Staying motivated is a combination of internal and external factors that stimulate a desire to be continually interested and committed to attain a goal.
No matter what your situation is, staying motivated and hungry for success is perhaps one of the biggest challenges ever. To me motivation is considered as a form of behaviour and the impulse to react towards challenging situations.
The winners are the ones who have relentless power so great, that they make sure they don’t miss a day of motivation. In the end you’ll realise that motivation is a sense of freedom created by making key decisions for a better tomorrow.
Below are the 6 keys to staying motivated:
1. What’s your why?
The purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do! Knowing your why is an important first step in creating a life you enjoy living. Quite often it is a discovery in finding out who you really are by gaining a much deeper insight into your talents, skills, passion and values.
Questions to help you discover your why:
- What makes you come alive? What is your passion? A passion so powerful that makes you touch and inspire others bringing you satisfaction and fulfilment.
- What are your strengths? This should be a reflex response; an innate ability that helps you adapt in any challenging situation. Skills are developed by hours and hours of beating on your craft.
- How do you measure life? All the success you have gained. Is it just accumulation? How do you bring value to life? do you use your success to help others or help change the world?
What then is the ultimate why? Is it to be the best human being? How do you want to be remembered to the future generation?
2. A vision
A vision helps us create what does not exist and seeing beyond the present reality. When we’re looking to define a vision, we conjure a bold statement that inspires us and drives us to want to get up every day to achieve it. Many successful organizations have been built on a vision or idea enabling them to incorporate strategies to achieve their goals.
Therefore having a vision is like a compass providing you with initiative in which direction to go. Your vision will therefore open doors of opportunities to a brighter future. If you really want a life that is better, happier you will intuitively make changes that are necessary for you to reach that life. Without clarity you will find yourself drifting aimlessly from task to task without an understanding of what bonds the individuals actions together and or the value created by the individual actions.
When you go through tough times your vision will help you overcome obstacles in life and will help you explain why you began in the first place. Therefore a vision is a powerful driving force giving you momentum to push away at resisting factors. Ask yourself where you see yourself in 5 years. How confidently would you be able to answer that question or how true to your statement will you be? Why then does it become difficult to answer this question?
The reason is because the lack of a well-defined vision and setting limits on ourselves. Anything is possible within a vision. When you construct your vision, why not vision big? Be creative and inventive in your vision. The sooner you take action the quicker you’ll be living your vision. Your vision maybe blurred at first but in time it becomes clearer as you work to make it come together.
3. Be positive
Our perceptions of reality, how we think about ourselves and the world around us, what we look for and what we take to be true are determined by our beliefs. What you think is what you become. Throughout life we have all faced setbacks and challenges having received advice from that close friend who often says “stay positive.” There are times where I’ve been upset that things aren’t working the way I want them to and it became hard to bear.
Therefore the first thing I ever did was to constantly work on self-development step by step enabling me to be more confident in acquiring my goals even during the rough times. Everything happens for a reason and this is one of the simplest ways to acknowledge a negative situation and to move forward from it. Of course it takes time to process thoughts before you can move on. Believe in yourself and be brave enough to ask yourself what is the one good thing about this situation and what opportunity does this situation provide.
This will enable you to face failures and to look for solutions thus stimulating change from within. Choose positive affirmations such as “I am going to handle whatever comes my way”, “I’m getting better every day”, and “I am going to get there no matter what”. Whilst everybody is wishing, hoping, waiting, you’re fighting for what you want. Remind yourself of the countless blessings because there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy; your family, friends, your faith, your work. This cycle of reminding yourself in times of hardship will help you see the world in a different way and keep you going.
4. The right people
Why do we need them or what do we search for when surrounding ourselves with the “right people?” Ultimately we look for guidance and help in achieving our goals. As humans we constantly give and receive energy so it is important to be free of negative energy. Spending time with family, friends and successful, like-minded people, revitalises you and recharges your batteries.
Every time you spend time with the right people, explore their mind-set by engaging in stimulating conversations; extract valuable information that you can take away. As I progressed in life I took on positive traits of my role models making me the strong person I am today. I admired my role models for their professionalism and work ethic gathering words of advice. Visualizing them as a template for my success, translating their words into action. So begin with asking the right questions making you feel more confident and motivated in going further than you could of have imagined.
Staying committed to the ones who support and encourage us to reach our goals is a special relationship key to your motivation that often breaks when we feel that we have not spent time with people who matter to us most. Now the nightmarish people: filter out the negative energy from people who cannot seem to accept your ambition. I simply stay away as far as I can from negative people because I am allergic to them. I don’t despise negative and miserable people; I see them as people who I do not want to be; in fact they push me to be a better person.
5. The plan
In reality we cannot foresee everything and sometimes we strain ourselves by trying to achieve perfection in planning for a desired result. You can’t plan for every possible turn of events, but you can be well prepared to handle the majority of them. Therefore one must remain flexible and work to adapt to unexpected situations. Eliminate the doubts in your mind because manifesting your vision is based on plan that takes time and patience.
Challenge yourself in applying a consistent and controlled approach to your goals even on a daily routine. This trains your mind in figuring out ways to make adjustments that will eventually pay off. If the plan does not work, don’t change the goal because it doesn’t mean that you are not worthy of it so alter the plan. A plan is useless without action, so develop the impetus to push yourself mentally and use all tools at hand to develop a strategy to break down both short term and long term goals into manageable tasks.
6. The promise
No one can do it but you, this is the reality now. Looking at yourself in the mirror and making it your personal responsibility to live to the best of your potential. You must have the urge to constantly believe that there is something out there better for you and you must work towards that dream. Don’t be too hard on yourself just because you have made bad decisions thus it is important to teach yourself to learn from mistakes and make the effort to grow.
Be in pursuit of a new meaning; that is the key to staying motivated! Thank you for reading my article!
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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