They Did What? 7 Secrets to Staying Motivated
Being motivated is an awesome feeling. You’re excited. Thrilled. You can’t wait to go out an conquer the world. You say yes and make plans. And you get things done. But you know what? Motivation is just a feeling, and feelings can change from moment to moment.
If you truly want to accomplish your goals, you’ve got to figure out how to maintain at least enough of that feeling over time to get yourself there.
Here are 7 secrets to staying motivated.
1. Channel the energy
When you first start a project, it’s natural to go all out. Everything is AWESOME, so you may inadvertently take on more than you can handle at first. (Or end up buying a bunch of advanced equipment, such as when you’re excited to learn something new like photography or a sport.) But as W. Clement Stone said, “Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” So make sure you’re channeling that initial motivation into specific action that will bring you closer to your goal.
2. See the future
In order to stay motivated and reach your goal, you’ve got to know what your goal is. See the future, and daydream about it in detail. Write about it, talk about it with like-minded people, paste up pictures of what you want to achieve or what life will be like once you do, etc. Then refer back to it regularly so you can keep your vision in focus and your motivation up. You want to hunger for it.
3. Celebrate small wins along the way
Don’t wait til you’re able to slap a giant “I DID IT!” label on yourself to celebrate success. A sure-fire way to stay motivated over the long haul is to celebrate many many small wins along the way. Want to be a New York Times-worthy writer? Celebrate writing your first blog post. Want to get out of credit card debt? Jump up and down when you pay off your first card. Every little bit of progress is worth getting fired up over.
4. Don’t get caught up in comparisons
Nothing kills motivation quite like comparing yourself to other people who’ve done exactly what you want to do — only seemingly better, faster, and easier. So for the love of all that’s good it the world, don’t do it. Seriously, when you find yourself in that downward spiral of comparisons, literally tell yourself STOP. Then do something else instead. Take a walk, or do something that makes you feel productive. Anything to break you out of the cycle. Remember, as Jordan Belfort said, “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”
5. Get objective input and help
Avoiding negative comparisonville isn’t the same as taking an objective look at where you are in the process, and getting help with what you could be doing better. Sometimes when you get stuck and aren’t sure where to go next, it takes an outsider to look at your situation objectively and point out the obvious. Sometimes this means you need to change, or overcome some issue that was holding you back. Getting moving again with specific steps and suggestions for progress can really recharge your motivation levels.
6. Inject yourself with shots of inspiration
Having just come back from Fincon, I can tell you that nothing gives a boost of motivation quite like a dose of thoughts and ideas from like-minded people working toward similar goals. Sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed to re-ignite the flames when you’re feeling unmotivated.
7. Trust that the motivation will come
We all get tired and discouraged, but the biggest secret is that you don’t have to be pumped 100% of the time to reach your goals. Sometimes when you want to get something done you’ve got to do it anyway — even when you don’t feel like it. Pablo Picasso had it right when he said that “Inspiration exists, but it must find you working.” Nothing motivates quite like making progress. So go out and get it done.