The world is a busy place, and we try to get it all done. Often times we forget some basic fundamental items that, if focused on, allow us to achieve any goal through self leadership and motivation.
With the expectation to succeed, keeping these three simple things in mind will get you there:
1. Where am I going?
In the professional world I’ve seen the gamut of corporate executives succeed or fail based on the clearness of their vision. Not clear on your goal, well if you’re a hiker climbing Everest that could be the difference between life or death, summit success or falling off the side of the cliff. Even worse not clear on the destination, you’ll walk the wrong path, and not even know the right path may be within reach.
During your process you have to be very specific and clear on what you want to achieve. If you wish to write a book, how many pages is it? How many words per day or pages a day do you need to write? What’s your eventual goal? You need to have a path for your success. You need to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
A vision, turns into a tangible goal, which turns into set of tasks to become your desired outcome. Without the destination clearly in mind, you’ll wander, wishing for your personal GPS.
2. You don’t trip over the finish line
We start at these lofty goals and then what happens? We start to fizzle and lose our drive after a period of time. How do we maintain our momentum with building our goals, with the same passion and perseverance, everyday? You’ve got to have an outline for what you want to accomplish. The journey may be longer than you expected or it may be shorter. You may have different benchmarks in the road, but the key, the true key, is going to be that you set this up at the beginning and have a clear definition of where you’re going.
Most don’t identify individual components within the goal to set clear and measurable benchmarks. They want to be rich or they want to gain exposure in a professional environment, or they want to achieve a certain degree of success in an area.
You’ve got to set benchmarks along the way. If you wish to achieve success what’s the best way to do that? Is the best way to say, “I’m going to make a million dollars tomorrow”, or “I will publish my book in a week!”, nope, disappointment ensues. Instead the thought should be, “In order to make a million, tomorrow I’ll make 10, the next day 20.” or ” I’ll write 300 words today, everyday, and next week I’ll do 400 daily”. You’ve got to set benchmarks for yourself along the way. In a race to the finish, you don’t get to the end by accident.
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius
3. No participation trophies
Holding yourself accountable for your goals and plans is the final piece to making it happen. Some individuals find it easy to hold themselves responsible for the next step in their dream. Others use accountability partners to gain success in which they find an outsider can identify very quickly an area where you may need some assistance (or a hard shove). That accountability partner can help steer you in that area either incrementally, or assist with keeping you on trek on a daily basis.
Sharing your measurements publicly is also a great way to keep yourself accountable, motivated and on track. By actually putting your goal or your benchmarks out to the world, you’re letting everybody know that you’re serious about what you’re doing and that you’re going to move forward on your overall goals and achievements.
Don’t forget to celebrate your wins, no matter how small. Throw a party. Put a banner out there. Sponsor an ad when you hit a certain goal on your website. There’s a million things you can do to remind yourself that these small wins are the successes you earned, not by showing up, but working your tail off. Guess what, you’ll be driven by the momentum of other people cheering you on and joining your goal success party.
Push yourself through each task, remember that All Stars should be celebrated for their efforts above and beyond the norm. Keeping your eye on the prize, knowing your path and sticking to it, will keep you moving forward, motivation built from desire and willpower.
What things are you overlooking that is killing your motivation? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
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The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone
Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.
When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.
But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.
Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.
These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.
1. Include short breaks
My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.
2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking
Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.
3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule
A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!
These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!
This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!
2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery
When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.
3. Love what you do
This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.
These last few tips are Industry-related!
1. Make sure you have fun projects
Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.
2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year
Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.
3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry
View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.
These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!
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