I just find motivation so fascinating. I think if there is a juicy enough reward at the end, most people can at least drum up some motivation. But can they sustain it? Motivation is not sustainable for most people at that initial level, but you can work on it, re-creating it on an ongoing basis. But how do you do that? It’s really about reminding yourself consistently of your final goal. And of being driven enough to work to achieve it. For something like running a marathon, this is a very clear goal that requires consistent effort. For something like finding a new job that pays better and utilizes your skillset, that may be a little different.
While it also may require consistent effort, it will ebb and flow a bit more. Perhaps one week you’ll find a few good options and get interviews set up, and another week there won’t be any options and you’ll feel discouraged. So, motivation may also be affected by circumstances. Or for example, if you are trying to lose weight and doing quite well, but then you have a bad day or two and experience a setback. For some people, this will completely discourage them and they may give up. For others they won’t lose sight of the final goal (and they won’t want to let go of the progress they’ve already made) and they will get motivated and get right back on track.
Staying on Track
So how can you keep yourself motivated? Here’s some tips to help you stay on track:
- Schedule it – make it a habit/routine. If you don’t make whatever you are trying to change in your life a regular part of your life, you won’t change. So, if you are trying to start an online business, but don’t schedule time regularly to work on it, it won’t happen. You have to schedule it, and more importantly, it has to become part of your regular routine to stay motivated and engaged.
- Embrace the discomfort – it’s temporary.While I’m not telling you that you will love the new changes. You have to at least try. That’s the only way to work towards your goal. They may or may not be temporary depending on what your goal is, but change can be challenging regardless, so embrace the change and move forward. If you are training for a race, lace up your shoes and get on with it.
- Remember the WHY – keep your eye on the prize.When people lose their motivation, it is often because they lose sight of the end goal. They get lost in the weeds so to speak. When it comes to the “why”, I like to recommend that people have a vision board, or a note they write to themselves at the start when they are really motivated to remind them why they are doing this. When you are discouraged, tired, overwhelmed, and even scared of this huge goal, you need to bring yourself back to the WHY. That is what will drive you forward. Every. Single. Time. Keep your eye on the prize.
- Have Faith – know that you CAN achieve your goals and believe it! This is key. If you don’t believe you can do it – you’re right. If you do believe you can do it, you’re also right. What do you choose to believe? This might mean regular pep talks with yourself, motivating music, encouraging sticky notes around your house or others cheering you on. But it also means that deep down you want it badly enough and you KNOW that you can achieve it. Work on keeping the faith and you can take it all the way. Because others will waiver, lose the faith in you, or make you question your own faith in yourself. You are the only one who HAS to keep the faith and believe you can achieve your goal.
Stay on Track Even When You’re Off Track
For me, weight loss is always something I am working on and motivating myself through. I work to plan my meals, put exercise on my calendar and do it, set goals to work towards (often just a goal for that day rather than big intimidating goals). I know that getting myself to do it is difficult, but I always feel better after a great day of exercise and staying on track with my eating. When I am able to stay motivated and keep the momentum, I feel incredible and unstoppable. When I lose that motivation, I still set goals – and even if I miss them, I hold myself accountable but I don’t get upset – tomorrow is a new day. I track everything. Then when I am able to get myself back on track, I celebrate.
I remember that life ebbs and flows, just as motivation ebbs and flows. Just don’t stop. Don’t give up. Even when you are way off track, don’t throw in the towel. Know and trust that you will get back on track, and don’t beat yourself up for it.
Motivation is really about moving through the desire and the belief that change is possible, and that desire for change and belief that you can have it moves you forward. You feel compelled to take steps in the direction of improving your life. But the end goal is only achieved by staying committed. By holding onto the vision, moving through the pain, and staying strong in your belief in yourself and your ability to get there. You can do it! Go for it!
You may also enjoy – The 5 Essential Elements of Motivation.
A book I can recommend is Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed