Motivation is what turns our ideas into action and keeps us moving toward our goals. However, achieving and maintaining a motivated state of mind isn’t always easy. So, what can you do about it?
Picture What’s Important to You
In this busy world, it’s easy to get
distracted and lose track of what’s important. Take a moment to sit down and
imagine what it is you want to achieve – then write it down. Research shows that when we actually put our
thoughts to paper, we make a stronger mental connection to it. Make a list of
reasons for why this picture is important to you, something you can go back to
when you feel your motivation slipping. There are no wrong answers here.
Set One Goal at a Time
Once you know what it is you want to
accomplish, figure out what steps are needed to accomplish it and pick one to
start. Focusing on too many things at once dilutes efforts and can be a major
motivation killer. Instead, focus on just one achievable goal at a time. Set up
a reward for yourself. Whether it’s a jelly bean after completing a page in a
difficult school textbook or treating yourself to a new article of clothing
when you hit a certain fitness marker, rewarding yourself for hitting goals releases dopamine and can actually make
completing tasks addicting!
Break Down Your Goals into Smaller
Goals can be complex and make you feel
overwhelmed – another enemy to staying motivated. To avoid this, break your
goals down even further. Turning a large task into a series of small steps can
make it seem more achievable. Using a checklist can not only simplify complicated
endeavors but checking off completed items (even the simplest ones) can give
you regular boosts of positivity that help keep you going.
When our environment gets messy so can our
motivation. Keeping things neat not only feels nice, but it can actually free
up mental distractions we don’t realize we have. According to a Princeton
University study, clutter creates mental stimulation that competes for our
attention even when we’re completely unaware of it. Staying organized can
release yourself from these hidden obstacles and allow you to focus more on
It’s true, life does come with a lot of
downers that can interfere with your motivation. So, it’s important to monitor
your thoughts. Squash the negativity and replace it with more positive ideas.
Things will inevitably get difficult, but don’t let your inner voice complain.
Steer yourself to what you’re getting out of it. Imagine what it is you’re working
for and how happy it will make you. We’re creatures of habit and continuously
redirecting mental complaints to a more positive state can build new tendencies to do
this automatically overtime.
We all have our strengths. Utilizing someone
else’s talents can lighten your burden and help
you de-stress. Finding someone with whom to share these ideas or plans can
lead to more encouragement and be a big motivational booster as well. The act
of letting someone into your goals can be uplifting and give you another reason
to see your goal completed. Bouncing ideas off of others can having growing
effects and lead to better solutions and progress.
Keep Your Eyes on The Prize
Keeping yourself motivated is not a constant
track, it’s full of ebbs and flows that at times may seem lost entirely.
Sometimes it’s important to go back to the first step and look over all the
reasons for why you want to achieve your goal. Life gets crazy, messy and
overwhelming – fighting for what we want can be an uphill battle. Knowing why
you want what you do can be the force that brings you to the top. As Pablo Picasso once said “Our
goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must
fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other
route to success.”