Be Mindful of Your “Why”
When I’m procrastinating and not feeling motivated to do something, it’s usually because the task itself might be unpleasant or uncomfortable. For instance, if I need to clean the floor, but I really don’t like cleaning, then I won’t feel very motivated to do it. However, if I have a big enough reason to do it — because I’m having some guests come over, or I love the feeling of having a clean floor, then that “bigger purpose” can be strong enough to get me to act, even though I don’t enjoy cleaning. If I stay mindful of why I’m doing it, I can get motivated to do it. So remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Break Your Goal Down into Smaller Pieces
It’s easy to psych yourself out and feel overwhelmed or intimidated by very big goals. But if you start breaking your big goal into smaller and smaller pieces, you’ll feel more comfortable taking that first action step. If I want to have a blog with over 1,000 visitors a month, that feels overwhelming and nearly impossible. But if I break it down to smaller and smaller goals, so that my goal for today is to write the first draft of a blog post, that’s certainly something I can motivate myself to start doing today.
Celebrate Your Successes
It’s easy to get down on yourself because you haven’t reached your goal yet. You may overlook all of the hard work and mini-goals that you’ve accomplished. Remember to reward yourself and to celebrate your successes. Would you be able to properly train a dog without rewarding him? In the same way, how can you motivate yourself if you’re not going to reward yourself and celebrate your successes? Think about it.
Imagine Having Already Achieved It
Imagine how good you will feel when you’ve reached your goal. Take a moment and think about how you will feel and what you will think after you’ve achieved it. What does it feel like? You might feel proud, relieved, happy, satisfied, secure, or any other emotion. Focus on that feeling, and use it to drive you right now to moving towards your goal. Just think of how good it will be. Keep the carrot dangling in front of you.
Read stories, watch movies, listen to other people who have achieved what you want to achieve. Imagine what they had to go through to get to where they are. As Randy Pausch said in “The Last Lecture”, “The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” Imagine how big the heart is of some of your biggest heroes and how badly they wanted what they achieved. Let them inspire you to access your own great desire within.
Post Your Goal Somewhere You Will See it Regularly
Print out your goal and post it somewhere that you will see it all of the time. Let yourself be reminded of what you’re trying to accomplish and why. You might have to get through some difficult and not-so-fun moments of reaching it. So help yourself keep it in mind by having it right there in front of you. Let it motivate you.
Get Help and Support When You’re Feeling Unmotivated
You’re not going to feel motivated 100% of the time. Motivation comes and goes. And that’s okay. When you’re feeling unmotivated, talk to someone about it — your friend, a family member, anyone who will support you. Tell them why you’ve lost motivation and ask them to motivate you. If you don’t want to look to others, try talking to yourself! What kind of self-talk would you use to motivate yourself? How about, “You’ve come this far, you’ve got to see this through”, or “You’re going to feel great when you hit this goal, just push through it.”
Get a Life Coach
Talk to a life coach. Some life coaches actually specialize in motivating you. There are all sorts of tools that they can use to motivate you, including neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis, and simply asking you laser-focused questions. A life coach can take you beyond motivation to discover what’s really holding you back and why you’re procrastinating.
Do You Want to Get Motivated?
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How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.