You don’t need an overpriced life coach to keep you motivated, even in difficult times like these. The COVID – 19 pandemic is just another obstacle in your effort to bring out the best of you.
At the same time, just because something is very challenging, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It only means that you need to be a bit more resourceful and determined to get into your flow-state. To find the emotional pump that will not only get you started but will push you forward for as long as needed to achieve your goals.
What follows is an introduction to a set of techniques that you can use to motivate yourself in these challenging times.
The knowledge gained here can be applied whether you are trying to lose weight, start a business, or something else.
Here’s your roadmap to staying motivated
Remind yourself why you need to do that
This is about taking control of your thoughts and focusing on why you need to do that particular thing that is so important to you and for which you need to be very motivated.
By reminding yourself why you need to do that you stay on track of what matters and don’t allow procrastination to creep in and take over.
However, this tends to wear out after time. The fix is simple, get a visual reminder in front of you at all times. It can be a photo, a quote, or some object. Anything that will keep you pushing and doing the job that needs to be done.
Set a schedule and stick to it
Don’t be one of those people that are constantly waiting for inspiration or motivation to strike them. The main difference between high achievers and the rest of the people is that high achievers stick to their schedule no matter what.
Make an effort and stick to your schedule, even if it means losing sleep, missing out on the fun, a movie night, a hangout with your friends.
Once it turns into a habit you know you’ve done things right. What was once an uphill battle will now feel like the easiest thing in the world. Getting there is where the true challenge is.
Here are a few tips on how to turn your motivation into a habit:
- Create a pre-game routine
Some people like to make some coffee before they start doing something, others like to clean their desk, while yours can be something else. The trick is to do something small that will get you going in the right direction.
- Turn on music that gets you moving
Many people listen to music while working out or working in general. The right music can get you in the right mood which is a step closer toward starting.
- Start small
Even if there is a lot of work to be done. Split the workload into smaller chunks and start crunching them one by one.
There is a reason why small cookies are eaten super fast. Before you know it, you have consumed a dozen of them 🙂 Same thing with goals.
Of course, your goals need to be big, even audacious. By breaking them down in smaller bits, they become easily consumable (achievable) goals, regardless of how impossible they feel.
Get feedback from other people
This is about someone holding you accountable for your actions, as well as for having feedback. They say that feedback is the breakfast of champions, and that is something proven as truthful in practice.
All humans are social beings that have a sense of belonging and are in constant pursuit of approval and appreciation. Some might dispute that, but for a moment think about how you feel when someone compliments you or says nice things about your work.
Receiving positive feedback and being appreciated is known to elevate mood and overall satisfaction. Plus, it increases our ability to deal with stress. It is a win-win situation that can have a massive impact on keeping you motivated.
Find your itch
This is about deconstructing your anxiety, your fears, the things that keep you demotivated. Try to figure out why you feel like that, what makes you stop when you need to push yourself? Why did you feel that and is that truly justified?
Identify and understand the itch that keeps you away from your goals.
Once you do that, it will be much easier to deal with it when it starts creeping in your mind.
Be mindful of small problems
Very often it is the small problems that get you stuck and lead to endless frustration. Keeping yourself motivated is evenly important as avoiding traps that can put stop to it.
Sometimes, that small problem can be a slow computer, other times a vehicle breaks down, or something completely different.
The trick is to develop a mindset that will help you solve that situation in the shortest possible time. The sooner you deal with it, the better.
The more you wait for the problem to be solved, instead of being proactive, depletes your motivation and determination.
So, act on it, and don’t underestimate it, regardless of how small or trivial it seems.
Stop caring about things that you can’t change and don’t matter that much
Check your aggregated to-do list and start removing unimportant things. Many times we care about stuff that we can’t do much about it, but we care about them nonetheless.
That can deplete your motivation very fast, even without you realizing it. Not to mention the fact, that instead of being productive, your mind will often wander off to those topics.
It is the same thing as your itches and anxiety mentioned earlier.
Therefore, start by identifying them, and then moving on from them to the things that matter to you.
Know when to stop and recharge
No one is motivated 24/7 and that’s a fact. We all need downtime, time to recharge, and refresh.
For example, don’t do any work on Sundays or stop answering emails after 7 PM.
Stick to it as you stick to your work schedule.
Remember, both energy and motivation are finite resources. Treat them as such!
Start right away
Dive into it right away. Most of the time we know what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and how much time and resources it will take without making detailed plans.
Don’t wait for the ideal conditions because they may never come. Act as if you were a robot, get things rolling and make changes on the go, not from a static standpoint. As you remain focused, not occupied with other thoughts, the results will follow.
Celebrate every win
Every time you reach a certain milestone, even if it is a small achievement, celebrate it. Even better, rewards yourself with something. Sometimes a nice cold beer or pizza with your friends can elevate your mood and sense of achievement.
Celebrating small wins is like adding fuel to your motivation, the thing that fills up your tank, and gets you going further on your path.
Don’t wait for the long-term payoff. It will come when it will come. It is the small wins in the meantime that will take you over the top.
Self-motivation is a delicate subject. One that requires a lot of discipline and self-reflection. To put it simply, it is about knowing yourself and being honest about your potential, as well as you are about your shortcomings.