Here is an inspirational piece about staying motivated by Robert Kanaat. We all need this at one point or the other in our lives. Enjoy.
How badly do you want to achieve your goals? How much are you willing to sacrifice in the short term to gain in the long term? Are you motivated enough to keep pushing, even when times seem bleak and all hope might be lost?
Are you willing to give it all up just so that you can live a life on your own terms? Your friends? Your social life? Your car? Your house, even?
Okay, so maybe that sounds a little bit extreme to you. But, motivation is a serious subject. People that want to achieve their goals know that a large part of their chances for success boil down to their ability to get and stay motivated consistently.
When you lose your motivation, you lose the ability to achieve your goals.
Staying motivated is partly the secret to success. It’s not the whole formula, but a large part of it rests on the shoulders of motivation.
No matter what goals we set or how detailed our plans might be, if we can’t find the motivation to take massive and consistent action, success is largely fleeting. But, when we can stay motivated and push through, breaking the bad habits that tend to hold us back, literally, anything is possible.
I don’t write any of this as some cheer-leading rant. This isn’t a personal mantra. This is real, based upon hard facts. Find the best strategies for staying motivated, even through the toughest of times, and you’ll find the road to success.
Personally, I struggled with motivation. I’ve fought through major failures, setbacks, upsets, and strings of defeat, one after another. Through it all, staying motivated was hard. There were times when I thought I had completely lost the desire to move on.
But I stayed committed, even though it was hard and I wanted to throw in that proverbial towel and give up. Yet, my story isn’t unique. Research studies indicate that entrepreneurs will average 3.8 failures for every success.
However, for anyone trying to overcome failure, staying motivated can be the furthest thing from the mind. Yet, without that same motivation, we’re stuck in neutral, and even forced to live life in reverse, filled with regret, anxiety, fear, and animosity.
Luckily, I was able to employ methods to help me stay motivated, even though things seemed pretty bad, and you can too.
Below are some motivational strategies to help push you push through to achieving your goals.
Procrastination is the silent killer. This is the number one ailment to sap our motivation. If you want to stay motivated and achieve your dreams, you have to eliminate procrastination from your life. It’s not easy. But it’s necessary.
In a post in the not-so-distant past, I spoke about the top 5 ways to stop procrastinating. I discussed doing things like setting clearly defined goals, using time management techniques, and implementing the 15-minute rule, just to name a few.
In fact, the 15-minute rule is a great technique that you can use anytime you’re feeling a lack of motivation to do something or you’ve been putting it off for too long.
To implement this, simply set a timer for 15 minutes. Use your smartphone, smartwatch, or any other device at your disposal. Agree that you’ll do whatever task it is for those 15 minutes, at least. Then you can stop.
What’s the point of this? Momentum. After 15 minutes, you’ll likely find yourself continuing to follow through. The difficulty is simply getting started.
Cut out distractions
Staying motivated involves your ability to limit distractions. Television, Internet, cell phones, games, and excessive socializing count as distractions.
If you’re serious about your goals, then you have to get serious about just how you use the time that you do have. Create blocks of time where you decide to turn everything off. This includes shutting down the smartphone, home phone, Internet, and anything else that can interrupt you.
This also means you have to limit some of your social time. We can’t stay motivated if we’re constantly engaging in activities that don’t help to move us towards our goals.
Change your location
Sometimes, to stay motivated, we need to just change our location. We’re all creatures of habit, but picking up and going to a place where we can be more productive is helpful at times.
When J.K. Rowling was writing the first Harry Potter book, she would sneak away to coffee shops while her daughter napped. It took her 6 years to finish that first book, but she couldn’t do the bulk of the work at home. She needed a place to escape to where she could focus and concentrate.
Find a productive place you can go nearby. It can be a coffee shop, a restaurant, a public park, or any other place that will help foster your creativity, eliminate some distractions, and motivate you to get your work done.
Go for a short run
Sometimes, a short run can get the blood flowing and take us from a sedentary state to one that’s primed and ready to take action.
If running isn’t your thing, find some other short burst of exercise you can do for at least 15 minutes. The point? Get active. Get the blood flowing through your body.
Motion creates emotion, and powerful emotions can arise from strenuous activity, enough to help you get and stay motivated to follow through with whatever you need to do.
Meditation is the art of being present, and it has powerful and transformative properties that help to align your physical self with your spiritual self.
Often, we lead hectic lives, but meditation centers us, helping to remove the clutter in our minds, and renewing our sense of spirit and motivation.
Staying motivated is difficult work, but meditation helps to cleanse the mind, giving us a fresh perspective to approach our goals with gusto.
Dispel your fears
There are over 60,000 thoughts that run through our minds in a given day. We’re unaware of most of those thoughts as they take place in the subconscious mind.
The problem? The large portion of our thoughts are fear-based. What happens if so-and-so happens? What will I do if XYZ occurs? What if I lose my job? What if I can’t earn money?
We ask ourselves fear-based questions without even consciously being aware of it. For that reason, if we want to get and stay motivated, we have to dispel our fears.
Take out a sheet of paper and write down all of your fears. Then, write down why you’re afraid of those things. Finally, create an excuse as to why each of those reasons aren’t true. Reference past experiences where you’ve pulled through or accomplished something you didn’t think was possible at the time.
There’s real power in bringing subconscious fears into the conscious realm and dispelling them.
Visualize A Great Future
Once you have your goals, you can get and stay motivated by visualizing your future. What will life be like when you achieve your goals? Where will you live? What will you do for work? What will you enjoy in your free time? What places will you travel to?
Spend some time visualizing your future by writing out a detailed description of how life will be like when you achieve your long-term goals.
Revisit the reasons for your goals
Reasons why you want to achieve something can be a powerful motivator. But they can’t just be superficial reasons; they have to be deep and profound.
In life, we’ll always do more to achieve something that we wholeheartedly have profound reasons for. If you didn’t set reasons for why you wanted to achieve your goals, then now is the time to revisit those goals and establish deep-rooted reasons for wanting to see them through.
Goals lose their meaning when the reasons we want to achieve them are no longer important to us. If you want to get motivated and stay motivated, find deep-rooted reasons.
What are some examples of deep-rooted reasons? It’s certainly not money or fame – those are superficial reasons. Things like family, freedom, and security are deep-rooted reasons.
Look at your goals and write out a full page on the reasons you’re willing to do absolutely anything possible to achieve them. Yes, a full page each.
Manage your time effectively
One easy way to lose motivation is to be a poor manager of your time. Stay motivated by organizing your time and limiting the time-wasters.
We’re all guilty of this to one degree or another. No one wants to work all the time. But, when you can effectively manage your time, you’ll find yourself making far more progress.
Time is the great equalizer because we all have the exacta same amount of it. No one has more time than the other person. No matter where they’re from, what they do, or who they know.
The most popular time management system is the Eisenhower system, named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower but later popularized by Dr. Stephen R. Covey. The system breaks all of our activity down into four quadrants:
Contribute to others
Sometimes, to stay motivated we have to contribute to others. Often, we’re so entrenched in our minds and in our problems, that we forget about everything else going on in the world. We forget about all the problems and tragedies that befall many others.
By contributing, you gain perspective on your life and learn to appreciate the things you have rather than what you don’t. In turn, you get more motivated.
There are always people out there who are far worse off than ourselves. When you contribute, you also develop a deeper sense of self and connection with others and your community.
What are you grateful for? It’s easy to come up with things that we’re unhappy about in our lives, but what about the things that we’re happy for?
Motivation can come from some unlikely places, but it can also come from very likely ones. When you write out a gratitude list, you detail the things that you don’t take for granted in your life. This has a profound affect on your attitude, state-of-mind, well-being, and desire for motivation.
Some people who are successful and blessed with so much are still so unhappy, while others who have so little are completely happy. How is that so?
Happiness is a state-of-mind. We can all be happy if we look for the things that we’re grateful for. Thoughts are things and what the mind focuses on, the mind will get.
List out everything that you’re grateful for in your life. Are you grateful for your family? Maybe your health? Maybe your friends? Or maybe for the simple fact that you’re alive? Whatever it is, list it out.
Travel is a source of motivation for many. Most dream of traveling to far-off places and exotic destinations. If you love to travel as much as the next person, research some vacations that you could go on. Even if you can’t afford to go now, do the research and plan something a year or two years out from now.
The physical act of researching and planning a vacation helps to make a transformative shift in the mind. We go from goals that are intangible, to realizing just what our goal achievement can bring us.
Similar to the test drive and the open house, researching and planning a vacation helps to bring a more tangible element to the achievement of our goals.
Make a daily to-do list
Create a list of action items that you can do today, or right now even, that will help move you towards your goals. Getting in the habit of creating to-do lists is an effective way to stay motivated towards achieving your goals.
You can combine this with the effective time management skills to help you achieve your goals without losing motivation. When we can effectively manage our lives with lists and the goals that we’re aiming towards, it’s far harder to lose sight of what we’re after.
When we fail to create lists, it’s easier to get sidetracked.
Read an article about a successful person
Sometimes, reading about other successful people who’ve been through similar circumstances is a great way to avoid losing motivation. The information is out there right at your fingertips.
People like J.K. Rowling, who was so poor she was living on government assistance, or Oprah Winfrey who was similarly poor and abused both mentally and physically as a child, are inspirations to many others.
Henry Ford’s first two businesses went bankrupt, while Stephen King’s initial novel, Carrie was rejected by 30 separate publishers and even thrown into the trash one time before his wife recovered it.
Find a mentor
A great way to avoid losing motivation is to find a mentor. Mentors can help us in so many ways. And while there’s no one specific way to find a mentor, you should certainly get out there and locate one that can help push you and inspire you to achieve your dreams.
Whether it’s a successful business person that you meet through a friend, or someone in your family even, find someone who can help coach you along.
Keep in mind that success won’t be easy no matter what. It’s easy to lose motivation for anyone. But turning to a mentor can help to bring all that hard work you’re doing into perspective.