So I’ve talked about the difference between inspiration and motivation, how to find motivation, and how to use your motivation. That leaves us with one more thing, probably the hardest! It’s staying motivated.
In a perfect world we’d all have these interesting tasks to complete, they’d only last an hour and would be different every time. They wouldn’t make us tired or bored and we’d see results instantly.
Now take what I just said, but reverse it – you have life.
Visualizing your goals
It’s very hard to stay motivated for something when you’re not sure of what you want to achieve from it. If you don’t have goals already then please set some! But most of you probably do have goals, or objectives – whatever. See we tell ourselves that we have to set these goals, and they’ll somehow magically help us finish things, but what use is a goal when you can’t picture it?
Learn to visualize your goals. Each Monday morning, I reflect on my 6-7 year goals that I’d like to achieve by the end of the year, I visualize how I’ll get them done. I visualize both potential results, and what will likely come from them. We can’t be certain of any outcome, but visualizing goals definitely helps me stay motivated.
Feeding the Flame
A fire will stop burning if it runs out of things to burn, and as obvious as that sounds, we don’t quite apply it to ourselves. Staying motivated on a long-term project is hard, sure we might get through it, but the quality of the work is at stake right? This is why we find ways to spark up energy again, feel passionate, inspired, motivated.
This blog is a long term project for me, so how do I stay motivated? Well for starters; I read other blogs. Reading other blogs in my niche helps give me ideas and also inspiration for ideas. I’ll stop there though as there’s many things that contribute – you have to find your own. It could be a certain song, or image; anything that inspires you basically.
It’s not a pretty sight when fires get out of control, this is relates back to the point I made about overdosing on motivation. Moderation is key, if you spend more time looking for something to motivate you than actually doing work, then you’re doing it wrong!
I picture motivation like an exponential curve, you start off with little motivation to start a project, and as you near the end your motivation to finish increases. It’s when we realize our ability to achieve something is in reach that we get ultimate motivation. There’s another portrait of motivation that is just as common, it’s the opposite of an exponential curve (logarithmic, to be proper). You start your project with loads of motivation, you’re fired up, ready to go; nothing can stop you! Well, until 2 hours later.
The way to get past this is by setting mini-goals, goals that are easily achievable (I know I talk a lot about setting goals, but they’re vital!). By setting mini goals, we get the ultimate motivation from the exponential curve idea, when achievement is in our reach, and we also get the strong motivation at the start of what we’re doing. The more long term your goal is, the more important it is to set these goals.
Moving along with the topic of mini-goals. Look I don’t want to be cliché, but I want to use weight-loss as an example. There’s more motivation and inspiration than you’ll ever need to lose weight effectively, you feel better, look better, less likely to contract illnesses – you know what I’m talking about. It’s likely for someone to give up if they only have a single goal in mind – “I want to lose weight”, that’s not specific enough, and it’s only a single desire. A good example of mini-goals in line with a main goal would go something like this:
Main goal: I want/will diet and train effectively in order to reach my goal of being content with my appearance. I believe I have to lose 12kg to do so.
Mini-goal 1: I will do my research on nutrition as well as training techniques in my first month to help me understand how to reach my main goal the best way possible.
Mini-goal 2: I will go two weeks without eating ice-cream.
Mini-goal 3: I will lose 3kg.
With mini-goals set up, the motivation that might be lost after a couple of weeks can be revived after achieving, or getting close to achieving a mini-goal, can be sustained.
So this post completes the 3-part series on motivation. I encourage you to apply these ideas as you see fit, whether it be towards living a minimalist lifestyle, getting a promotion, learning an instrument, or whatever. Just remember to fill the car up with petrol, keep the fire burning, and don’t let it get out of control!