Have you ever had a dream, goal or objective that you could not fulfil or accomplish? Maybe you tried to lose weight, train for a marathon, begin an online business, write a novel, or do something else that was challenging.
Why didn’t you succeed?
People often fall short at achieving a big dream they desperately want, because they lose their self-motivation. Keeping up your motivation can be difficult when you face a long period of intense work.
Here are 7 ways that will help you to stay motivated so you can hold onto and reach those big dreams.
- Honour yourself
The first step is to set genuine goals and objectives for yourself. Be true to yourself and choose the goals that are right for you. If you set a goal that you feel obligated to achieve, instead of a goal that you are passionate about, you will find it difficult to maintain your level of motivation. Only choose goals that rouse and inspire you; goals that you earnestly want to achieve, as this will make your journey pleasant and easy. Don’t try to motivate yourself to do something that is not fun. Find the joy, and the motivation will take care of itself.
- Dream big, but set small goals.
Big dreams can be both awesome and inspiring. On the other hand, they can also be overwhelming. The trick is to be both optimistic and realistic. You can have a big dream, but you will also need to set a series of practical action steps to be completed on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis to get you where you want to go.
As you work through your action steps, you may find that they need to be adjusted. You may have to take a detour. You may fail at some of your action steps and have to try again or create workarounds. But keep working on them; celebrating the achievements of each one motivates you.
- Chart your progress.
You should make a list of action steps to take you toward your big dream. Work that list, with each step taking you closer to your big dream. But don’t just look forward to seeing where the action steps can take you. Look back from time to time to see how far you have come.
If you can chart your progress in black and white, it provides concrete evidence that your daily, weekly, and monthly action steps are leading you toward that big dream. Charting your progress creates a visual image to help you see what you have accomplished and gives you a clear picture of the positive changes that you have made thus far. Seeing your progress is motivating in itself.
- Create Standard Operating Procedures.
As you do the work to take you to your big dream, you may encounter processes that repeat themselves. Take stock of these, as these are the standard operating procedures (SOP) that will help you systemize your action steps. They give you a chance to hone the processes that work for you, thereby improving your outcomes by making them routine. Creating a standard operating procedure can be as simple as creating an itemized checklist.
This simple concept can be motivating, as it creates efficiency, reduces unnecessary actions, and provides clear and repeatable actions that you know actually work. You don’t need to waste time trying new things if you have systems in place that actually work.
These checklists keep you motivated by systematically avoiding those issues and making it possible for your efforts to be spent on your work, not on solving problems that keep you from your work.
If you do something by habit, you don’t need to motivate yourself to do it. So spend some time thinking about your processes, your schedule, and your goals, and figure out your SOPs, which will lead to habits. According to Stephen Covey in the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t are the habits that they each create for themselves.
- Plan your day the night before.
Since you already have your goals established for the year, month, week and day, you can plan your day by taking just a few minutes the night before. Have a look at your goals and reassess them. Do they still make sense? Will they get you closer to your big dream? Are they the most important steps to take next?
Make whatever revisions are appropriate and prioritize your goals for the day. Do you have an unpleasant task to do? Get it done first. Otherwise, your entire workday will be consumed by thoughts of how unpleasant the task is and how you would prefer not to do it. On the other hand, once the task is done and you’ve put the unpleasantness behind you, the rest of your day can only improve.
If you have a task that requires a lot of creativity or brainwork, plan to do it when you are fresh and at your best. That may be different times of the day for different people, but in general you should aim for an early morning start, leaving you plenty of time to work on your task before your energy fails.
Anticipate what materials you will need and get them ready the night before. Spend some time thinking about the process for each goal and the results you hope your goals will bring. Just starting the thinking process in advance will help you focus, solve problems, and find insights when you sit down to do your work the next day.
While you’re planning your day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with day-to-day urgency. Some of that daily urgency may be necessary, but don’t let it rob you of your long perspective. Think of the big dream, not just the daily nitty-gritty, when you plan and work each day.
- Learn to love failure.
Some people feel angry, ashamed, or discouraged, and stop their efforts to reach their big dream when they fail at something. Others simply become de-motivated and don’t want to continue. Taking this approach means you miss out on important lessons and new opportunities if you quit.
Successful people embrace failure for the lessons they learn and the experience they gain. Successful people never use failure as an excuse to stop pursuing their big dream. Successful people find failure motivating. Be like them.
Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, failed many times before he actually succeeded. “I haven’t failed,” he famously said. “I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” Why not borrow Edison’s approach to failure.
It’s easy to let a failure erase all the work you did toward your big dream. But messing up once or even twice doesn’t mean you have to give up altogether. Don’t fall for the “What the heck” syndrome. Don’t think that any defeat is anything other than temporary. Don’t give a small failure the power to demotivate you from reaching your big dream.
Get back to work and try again.
Don’t look at failure as failure. “Sweet are the uses of adversity,” says William Shakespeare. Failure can actually be positive. Overcoming failure and adversity can strengthen and build character. It can revise, refocus and redirect you to start moving in a new direction. In this regard the universe may be preparing you for greatness in other areas.
- You don’t have to do it all. Learn to delegate.
Achieving your big dream probably includes accomplishing some tasks that you aren’t great at. Perhaps your big dream is an online writing career. Your prose soars, but your technical prowess sinks your website. Don’t let the tech stuff demotivate you. Stick to your writing and hire a tech person.
In the big, wide world, there is someone somewhere who can do the things you are hopeless at. Keep up your motivation by partnering with that person. Let her exercise her skills so you don’t have to.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do on a project is to start it. Once you have started it, you’ll often find the momentum to keep going.
Motivation loves action. Take the first step, then the second step and pretty soon you’ll be headed down the road. Start. Momentum will carry you forward.
Recognize from the start that the path to your big dream will take work and time. You’ll make mistakes that you’ll need to correct. You’ll learn things that you didn’t know when you started out, and that will make you undertake work you hadn’t counted on. And however things work out, they won’t work out exactly as you had anticipated.
Keeping motivated over the long haul can be hard, but that’s one reason why you should set monthly, weekly, and daily goals and celebrate the completion of each one. It’s also why you should chart your progress and assess how far you’ve come from time to time. Of course, if your big dream doesn’t reflect your truest self, keeping your motivation up over a long period of time will be hard, no matter what motivation tips you follow.
Finally, when you’re slogging away at your daily, weekly, and monthly goals, and your motivation gets weak, focus on the big dream. Focus on how gorgeous it is, on how life-changing it will be for you to get there. Focus on how it will benefit those you love. Keep it at the front of your mind when you’re having a hard time getting motivated. Remember how much you love it. Remember that you can do it.
When all is said and done, all you have to do is just do it.
For more information on motivation why not check out my e-book Your Motivation Profile take the Motivation Profile Quiz and assess just how ready you really are to make the changes that you say you desire. Get the link here. http://www.prnd2l.co/empowered-soluitions/