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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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!
7 Ways Yoga Effectively Motivates You to Achieve Success
Yoga is an appointment with your own self. It is time to meet your true self and receive a return ticket to your true nature that is bliss and happiness. You will naturally feel happy while doing yoga. Many people don’t realize they are in a distressed state until it’s too late. The same thing happened with me when I failed to understand my life’s circumstances. I was struggling with a lack of motivation, depression, insomnia, and maintaining my personal relationships, which eventually started affecting my physical health.
Last year, I struggled with depression and general anxiety disorder. I was constantly chasing after money, a lucrative career, happiness, and success. I was afraid that if I told my colleagues about my mental health issues, they would criticize me and eventually it would hamper my progression and I would not be taken seriously.
Last winter, my responsibilities in life increased in a short period of time, which created a lot of anxiety. It began to disturb my mood at home as I was unable to relax and felt low. I hated my own egotistical self because I was an extremely competitive individual as well. I always felt that I did not have the career of my dreams and I was not where I aimed to be. It felt like I was failing because I was not able to attain any of the goals I set in my own life.
I decided to share my emotions and feelings with someone who could potentially make things easier for me. I ended up explaining my struggles and mental illness to my manager. His reaction was amazing because he thanked me for being honest, and he introduced me to yoga. I am happy that I made this decision because it felt better after sweating it out in the Yoga workshop.
Yoga helped me in focusing on what I truly had, instead of on what I didn’t have. I learned how to embrace my competitive side and to use it in a way that pushed me to become a happier person. Yoga taught me that instead of wasting most of my life chasing after success and competing with others, I had to let life run its natural course. Happiness and success will then come to us naturally.
Below I have listed some reasons as to why yoga works effectively to motivate yourself to achieve success:
1. It Solves Your Problem
When it comes to challenges and tackling problems, yoga works amazingly. When you get on a yoga mat and begin to practice, you are made to deal with everything that comes to you and asked to face it gracefully. In turn, this increases your focus and patience levels, so that you will be able to face the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges at every turn.
2. It Lowers Your Anxiety and Stress
Yoga doesn’t mean that you will heal instantly, but constant practice can help you destress. The simple breathing and moving exercises can help a lot in releasing your tension and anxiety.
Yoga helps in stretching your muscles by relaxing them as most of the stress and tension is stored there. The breathing exercises energize your body by increasing the blood flow, which eventually refreshes your body and mind. The daily practice of yoga makes you aware of the surroundings by making you control your emotions and stress.
“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.” – Norman Vincent Peale
3. Increase Your Focus
Yoga helps improve your focus through the breathing exercises you do during the yoga postures. It relaxes the body and mind so you can think clearly, and in time build up the ability to concentrate.
Yoga is focused on concentration, breathing, and the alignments. Additionally, yoga’s claimed to bring mental and physical relaxation by energizing the parasympathetic nervous system, and this is the reason why yogis sleep well at night. No wonder they have such a healthy and a stress-free lifestyle.
Real success comes when you use yourself to your full capability. It does not matter what you become, the only thing that matters is that you are living your life to your full potential.
If you want to be successful, then you must see everything just the way it is, without any distortion. Yoga helps you with just that. Through practicing yoga daily, you will start to see the results and live more joyfully.
5. It Boosts Your Health
Mental health affects your work and your physical health. Your physical health can drastically affect your work as it will make you work less and take more time off, which will lead to lined-up pending assignments.
Yoga helps your body with almost every physical problem. Yoga increases your blood flow, oxygen, and improves your circulatory system. All the postures of the Bikram yoga help to improve the flow of fresh and oxygenated blood to every part of the body and mind.
“Move your joints every day. You have to find your own tricks. Bury your mind deep in your heart, and watch the body move by itself.” – Sri Dharma Mittra
6. Gives Mindfulness and Makes You Present
Mindfulness teaches us to become more present at any given moment. It makes us more aware and conscious of our inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, and hence makes us strong enough to control our actions towards situations.
Practicing breathing in yoga teaches you to experience and live each moment to the fullest. Over time, yoga will help you live in a deep sense of fulfillment and inner peace, which will ultimately help you in making the right decision for yourself and your team.
7. Stay Aware and Positive
A yogi tends to have a balanced outlook on life. Yoga sessions of meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness will aim at making you conscious and aware of yourself. Additionally, it will open up new possibilities of understanding your true self.
Yoga also aims at making you a positive person, and the effects of yoga are not limited to relaxation after a workout but are exceptionally long-lasting. Yoga makes you attain the attitude of gratitude that helps you identify the brighter side of life.
To achieve success through yoga, you must adapt it into your day to day life because having good health is a basic necessity to live a happy and healthy life and no one but you can keep yourself healthy.
Have you tried yoga? If so, share with us how it’s positively impacted your life below!
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