I used to think there was no great secret to being self-motivated.
Pain? No problem.
Sleep Deprivation? No problem.
Tightly balance friendships, relationships, work commitments? No problem.
As it turns out we often want much more than what we have today. And to get what we want, we need to meet the many challenges we seek or that life throws at us.
Often the challenges are plentiful and come with competing priorities and timeframes.
Recently and due to many things on my “really want” list with many things on my “challenges and competing priorities and timeframes” list, I needed to revisit what really ignited my own motivation.
In talking to some clients about what keeps them motivated, and through observing others who excel in cycles of continous progress and achievement, I spent some time considering how best to ignite motivation and keep it fuelled. Here is a list of things I concluded:
- Visualization of success – Articulate and visualize what success means to you. The more real it feels, the closer you will find yourself to realizing it.
- Clarity of goals to achieve your definition of success – if you don’t know what you want, you won’t get to where you would like to be. If it is not clear to you, it won’t be clear to others preventing others (and yourself) from helping you get there. Spend time determining what it is that defines your success and bring clarity to the goals that fit your vision of success.
- Define your plan and prioritize your steps to get there – once you know your goals, spend time developing your plan and identifying the best strategy to get there, break it into bite size steps that progress and propel you towards your goals.
- Regularly revisit and plan your time – break your goals down into chunks, then into monthly, weekly, daily tasks. What needs to be done? How much time do you need? Set deadlines that correspond with the work required to get there.
- Enjoy everything you do, make what you do fun and make it stimulating – If you recognize you are not effective late or night or at the 3.00pm afternoon point – add something that reenergizes you to break up your day eg choose meditation, a walk, listening to music, going to the gym, or talk to someone that interests you and indulge in what makes you passionate
- Be inspired by others – learn, read, hear what drives them and helps them be successful & emulate success
- Use visual references to help keep you focused – this may be pictures, graphs, quotations, a ‘to-do’ list with lots of ‘done’ ticks. Feel empowered by visually seeing the progress you have made
- Celebrate milestones – determine what milestones should receive a reward. Make sure that reward is pleasurable to you. Celebrate and enjoy progress and achievement along the way.
Taking time out to review what is required to achieve your goals is critical and probably the best investment in setting the environment and foundation to leverage your self-motivation from.
Most importantly when you are in the thick of doing the everyday, ensure you keep your head up long enough and your eyes on the bigger goal to avoid being bogged down in the detail of today.
As Henry Ford once said “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal”.
Author’s Note: I wrote this article as a way to reenergize and keep myself focused and motivated on my own goals. I did this by revisiting what was important to me and what works for me. What works for you may be entirely different. Would love to hear your strategies for igniting your personal passion and drive.