Have you ever felt totally filled with enthusiasm, fired up for achieving something new?
Chances are, you felt that way at the start of a big project. Perhaps you were determined that you’d finally lose weight, or that this year, you’d actually start that small business you’d been dreaming about.
Motivation can give you a ton of energy when you’re embarking on something new. The problem is, motivation doesn’t always last. After a few weeks of sticking to your diet, or slogging away every evening at your business, it’s easy to start feeling discouraged.
Don’t Give Up
You’ve already achieved a lot – even if you can’t see that yet. Try asking yourself these three questions. If possible, write down your answers – it’s much more powerful than just thinking about them.
#1: How Far Have You Come?
Look back to the start of your project. What have you already achieved? Maybe:
- Losing weight: You’ve lost 10lbs and established some healthy new habits
- Starting a side-business: You’ve created a business plan and read three books
- Getting out of debt: You’ve paid off your smallest debt
Whatever you’ve achieved, it’s worth something. Perhaps it’s taken a bit longer than you’d hoped – but in the context of your whole life, an extra few weeks isn’t a big deal.
#2: Have You Learnt On the Journey?
Sometimes, we get too fixated on an end goal and forget that the journey itself is important.
Even if you’ve not yet achieved the results you want, you might still have found a ton of benefits:
- Losing weight: You’ve learnt a lot about healthy eating – helping you to make good food choices
- Starting a side-business: You’ve realized that your original idea for the business was a bit short-sighted, and you’ve been able to come up with a new plan
- Getting out of debt: You’ve found that you’re spending a lot more money than you thought on little things like coffee and lunches
#3: What Will You Achieve Even If You Don’t Reach Your Goal?
Maybe you’re worried that you won’t reach your final goal. There are still plenty of reasons to keep going. For instance:
- Losing weight: You might not get down to your target weight of 150lbs, but even if you weight 170lbs, you’ll be a lot healthier than you are at 200lbs
- Starting a side-business: Your business might never provide a full-time income, but it’s still going to bring in extra money for you every month
- Getting out of debt: You might not manage to pay off all your debts, but you’ll still have massively improved your financial situation
Hopefully you’re feeling a bit more positive about your project, and you’ve decided that it is worth continue. So let’s get you through going again:
#1: Where Are You Stuck?
Often, we get bogged down because we’re stuck.
It can be helpful to acknowledge where you got stuck before trying to move on. Perhaps:
- Losing weight: You lost 10lbs in the first three months of your diet, but now you’re finding it hard to stick with healthy eating
- Starting a side-business: You’re ready to start getting clients, but you’re not sure how to begin doing that
- Getting out of debt: You went on a shopping trip and ended up spending money that was supposed to be used for paying off your debt
#2: What Are Your Next Steps?
When you’re stuck, it’s often because you haven’t figured out what you need to do next. Try to work out a few next steps:
- Losing weight: Keep a food diary, figure out what times of day you’re most likely to snack on unhealthy foods
- Starting a side-business: Brainstorm possible ways to get clients – e.g. advertise in trade magazines, create a website
- Getting out of debt: Cut back your spending for the next couple of weeks, avoid “splurges” in the future (perhaps by only taking cash when you go shopping)
#3: Who Can Help You?
You might feel that you need to achieve your goal on your own – but that simply isn’t true. Often, it’s a mark of strength, not weakness, to be willing to allow others to help.
- Losing weight: Get a personal trainer to help you stay motivated to exercise, or ask a friend to come jogging with you
- Starting a side-business: Hire a website designer to create a professional-looking website for you
- Getting out of debt: Talk to friends who’re good at managing their money, and ask them for advice
So – over to you! What are your big goals right now, and how could you regain your motivation?
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