Motivation comes and goes, like an outdoor cat. It may be fluffy and cute, but it certainly has sharp claws, and teeth, and pointy fangs. To keep it in place, or at least in line of sight, preferably cosying up to you, you need some treats. Here’s a bag of mine:
Think about your former achievements, and how you felt when you got them.
Create a vision board, which will help you focus on your target.
Make a list of things to do to achieve your goal. When it’s written down, you don’t have to remember it and focus more on doing.
Use baby steps, as small tasks as possible. That way, you won’t be overwhelmed about the overall task, instead of “refurbish living room”, write down more focused, precise tasks: move the couch, sell the old chair, buy paint, prepare the room for painting, etc.
Meaning, allow yourself to fail. If you’re doing something new, there is a small chance you will succeed at first try. When you were a baby, you didn’t give up when learning to walk, you pushed through, didn’t you?
Check when you have the time to do the thing, and plan it. Organize your whole week around it. This will help you see if you can commit as much time as you want, or rearrange some things to accommodate. On how to plan your week, go here for my planner, and some tips on how to use it.
If you’re stuck, look for help. Maybe people close to you had the same problem or hit the web. There’s a tutorial for almost everything ;)
Read about successful people that you admire. check how they started, what they had to overcome to be where they are now.
Put up motivational pictures where you would see them often, but not too often. Put them on the fridge, set as your phone wallpaper. If you stop noticing them, change them. They are there to motivate you, not look pretty (but it helps if they do :D). Start with the ones down below the article.
If you really need to get something done, cut yourself off of distractions. Turn your phone to vibrate, switch off Netflix, eat something light, and have some water at hand. Disarm yourself of anything that catches your attention, but shouldn’t.
Change the scenery.
Different environments trick your brain to think, you’re doing a different thing. You may know it’s the same thing, but the setting can give a new view of the task at hand.
No, it does not contradict the “Focus” tip. When you find yourself in a tight spot and feel like running in circles, do exactly that, go for a run, hit the gym. Unless you have a physical blockade, then chill out. Read a book, watch a movie. You should distract yourself in a way different than your problem. If it’s homework, go for a jog, if you don’t see any progress in the gym, have a day off, occupy your mind, and let the body rest. Basically, if you work your mind, rest by working your body. And vice versa.
I know it’s not for everyone. But just try, do as I did, without the philosophy, and expensive lessons. Sit for a moment, close your eyes, focus on your breathing. 5 seconds inhale, 5 seconds hold, 5 seconds exhale. That’s the target, get a ticking watch or a metronome app. If you’re anxious, the holding part can be shorter or even omitted at the beginning. The whole thing needs about 5 minutes. It’s next to nothing but calms you down and refocuses.
Going back to the “refurbish living room” goal in “Divide”. Got rid of the old chair? Treat yourself with a doughnut. If you prepared everything for painting? Go out for a pizza. Finished refurbishing? Organize a party. You can even plan an award for each goal you completed. That’ll brighten your day and motivate you even more.
Easier said than done, I’ve been there. Just “thinking positive” is a stupid tip. Unless you figure out what is stopping you from doing it. Figure out why do you think negatively about a thing. Maybe the thoughts are just in your head. Ask yourself that. Sometimes thinking about a doubt makes it seem ridiculous.
The list is absolutely not, well, absolute. This is what works for me, and almost every point can be written up in much more detail. If you have any questions go crazy in the comments. I’m here to help, and I’m starting with the motivational mobile wallpapers below: