Are you starting a new business? Are you trying to getting more done at work or in your everyday life? Do you have new habits you’re trying to form, or bad habits you’d like to break? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, there’s a chance that you’re also looking for ways to get motivated.
Finding motivation can be a tough nut to crack—and sometimes motivational quotes just don’t cut it. Even with the best intentions, projects and initiatives can fall flat if you just don’t have the drive to put your ideas into action.
It’s a bit of a process and—like most things—it takes practice and patience, but you can get motivated again.
You have some big initiatives, but for some reason you are having a hard time getting in gear. Figuring out the source of why you’re feeling stuck might be the key to turning things around.
Are you bored? People often lose motivation when they aren’t being challenged. Maybe your job just doesn’t interest you as much as it used to, or maybe your interests have changed completely. Assessing your passions is a great place to start to get motivated.
It’s also possible that you’re taking up these projects for the wrong reasons. Examine your intentions. Just like any new endeavor, you want to be sure that you have the right incentive to follow through.
A great place to start is thinking about the benefits of getting things done. List all the positive outcomes of finding motivation to finish tasks. For example, if you finish your work early, your employer will recognize that you care.
Incentives are another great way to get motivated. Set up a system of rewards for when you accomplish a goal. Break up your goal into steps and give yourself a reward every time you accomplish something.
Positive motivation isn’t always enough to get you going. Remember that there are consequences that come with not meeting your goals and deadlines and use that to get motivated. When you are struggling to find motivation at work, for example, the consequence could be termination of your employment.
Although negative motivation can help you get out of your slump, don’t rely on it to keep you motivated. Continuously focusing on the bad will become overwhelming and may make you anxious, undermining your forward momentum.
Make a list of long-term and short-term goals. These can be anything you want to accomplish. Break them down into smaller tasks and consider how they all relate to the big picture.
It’s easier to get started if you have direction. When you wake up in the morning and know what you need to accomplish that day—and how it can pay off in the long run—chances are you’ll get up and do it.
Set deadlines for your goals. If you’re anything like me, you have to combat a tendency to procrastinate. I have so many balls in the air that I find it easy to jump to another pressing matter when I’m disinterested or bored, leaving my least favorite tasks for later. I combat this with deadlines.
If you give yourself an unlimited amount of time to do something, you probably won’t do it. If you commit to meeting a manageable number of goals a week you will find that getting motivated is less stressful, and you’ll be checking off the boxes on your to-do list in no time.
When you are setting your goals, make sure you prioritize. Start small, but start with something that is important. If you accomplish something that you really need to do versus something minor, you will have a greater sense of motivation.
Getting the most important things out of the way can also relieve stress. If you only have the small stuff left to do at the end, it’ll seem easier to finish the job.
Once you have set some goals, tell others about them. Your friends and loved ones can help keep you accountable for the deadlines you’ve set. It can also be helpful to know that you have support when facing your endeavors, and making them public will help you gain that support.
Remember: when you are setting goals and deadlines, be realistic. Don’t give yourself an overwhelming number of things to do because nothing undermines motivation like feeling overwhelmed. Avoid the Sisyphean trap of an enormous to-do list by taking stock of your time and resources, particularly when setting deadlines.
In keeping with the classical cliches, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Building a business or starting a project or making a change takes time and effort. Keep busy and push yourself, but recognize your limitations and get comfortable with the long haul.
When you accomplish a goal, you may feel like your work is done. Spoiler alter: it’s not.
Getting motivation is great, but keeping that motivation is even better. To avoid quickly losing steam while accomplishing your set tasks, remember to continuously set new goals as you finish old ones. I like to do this by assessing my big picture every night before bed. This way, I can plan what I need to accomplish the next day, and assess my overall progress.
Keeping my endgame in mind propels me forward through any slump I might be facing, and keeps my momentum topped off.
Everyone gets stuck sometimes. Even if you feel helpless in the face of a new endeavor, there are always ways to get motivated. Recognizing the positive and negative consequences of accomplishing your task, making and organizing goals with deadlines, and being realistic will help you take the plunge and get motivated.
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LAWYER & ONLINE ENTREPRENEUR
After graduating from law school and passing the bar, I struggled to find work, pay my bills, and make ends meet. That's when I decided to take control of my future and start working for myself. Now, several years and a handful of companies later, I'm sharing how I launched a successful business, and how you can do it too.