Do you struggle with your levels of motivation? Oftentimes, we have to wake up early to work on our side business, or stay up late after a tiring day to do some extra work. It’s exhausting and can wear on you after a while. So how can we stay motivated in these situations?
In this article, I’d like to share the framework you can use to build unwavering motivation and achieve your long-term goals. This framework can be broken down into two main components. The first component is what I call the foundation. It’s the structure that you need for lasting motivation.
The second component is divided into several ad hoc tools that go on top of your foundation. They are short-term tactics that will give you a boost of motivation during tough times.
The Foundation for Your Motivation
The foundation of your motivation can be further divided into two components: your vision and your daily habits.
Your vision is the deeper meaning behind what you’re doing. Your vision is bigger than you and embodies everything you do with a sense of purpose. Have you noticed that, when you hate your job, every single task can become a nightmare? On the other hand, when what you do is part of a bigger vision you’re excited about, the toughest task becomes bearable or even enjoyable. That’s because it’s moving you closer to your ultimate vision.
Your daily habits
To create lasting motivation in your life, you need to implement daily habits supporting your vision.
- Daily habits are harder to skip: when you commit to a daily habit, you remove all excuses. With a habit you perform a few times a week, you can always come up with excuses, and the next thing you know, your new habit is gone.
- Daily habits help you build momentum: as you learn to stay consistent with your daily habits, you’ll build more momentum, and your motivation will remain high.
- Daily habits help you build self-discipline: A daily habit is a commitment that you make to yourself every day. Deciding to do something every day contributes to building your self-discipline.
“The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviors, so choose friends who have healthy habits.” – Dan Buettner
Ad Hoc Tools to Boost Your Motivation
Unfortunately, no matter how much you love what you do, there will be many times when you won’t feel motivated to work on your venture. In these situations, you want to use ad hoc tools to give you an extra boost of motivation. This will help you push through exhaustion and lack of inspiration.
Below are the 4 emotional states I personally rely on to motivate me during tough times:
A sincere desire to contribute to the world and make a difference in people’s lives will keep you pumped up as you work toward your goal. When you feel tired or demotivated, make a conscious decision to reconnect with your “why.” Doing this will give you an extra surge of motivation.
Desire is different from love. It’s not about contributing to other people. It’s about designing the life you want for yourself. Having a goal that excites you will bolster your motivation significantly. You’ll feel connected to your goal, to the point that reminding yourself of what you’ll gain from working on it should keep you going.
For instance, my goal is to create an online business that I’m passionate about. Here are some benefits I can think of:
- Having the freedom to travel the world while working on my business
- Having the freedom to take vacations whenever I want
- Being able to spend time doing what I love
- Having the potential to earn more money by scaling up my business
- Being in a situation where I must grow consistently and become a better person
Nobody wants to suffer, and when used intelligently, pain can be an effective tool to motivate you. When I was still an employee, after a rough workday, I would often go home exhausted and wanting to rest. I handled it by focusing on the pain I’d endure if I didn’t work on my business and create the life I want. I asked myself the following questions:
- Do I really want to work a job I hate for the rest of my life? Do I want to have a boss telling me what to do when I already know what I want to do with my life?
- When I reach my deathbed, will I regret not having done what I know I should have? How much pain will I experience when I realize I didn’t have the courage to follow my dreams?
“We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents, and interests.” – Sheryl Sandberg
Ego can also be a powerful motivator. Your desire to be successful, feel loved, or prove those who didn’t believe in you wrong, can be used to your advantage. You might, for instance, feel a surge of motivation when you think of how proud your parents will be. Perhaps, the thought of showing someone who doubts you what you’re really made of might get you going.
With that said, bear in mind if you feel a constant need to rely on your ego, you might want to spend some time working on yourself to figure out why you’re trying so hard to get others to validate you.
If you’re still plagued by the urge to procrastinate, try giving yourself permission to work for five minutes and stop if you’re still not in the mood. It removes the pressure of having to work for a long period of time and minimizes the fears that come with perfectionism.
A powerful “why”, mixed with consistent daily habits and the proper use of love, desire, pain and ego, can work wonders. This combination will allow you to remain motivated over time and achieve your most exciting goals.
How do you motivate yourself? Please let us know by commenting below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back
Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.
Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.
Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:
1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side
Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.
2. Do something that you love
When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all?
Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.
3. Don’t overcomplicate it
Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.
4. Get up and get moving
This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.
5. Reset your focus
It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do.
One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.
6. Listen to your favorite music
Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.
7. Expand your knowledge
“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.
If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.
When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.
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