“Visualize your highest self and start showing up as her” – Unknown
I’ve had enough trial and error failures to know that it takes a lot of fine-tuning and self-awareness to set goals and see them through to the end.
It’s so easy to get psyched up and motivated about a goal in the beginning, but maintaining that motivation to see a goal through is the tough part. It means overcoming obstacles when things get hard and adjusting your plans when things change.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Come up with a powerful reason why
To stay on target with your goals, create a reason to push on. Come up with a case so strong that even when your situation changes, for better or worse, your goals are unaffected.
If what you’re working towards is truly important to you, if it’s something that you really want, start by explaining and justifying to yourself.
If you ever feel yourself losing the motivation, you can go back and reevaluate all the reasons why you started in the first place.
Small steps every step of the way
You can’t make your dreams come true in a day. If you aren’t ready to take small measurable steps and be patient, you aren’t prepared to achieve big goals. Those who succeed do so with time and persistent effort.
I question all the time whether or not I’ll succeed at my goals. I continuously ask myself if I truly have what it takes to make big things happen. Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that, I don’t know if I would give up in the face of adversity. What I do know is that until that day comes, I’m going to continue to take the small actions and get better day by day.
Change is inevitable, and what is going to help you stick to your goals is the ability to be flexible to change.
When changes arise, you have to adapt. Sometimes that means changing systems that you have in place.
I always find it funny that when you really want to make something happen, answers will start to appear magically. The more you want it, the more you will think outside the box to get it.
Some people, fall down and never get back up, they say “oh, I got burned, I’m never going to try that again.” They’re afraid of failure. Being uncertain is uncomfortable and stressful. Most of us will avoid putting ourselves in that kind of situation, it’s in our nature.
Then, eventually, you push past the fear and vulnerability, you look back on everything you’ve done, and you’re like wow, I never knew I could do that before.
Learn to say no
My struggle is learning when and how to say no, “Carly, do you want to go out for Margs” the answer is never not yes. Even when I know, it should be. I have a weakness for social outings and margaritas.
Every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. Yes to margs, means no to productivity.
Yes to hanging out with friends means taking a backseat to goals.
Yes, to partying all weekend means dropping the ball on something else.
Saying no isn’t always easy, but it becomes more comfortable when you start to think of your goals as meaningful. You’ll begin to realize that saying no to everyone else is really just saying yes to yourself more often.
Convince yourself that what your doing is important
In order to persist, you have to believe in yourself harder than you ever have before.
This is by far the hardest step towards staying motivated.
For some reason, it’s so much easier to convince ourselves that it’s more important to build someone else’s dream than it is to work towards our own.
If you think this isn’t true, remember that you are spending 40 hours a week working on someone else’s vision and virtual no time working on your own.
If you are can convince yourself that your goals are just as important as your 9-5. MORE important even, you will never need another reason to keep pursuing your purpose.
If you want the true secret to staying motivated, the real key is having the ability to be honest and upfront with yourself. Then using that awareness to focus on and pursue what you think is essential. Despite the self-doubt telling you that you can’t do it, despite what your friends might think about it, and despite it being something that goes against the grain or the odds.
You will find your motivation when you start living with the belief that you can have, do, and be whatever you set your mind to.