How to get and stay motivated so you can move forward:
Do you confuse real motivation with enthusiasm, will-power, and determination? You're not alone if you do. This recipe works for some, but most people tend to "run-out" of one or all of them before the cake is baked. The problem is not that they are weak or have no will power. The problem is that they rely on external energy sources that are finite and will eventually "run-out.", leaving them feeling exhausted and that spirals downward. Increasing motivation in life is an inside job.
Here’s how to improve your motivation starting right now:
Create a vibrant yet clear vision
When I ask my clients what they want to achieve, many of them start by telling me what they don’t want…they don’t want to be single; they don’t want to be broke, they don’t want to gain weight.
That is NOT telling me (or you) what you do want, and quite frankly, if you don’t know what you want, you can’t get it. Get into a taxi and tell the driver you don’t want to go to the airport and see how that works out for you! You won’t get too far!
How can you possibly achieve something if you don’t know what it is and how will you know when you get there if success is not clearly defined? You must know what you really, really, really want out of life.
How to boost motivation with a vision: First, imagine yourself already having success in reaching your goal. Take a few moments to let yourself experience what it means to be successful. Involve all five senses. What do you see? How do you feel? Do you hear applause (or anything else)? Are there any smells or tastes connected to your goal, literally or figuratively? When you are clear on what you want, you begin to be the person you need to be to get there. You will attract like-minded people, and you will see opportunities that you probably missed before because your focus was elsewhere.
Having a deep sense of purpose will increase your motivation.
Know why you want it. Knowing what you want is powerful but knowing why you want it is how you find the passion for making it real. When you understand why you want something, you have a clear purpose, and you will act with confidence and conviction. To uncover your deep-seated passion, ask yourself “why” (or who, what, when, where, how) 3-5 times.
For example, I want to buy a house.
Why? It’s a good investment/financial security.
Why (is that important)? I’ll feel happy/confident/relaxed…when I have it
Why (what will you do when…)? I can travel, retire, help others…
Why? (where will you go, what will you do, who will you help) infinite possible answers
Why? (is it necessary, how will you feel) That’s what I value in life and how I define success.
Uncovering the deeper purpose is what sparks the passion for keeping going when things get challenging. When you discover your reason behind your reason, you are uncovering gold!
To increase and stay motivated, start your day ready to win
Research proves that what you hear in the first 20 minutes of your day has a powerful impact on your whole day (Entrepreneur). Ever heard of the 5 a.m. club? Literally it means getting up at 5 a.m, but you can do this whatever time you get up. It merely is spending an hour getting yourself primed and pumped for the day. You can do these in any order too.
20 minutes in some type of exercise: It can be gentle stretching or pounding the pavement.\
20 minutes in either meditation or simply programing your thoughts to be focused and positive (for ex: reading affirmations) Read: A Beginners Guide to Meditation
20 minutes of reading and/or learning something new.
The most successful people tend to spend their early mornings gearing up for productive days. The more fruitful their mornings are, the more they get done all day long. You will be too! If 20/20/20 is too much for you to begin with, it ok. Start with 5/5/5 three days a week and work your way up, you’ll gradually get there, and I am of the belief that 5 minutes of something positive is always better than 0 minutes of something positive.
How you act is who you become. Doing one thing daily that is in line with your goal is how you become the person you want to be and achieve your goals.
Get an attitude adjustment
Attitude is everything. Make challenges fun! No matter how you look at it, success is hard work. What energizes some to persevere when tasks become grueling, or there are setbacks? They find ways to turn problems into games. They find ways to make something mundane exciting and something unpleasant fun. If you're starting a new exercise routine, think of ways you can make it fun. Listen to music, get a friend to do it with you; find something you enjoy doing.
Gratitude always helps too. Instead of telling yourself you "have to" get to the gym, be grateful you "get to" go. This works for everything and will shift your mindset from miserable to excited.
Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! It's all an inside job. Just look for ways of having fun, and you'll find them!
Read: Gratitude for Happiness
Getting and staying motivated is an ongoing process. Step out of your comfort zone.
Human beings are designed for challenge, not complacency. You are not meant to be comfortable (all the time). Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Do one thing daily scares you but is a step in a positive direction. Even the smallest step is a step and will get you closer to a goal than just thinking about big steps for weeks. If you need to break a goal into tiny tasks, so you don't get overwhelmed, do that. What can you do in the next 5-10 minutes? Keep doing that, and you'll be amazed at how much gets one, how good it feels, and how much it energizes you to do more.
Perfectionism is so overrated. To some, it might be a virtue, but I have found for most it is self-defeating. Perfectionism leads to procrastination; perfectionists are seldom satisfied and usually rob themselves of feeling joy with their accomplishments. Don't let this be you. It adds so little but takes away so much.
Surround yourself with winners:
Don't be the smartest or most ambitious person you know. Surround yourself with people who are successfully doing what you want to do. When you're looking for ideas and trying to move forward, draw on something bigger than yourself. Open yourself up to new ideas. Even if you don't use them, they may inspire your creative genius. Find a friend or mentor or a life coach who will help you come up with winning strategies and keep you honest and accountable. You have to do it yourself, but you don't have to do it alone.