How To Stay Motivated
So you’ve started doing something on your to-do list but you’re losing motivation. How do you keep going? Maybe you’re barely getting started. Maybe you’ve been in the trenches and you’re stuck. Here’s how to stay motivated.
Have a plan
One of the reasons I found that I lacked motivation was because I knew what I wanted but I didn’t have a lot point of reference to look at when I got stuck. Having a plan will help motivate your start and gives you a place to come back to if you’re lost. Think of it as an outline. You can come back to the blueprint anytime but know that you’re building something that will be bigger. It can change. A plan just gives you instructions and motivates your next step.
Choose your goals
How are you going to achieve your plan? It’s not going to happen over night. You’re going to need points of reference throughout the journey. These points are goals. Short term and long term goals. Goals by month, week, the day. How are you best productive? If you haven’t figured that out, it is okay. Now is your time to figure out the formula that works for you. One goal at a time.
Give yourself a reward
I’m pretty easy when it comes to rewards. All it takes is a sticker. Maybe it’s a glass of wine for you or a trip somewhere. You can have rewards for your short term goals and your long term goals. Pair them accordingly. If you need more rewards for short term goals, give yourself more rewards for short term goals. If you need your eye on the big prize and are more motivated by reaching the finish line, then by all means reward yourself at the end. Do both. Find what works for you.
Change what’s not working
Maybe you’re stuck because you’re not seeing the results you’ve been looking for. Change it up! The plan you made at the beginning is supposed to be flexible. It can change. In fact, maybe it needs to change in order for you to be able to get to the next step. It’s okay not to finish something (for now) and start something new. That’s not a distraction, that’s you figuring out your process. You are allowed to change what’s not working.
Visualize and Affirm
Remind yourself why you’re doing this. Visualize where you want to be. What is it that you want to achieve? What does success look like to you? Yes you, not anyone else. Every morning when you get up write an affirmation for the day. It can be related to your motivation or it can be as simple as being still and finding your breath. Whenever you start to get frustrated or sink deeper into the couch, say the affirmation to yourself out loud. Use it as a reminder to motivate you back into your purpose.
Find a support system
This doesn’t always have to be people. While surrounding yourself with like-minded people and supportive friends and family is great for motivation, you don’t have to have your entire network set up before you can be motivated. There are books, online classes, motivational speakers, all kinds of things that can help your system work. For me, it’s a combination of both. Just remember that your circle doesn’t have to be a circus, having one or two people in your tent is perfectly fine.
Pause and reflect
You might be feeling overwhelmed. You’re lacking motivation because you burned yourself out. It’s okay to take a break. To pause and reflect on all the work you’ve done so far. In fact, reflecting on your progress will give you the motivation to keep going. Taking a break doesn’t mean you’re being lazy. If you’ve worked hard on your goals, take a breather. Look back at your progress and pick yourself back up. Keep going. You got this.