In order to truly become great and make our dreams into realities we have to cultivate superior levels of consistent motivation. This type of motivation guarantees success in whatever endeavor because it allows you to do what needs to be done regardless of whether you feel terrible or great.
The simple feat of knowing that you are that kind of person with that amount of self-discipline brings all the unbreakable confidence and satisfaction you can dream of. Imagine for a moment how amazing the world would be if every single person just activated their motivation?
Every single person who planned to start a new years resolution and had the motivation to complete it? Every single person that planned to exercise consistently and followed through? Every business, project, service and idea could become a reality if more individuals had the motivation to continue taking persistent action. How different would our society be?
“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than master of oneself.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
You can start using all of the following tips in your day-to-day routines or just choose one that inspired you the most:
I know, you were thinking I would start off with some crazy new concept that would change your life. The further you dive into the self-development field the more you keep coming back to the three fundamentals; sleep, nutrition and exercise. Optimize those three and you will find that every area of your life will dramatically improve.
Recommended action: 7-8 hours, go to sleep before 11:00PM and focus on a PM routine that keeps your sleeping habits consistent.
2. Morning ritual
Every single morning you have a choice. The choice is simple. Either you wake up reacting to the world or you wake up in creator mode and take important action towards your vision. How you start your mornings will create incredible amounts of momentum and fuel your motivation.
Recommended action: Have a minimum of 30 minutes to yourself without checking any type of electronic device. Aim for 1-3 hours of (GET STUFF DONE) time for world-class productivity every morning. Plan your #1 task aka (the frog) from the night before into this time period. Create value for your dreams instead of reacting to the world.
3. Gatorade showers
What does any type of sports team do after a huge win? They surprise their coach with a nice refreshing Gatorade shower to show their appreciation. If another person can do something so can you. In order to stay motivated you have to remember your wins and build on them.
Recommended action: Before you go to bed journal all of your micro/macro wins that you had throughout your day. Call this your success journal. Once a week celebrate all your wins by rereading them, rewarding yourself with a ‘Gatorade shower’ of your choice. (Do not miss a day as this momentum becomes compounded).
4. Take a small step
Feeling some type of way? Feeling demotivated? Just get started with it! Take the mini-habits approach and just do one push up, write one line. Just get started. When you are lacking motivation remember to just take some small level of action because research shows that our attitude follows our behaviors every time.
Recommended action: When motivation is not there just take any type of bare minimum action to ‘take off’ and you will see your attitude and motivation change.
5. Clarity and commitment
Without clarity and commitment your motivation will be low. Guaranteed no questions asked. Are you feeling demotivated? What do you need the extra motivation for? Do you really think that some type of inspirational video on loop is going to really do that for you? What type of action are you having trouble mustering up the strength to accomplish? Why do you need to be more motivated?
Recommended action: Answer those questions and get as clear as possible on what you’re having trouble being motivated to do. Journal on this and find your ‘why’. Perform some type of ritual for a macro commitment; such as writing down your goals and action steps on a paper and burning it. Every morning recommit to taking action in congruence with your best self.
Remembering that you will eventually die is such a motivating factor because it is the most powerful reminder that we only have so many moments in our life. It reminds you that every single ‘present’ moment is completely priceless. You will eventually run out of time and stop living. Why not make the most of your life starting right now?
Recommended action: Imagine your last moment on earth. Imagine the 100-year-old version of yourself crawling out of their deathbed in a hospital. Imagine this older version of yourself looking at you right now and becoming furious at the fact that you do not understand how crucial the present moment is because he hardly has any left. Channel this urgency and get to work.
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs
These six tips are powerful. I have laid out the framework to being motivated right now and creating a momentum to staying motivated over the long term. In order to stay motivated you need to really want something, think you can get it while curbing your impulses and setting a bunch of micro goals along the way.
If you were to die tomorrow, how would you want others to remember you? What exact words and phrases would you love to hear described about you?
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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