to achieve your goals, no matter what!
10. Use your X-Ray Vision
This is probably the least ‘flashy’ method but this works miracles for me.
Just take a look around you right now…do you see a successful business?
A pen, a table, a phone, a computer, a building. Each of those things is made by a company which at one point of time started really small! A company which is now running successfully and is growing.
In fact, wherever you look, you will see signs of success. Often by people who may be far less intelligent and started with far fewer resources than you have.
Ask yourself a simple question: If they are succeeding, why can’t you?
Keep Moving Forward
Most people will not believe in you and your dreams, and that’s ok. It’s also ok if you doubt yourself from time to time.
But, what is not ok, is if you don’t push ahead even during those moments of self-doubt. That’s what distinguishes the successful from the average…they keep moving forward no matter what.
Which of these methods will you use to get a quick burst of motivation? What other methods can you think of?
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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