We’ve all been there – you set out with great intentions but somewhere along the road you suddenly drop off. You just can’t seem to motivate yourself to go the extra mile.
If you’re sick of so many false starts, read on for 8 ways to keep your motivational flag flying all the way to the finish line.
Maintaining anything over a long period of time is tricky, and motivation is no exception. It’s a fickle beast that turns up just when you’re about to tuck yourself in for the night (just me?) but runs a mile when it’s crunch time. Even though ebbs and flows are only natural, there are some ways you can keep yourself in the flow for longer so you cross that finish line faster.
8 Ways To Motivate Yourself
1. Remember your why
Ask yourself why you’re doing it and why you’re making sacrifices. And make it compelling! “Because I really should” just isn’t gonna cut it here. If you don’t have a good enough reason to do something, you’ll think of a good enough reason not to.
Quit the bullshit and remember why it’s worth it.
2. Put it somewhere you can see it
Out of sight, out of mind, right? If you want something badly enough, you need to live and breathe it, and you can’t do that if you forget about it. You’re a busy person and, chances are, you’ve got a bajillion different things vying for your attention. Don’t let your goal get lost in the crowd – make sure it’s front and centre and in your face as often as possible.
Write it on sticky notes and plaster them all over your home, set reminders on your phone to go off at random times throughout the day, take a picture that represents it and set it as your phone and laptop wallpaper, ask someone to remind you…
For example, if you’re trying to kickstart an exercise routine, leave running shoes and workout gear by your bed so you don’t sleepwalk your way straight into the shower.
Basically, just leave little prompts all over the place.
3. Track your progress
In the day-to-day, the changes and achievements can be quite small, and it’s easy to feel like you’re still stuck in a rut, going nowhere. Using a tracker, on the other hand, will give you an accurate representation of how far you’ve already come. It helps you visualise your progress in a much more objective way.
Get yourself a chart or spreadsheet or notebook or whatever it is that floats your boat, and start seeing the progress you’re making.
4. Review your goals regularly
It’s all well and good tracking things, but if all you’re doing is ticking a box or scribbling a quick summary, you’re not really taking the time necessary to gain some in-depth insights. Pull yourself out of the rat race for a few minutes, remove your blinkers, and take a good look at what’s really going on around you. Make sure you’re still on track and still where you need to be, course-correcting if necessary, and then get the head back down and keep going.
If you’re not reviewin’, you won’t know how you’re doin’.
5. Look back
When you’re working towards a goal it can be easy to focus on how much further there is to go and to feel like you’ll never get there. In those situations it’s important to spend some time remembering exactly where you started. It’s why I’m such a huge fan of writing everything down.
I frequently pull out my journal when I feel like things aren’t moving fast enough for me. Re-reading entries from the previous year is usually all the perspective I need to give myself a good kick up the arse and keep going.
6. Celebrate some quick wins
If you’re not breaking your tasks down into baby steps, chances are you’re going to end up overwhelmed. Nobody likes to slog away at something with little to no reward, so set yourself some small goals along the way and celebrate as you pass each milestone.
Write them down as part of your tracking and/or review process so you can see, once again, how much you’ve achieved and how bloody awesome you are.
7. Make yourself accountable
The expectations of others can weigh heavily on you, whether you realise it or not. Use it to your advantage by sharing your plans with someone else. Either tell all and sundry on social media, or keep it to a few close confidants.
Telling someone what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it by is bound to light a fire under your ass. When you know you have to report to someone on a specific date, and the fear of looking a fool is burned into your very soul, you’ll be surprised how many stops you pull out to present a success story.
8. Surround yourself with inspiration
In this day and age of instant everything, there’s no lack of inspiration around you. Fire up Pinterest, flip through a magazine, pop on your favourite song…
You can’t always sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. Sometimes you have to go out, lay some traps, lure it in, and wrestle it to the ground. Even then, you won’t always be able to wrap it up and take it home with you. What matters is that you’re out there putting in the work and, more often than not, you’ll be rewarded for it.
If something’s starting to feel a little stale, switch it up so the message stays fresh.
And now that you’re armed with the 8 tips above, you have everything you need to motivate yourself all the way to success. The next time you set yourself a goal, get ready to smash it. You’re not here to f*ck around anymore. Forget the finish line – once you start, you’ll never stop!
What gets you all fired up?