As I approach one of the biggest weeks of my life I wanted to share with you a question, I get asked all the time. The question is, how do I stay motivated and manage to crush it? Now this is not an easy question to answer in one blog post but I will do my best.
What you are about to read is a bit of a rant, but a positive one that we’ll inspire you as always. It will take you through the basics in the simplest form I know how. I’m no expert but I have learnt a thing or two along the way so maybe it can help you with your own journey.
Below are the seven steps to how I stay motivated.
Go to work each day and always believe that what you’re doing matters – your changing the world even if you think you’re not. Don’t worry about the naysayers and the people that think you’re weird. If your beliefs suck then get started now, and go and read some sort of personal development book.
Start to think more closely about what is stopping you from staying motivated and realise it might be your limiting beliefs. Are you finding yourself constantly saying that something can’t be done? If you are, then that’s okay, everything can be reprogrammed – no one is lost forever.
As you work on this, each day you find that things start to change. The change is slow but you realise that greatness doesn’t happen overnight. Late one night write down all the things you wanted to do but haven’t done.
Then, next to each one, write down the story about why you haven’t done it. The wisdom you get from this will be immense. This is because you can do whatever you want once you drop the story behind why you can’t do it.
2. Use quality inputs for energy
Decide today that you will no longer stand for low energy. Think about all the successful people each day that you see who are highly motivated. Are they low on energy sipping cans of Coke? You know deep down they are not.
Yes, you eat healthy food every day now and consume lots of water but that’s what gives you the energy to do more. You’re super motivated because you’re not smarter than the average person but you can outwork them.
When the end of the day comes you’re only just getting started and you feel like you can just keep going. If your stomach starts to rumble, you know that you just need some water and not a doughnut. As the zombies drink their cup of fear (coffee), you realise that you no longer have the urge.
At functions with your friends you are perfectly fine drinking water and focusing on good conversation rather than who can drink the most. People look at you weird with your glass of water but you realise that you are in the .01% of successful people and don’t care.
A common trait you share with the drunks is the need to urinate but you know that this is because you’re beautifully hydrated and your skin looks radiant, not because you are unhealthy like them. Be careful what goes in, otherwise what comes out will not be good and you will struggle to be motivated.
3. Social media can help if you let it
When you get home each night, you go on the internet and try and find inspiration. You realise that to inspire others you have to inspire yourself first. While you are waiting for the lift to make its way up, on the way to a meeting, you can’t resist looking at a few inspirational quotes.
Your motivation from reading great content starts to compound and pretty soon you reprogram your mind to believe anything is possible. You continually stand guard at the door of your mind and unfollow anyone who is not adding value or inspiring you.
After a few months, you are only left with a Facebook newsfeed that lifts you up and reminds you why you do what you do. Each day you consistently see people crushing it and you begin to believe that if they can, so can you.
As you post inspiring statuses and only get a few likes, at first, you think you are not having an impact. Then slowly, each day, people start saying how they love what you are trying to do.
You scratch your head and wonder why they say this because they never like any of the things you post until you realise that everyone reads everything, they just may not acknowledge it because they are afraid of what others might think. They are afraid to be criticised.
Before you became a highly motivated individual, you used to over think everything you did on social media until you understood that the more open you are, the braver you are, the more you inspire others. You now post without thinking and hope that what you’re doing is valuable, and if not, that’s fine too.
4. Think of your partner
You remember what it was like to be single and how lonely you felt and you vow never to let your partner down. You always try to be the best person you can for them. You realise that you can’t stay motivated and be by yourself, you have to share what you do with others.
When you see them each night, you remember back to what it was like the first time you saw them. When you are having a tough day with your next business venture you think of them and how they make you feel. They inspire you to be the best version of you and encourage you no matter what.
No matter how hard your life is, at least you have someone to share it with and that’s motivation right there. If you don’t have someone to share it with than remember that you will find him or her one-day – have faith.
5. Remember money doesn’t motivate you
Each day you see other people drive around in their luxury cars and remember what it was like when you were that person and didn’t understand what being rich actually meant. You remember the feeling of touching the soft leather on the drivers seat each morning and wondering why you needed a car to tell others who you are.
You remember the fast speeds you used to drive at in this car and why you used to do this. It wasn’t because you were in a hurry; it was because you were constantly going to places to try and find yourself and then in a hurry to find the next destination.
When you found your purpose, you no longer needed to drive fast and you stopped beeping your horn. You became content with who you’ve become. As offers of money are given to you to get involved in different businesses, you stop looking at how many zero’s there are and start thinking about whether the vision links with who you’ve become.
You think a lot about the problem these business ventures might be solving and whether you are going to be able to stay motivated. You look at your list of interests and realise that many of these offers don’t meet your new criteria. After listening to Tim Ferriss, you realise you need to start saying no a hell of a lot more if you are going to stay on track and stay motivated.
If someone wants to give you a lot of money to complete a task, you start asking who else is involved. You realise that you are happy to take less money for something if it means that you get to network with amazing people.
6. Always help someone
Motivation is accelerated when others continually encourage you to keep going. The only way others will support you is if you do something to help them or create value for them in some way. You can help anyone you want; it’s not hard and you can start today.
Listen to the greats who talk about how helping people is why they are successful. Go do what most people think is crazy and give up Thanksgiving, and go and feed the homeless. Your family will think you’re nuts, but you will find a different form of motivation that you haven’t had before.
After the holiday break, notice how you start to think about your business ventures in a different way. Suddenly you wonder if your product or service could help people who are much less fortunate than you.
7. Take a break
Pick a destination and take a break. You’ve worked damn hard so far on your dream and you need to reset. As motivated as you have now become you will burn out at some point – everyone does (trust me).
Learn about another culture while you’re away. See a different way of doing things. Get out of your comfort zone. Enjoy the sunshine and try not to think about your business activities. Grab your smartphone, hold the off button, and put it in your suitcase. What happens on Facebook can wait, this is your life we are talking about – don’t let it pass you by.
Make a commitment that when you get home, you are going to do one thing differently. Upon arrival back from your break, notice how you feel and reassess if you’re motivated. If done properly, you should be able to focus again on your goal without losing motivation.
At the end of the holiday, ask yourself was this fun? If the answer is yes, then you know what you have to do – find a way to add more value so you can pay for more holidays.
As the years roll on, your new strategy for staying motivated can be summed up in the following sentence. Stop doing stuff you don’t like, be happy with yourself, add value, and who cares what others have.
END RANT….Let’s chat on Facebook.
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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