Last weeks blog post opened up the topic of discussion of motivation.
Specifically what we can do when it is low.
This week I have written a list of some of my top strategies for managing motivation.
There is no doubt in my mind that motivation comes in waves.
Some days you will feel ready to push and others you may have that feeling of barely staying afloat and not getting anywhere fast.
Assuming that is pretty much inevitable it is always worth keeping in mind the bigger picture:
You may not SEE progress every day but as long as you keep working hard you are MAKING progress every day.
Keep it Fresh…
There is nothing that knocks motivation quite like the monotony of repeating the same thing and seemingly getting nowhere.
If you find yourself loosing interest in a task (perhaps one that is vital to complete but perhaps not the most enjoyable) ask yourself: is there any way I can add some variety to this to re-engage myself and spike interest levels to drive forwards.
Living a life that inspires you is a great way to keep yourself on track.
Fill your life with inspiring people and invest your time wisely in activities that can be a driving force towards your future.
Go for a walk, listen to music, enjoy nature, travel…
Take your immediate thoughts of the matter in hand and let yourself live and experience. Much the same as writing (from my experience) inspiration and mindset are key to getting where you need to be.
Stop Making Comparisons…
One of the questions I put to you in my last blog post was:
Do you feel as though you spend long periods with low motivation whilst looking around you to find others are super motivated?
Consider this, if we are all unique it is often nonsensical to make comparisons to those around you.
Be mindful of judging yourself by the standards of others.
We are all different. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Instead of seeing other peoples strengths and comparing them to your weaknesses why not reframe this to push you forwards by utilising the strengths of others to support you when you need.
It is highly unlikely that before starting any task there will be perfect conditions to get going, or indeed perfect conditions throughout.
Strength is built from starting regardless of the conditions (although a little common sense is needed here as you don’t want to start under impractical or conterintuiative conditions).
You may not feel motivated at the start, start anyway.
Do not be your own biggest excuse.
Motivation can be found along the way and it is highly likely that if you are results driven motivation will not set in until you start seeing progress. Progress won’t be seen unless you start so don’t feel you always need to be motivated at the beginning, just begin.
Fight the Fear of Failure…
Success is the summary of your failures.
Making mistakes and wrong turns is arguably inevitable when undertaking a new task.
Ask yourself this: What can you learn from your mistakes?
Instead of seeing them as failures, see them as opportunities to learn, to adapt, adjust, grow.
Ensuring that when you do get there you have done the best job possible.
When Life Gets In The Way…
We have all, undoubtedly, experienced this.
You may be on track for completion, with the end in sight all your hard work is finally coming to fruition, then; life happens.
Often this may come in the form of circumstances that are out of your control. Suddenly there is a spanner in the works and what seemed close now appears frustratingly out of reach.
As with most things you have a choice how to react to this, in fact you have many choices how to react.
From my perspective I would say that the most productive choice and the option that avoids demotivating yourself would be: let life happen.
You can come back to that thing that you were working on, deal with the matter in hand and cut yourself some slack.
Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself through your own high expectations. Expectations are great, they provide great driving force and focus, but sometimes we need to adjust these to avoid being our own downfall.
Life is always going to happen, you can always get there.
So take a step back when you need to and know that isn’t failure simply a strategy to push for success.
So far all the points I have discussed have been self focused and it would be remiss of me to not address the point of asking for help when you need it.
If you are struggling for motivation, struggling to stay on start or even struggling to know where to start; seek help.
Speak to someone who is where you want to be, listen and consider their advice.
Seek out professional help if needed, we don’t have to do things alone.
One thing that I have found works for me when I need help is to verbalise my goals & intentions to my friends to keep myself accountable.
This verbalisation typically guarantees that my friends will ask me how it is all going. This often then provides extra push to keep me on track.
Additionally you may also find that you are your friends may share similar goals and in this case you can mutually motivate each other and share in each others successes.
Remember you are certainly not the only person to struggle with motivation and often chatting things through helps to significantly lighten the load and reignite your fire.
Verbalise/ Write Down Your End Goal…
Following on from the above, it is also often helpful to write down your goals.
Committing to achieving them by having a visual end focus.
Place these goals somewhere that you can see everyday, be accountable to yourself and make sure you celebrate your own successes along the way.
Remember Your Why…
Finally and arguably the most important point to consider when it comes to motivation: what was your why?
Why did you choose to start, why did you want this & what; what was the desired outcome?
During periods where motivation is low I have found from personal experience that the ‘why’ often gets lost. Perhaps life gets in the way and we loose sight of why we started in the first place.
Here I would ask: if we loose sight of our ‘why’ was it a strong enough reason to start and more importantly does it provide enough motivation to continue.
If our ‘why’ isn’t strong enough we may find that we give ourselves every reason to not get it done rather than focusing on every reason to get it done.
So, find a strong enough why and you will make it happen.
Find a strong enough why and you will stop making excuses.
Find a strong enough why and you will pull yourself through varying stages of motivation to ensure that you get there.