Motivation is a part of daily life. It could be a project at work, getting through your workout routine or even just getting through the dishes. It’s normal to lose motivation when things drag on or you’re simply having a bad day, but flagging motivation can make difficult tasks seem impossible and small tasks a thorn in your side!
See how you can escape the doldrums and keep your motivation up by trying out some of our great tips and ideas below.
1. Set a Goal
It’s easy to get derailed and lose steam if you don’t have a concrete goal to work towards, so take some time to solidify your goal before getting started. Knowing what you’re aiming for will make it easier to stay on the path to success! The clearer your goal, the better — you’ll be able to be more specific in your plans for achieving success and avoid motivational pitfalls.
2. Break Down Goal into Achievable Pieces
Deciding on a concrete goal is a great motivator — you’ve got the end target in sight and are ready to get moving. But how exactly are you going to get there? Knowing the steps you’ll take towards your goal is just as important as knowing what you’re aiming for. It also provides room to set smaller, more manageable goals to meet.
For example, if you’re refurbishing a room in the house, you can break down the end goal (finished new room) into smaller achievements like finishing flooring, getting the new paint up and completing furniture and decorations. Nothing helps keep you motivated like reaching checkpoints!
Tip: If breaking down your plan into daily steps helps to keep you motivated, consider picking the three most important things you need to accomplish the next day before you go to bed. That way you can get going as soon as you wake up.
3. Make a List of Reasons Why You Want to Accomplish Your Goal
If you start to run out of motivation in the midst of working towards your goal, sit down and think of some reasons why you’re going after the goal in the first place. There’s bound to be a couple of good reasons why you’re taking the time and effort to do so.
Of course, not every step is going to be enjoyable. You might even loathe a few! That’s why it is so important to remember why you’re dealing with the current unsavoury task in the moment. If you’re having trouble thinking of a good reason, check out some of the suggestions below:
- Material Reward: You’ll receive monetary compensation. This is a great one to remember when you’re having a less than productive day at the office.
- Personal Gain: You’ll be learning something new and improving your overall skills. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing as a person.
- Feeling of Accomplishment: You should be proud that you dug deep and mustered the motivation to complete that not-so-likeable step towards your goal. In fact, you should be proud any time you finish a step towards your ultimate goal.
4. Have a Flexible Strategy
Whether you’re just starting out or are in the middle of a project, it’s important to be flexible! You can lose motivation when you’re trying the same methods over and over again only to have them fail every time. When that happens, it can feel like there’s no point in moving forward.
When you’ve hit such a point , it’s time to switch tactics and try a fresh new approach. There’s no need to make overwhelming changes — try some tweaks here and there that get your attention and motivation up and running.
5. Get a Fresh Perspective
Consider sharing your goal and your plans for accomplishment with others, even if the project you’re working on is a solo effort. Working alone allows its own set of creative freedoms: You can set your schedule, make changes without consulting anyone and generally steer towards your goal as you like. On the flip side though, you’re not privy to fresh, outside perspectives. There’s always a danger of falling prey to tunnel vision, and it can help immensely to have outside feedback. Hearing a new idea or learning to look at something in a different light is a guaranteed motivation booster.
6. Change Locations
Depending on what your project is, you may be able to take your work on the go. If that’s case, switch up your location every so often. Taking your work and moving to a different place where you can be more productive is important to staying motivated. It could be the library, your favourite coffee shop or even a bench in the park if it’s nice outside. All that matters is that the different location helps to eliminate distractions and motivates you to work.
7. Control What You Can and Leave the Rest
There will always be things that are out of your control. Always. Stressing out or trying to wrestle with things you can’t control can be a major drain on your motivation. The sooner you recognise what you can and cannot control, the better your motivation will be!
We understand how difficult it is to relinquish a grip on things that could impact your goal. It’s probably one of the hardest things you’ll have to do in order to keep motivated. But as soon as you realise the sense of freedom you get from doing so, you’ll see why it’s so important — it lessens your stress and allows you to focus on the things that you can successfully manage.
8. Learn from Your Mistakes
Mistakes happen. We all make them. What matters is learning from your mistakes so as not to repeat them! Making the same mistake twice or even three times is frustrating and leaves you feeling unmotivated. Set aside time at regular intervals during your project to reflect on how you handled sticky situations and what, if anything, you could do better the next time. Make sure to write down any possible solutions, so the next time you encounter a problem you’re ready to tackle it.
The faster and better you can handle problems, be they large or small, the better motivated you’ll be.
9. Acknowledge Your Accomplishments
One of the best ways to keep your motivation strong is to mark your accomplishments with a small treat. This could be a short walk, getting a snack, making a fresh cup of tea — anything that gets you and up and away for a short break. Doing so will help you twofold: First, you’ll boost your motivation by knowing you’re making solid progress towards your goal. Second, taking a victory break will provide a well-deserved mental rest. You’ll return to your project refreshed and ready to work!
Gerber, S. 19 July 2013. How to stay motivated and active. Retrieved 26 October 2016 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2013/07/19/how-to-stay-motivated-and-accomplish-anything/#11b48f3231a5.
Pierce, S. 12 March 2014. 10 ways to stay motivated when negativity seems to be all around. Retrieved 26 October 2016 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacia-pierce/10-ways-to-stay-motivated_b_4941277.html.
Reys, G. (n.d.). How to stay motivated. Retrieved 26 October 2016 from
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