Motivation is a tricky beast. What works for one person may not work for another. Sometimes I never feel motivated but nonetheless I somehow seem to keep moving forward. Sometimes, I quit never to return to the idea of finishing what I started.
Most people struggle with motivation in some sense. This post is intended to give you a few ideas that have worked for me to stay motivated and keep me going when I DON'T FEEL LIKE IT. I know everyone says this but truly, if I can figure it out, SO CAN YOU! I am by no means an expert but I get up every day and I try and I continue to move forward each day....a little bit closer to the dreams of my heart.
Before we get started on how to stay motivated I think it is important to preface the suggestions with the fact that you have to have a REAL desire to accomplish the goal you have set for yourself. So if you are struggling to stay motivated, maybe you should ask yourself if this is something that you ACTUALLY want in the first place.
I have started and stopped a lot of projects in my lifetime because, let's face it, things seem more exciting than they really are once you get into them and it is totally okay to change your mind about something. Life is short. Do not waste it chasing goals you are not truly into pursuing.
Now, onto the good stuff....
1) Determine how you are motivated.
There are two main types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation means you are driven from within. Extrinsic motivation means you are driven from some external motivation such as money or praise. For me, I tend to be motivated more effectively by external motivation. For example, I need external accountability like checking in with a coach or making a financial commitment.
Look back at goals you have accomplished in the past. What worked for you when you were successful? Were you naturally driven or was there something externally pushing you to move forward?
2) Set yourself up for success by properly motivating yourself.
Once you have determined what motivates you, it will be easier to structure your goal planning for success. If you know you are motivated externally and you want to run a marathon then get a workout buddy or join a running club. If you know someone is waiting on you will you be more likely to show up?
Do you have more energy in the morning? Get up and write those pages in your book or go for the cardio session when you know you will be more likely to go. Willpower is a limited resource and you have to work it like a muscle to grow it stronger. When you are tired your willpower gets tired too. Plan everything out so you do not have to make any decisions later in the day.
3) Play mind games with yourself.
Trick yourself into doing the things that you want to accomplish. Do you know if you tend to be more successful if you can do something in short bursts of time or break it down into smaller goals?
I am training for a fitness competition. I have been training for over a year. If you had told me a year ago that I would still be training for this event, I would have said you were form crazy town. I know myself and if I have to mentally wrap my head around doing something for an entire year, it is too overwhelming and I am not likely to finish (or start). However, I know I can do anything for short bursts of time. I would pick a show and if I was not ready, I would push it off to the next show. I pushed forward 8-12 weeks at a time.
4) Prepare ahead of time for success.
I know you have seen those annoying poeple on IG and FB that always seem to be killing their goals. They post pics of food prep, perfectly packed suitcases equipped with workout gear and food, and glamorously styled blog posts while on vacation. I mean come on, who are these people....They are planners, that's who they are and that is what helps contribute to their success. If you want something you have never had before you have to be willing to do things that you have never done before! That means NOT WINGING IT and PLANNING for your success.
If you have weight loss goals but fail to prep meals it will be so much harder to succeed. I will be the first one to tell you that when your meeting at works runs long and you are starving but failed to pack a healthy lunch, you will eat whatever is available and FAIL. Similarly if you want to blog about your vacation but you do not bring your camera or plan out your outfits for the blog, how will you get the shots you need for your killer blog post?
I know this all sounds old school and it has been said over and over but that is because IT WORKS! Try it.
Gotta go, there is much planning to be done...