Whether it’s working out in the morning, starting a creative project, or simply cleaning up around the house, at times we all struggle with finding self-motivation. Some find issue in the actual doing while others simply struggle with remaining consistent and accountable. At the end of the day, though, all it really boils down to are your goals, mental fortitude and desire.
In my personal struggles with self-motivation and procrastination (the two are kissing cousins!), I have discovered that just a little bit of organization combined with action, goes a lot farther than perhaps you could ever imagine. These tips also helped me to help myself stay on task while battling the early stages of, well, hopping to it.
Define Your Goals
If you don’t know what you want, then how can you ever achieve it? Sometimes, it is not a matter of simply knowing what we want but more about organizing our thoughts. Maybe there are several projects that you have been meaning to start but you can’t really focus on any one of them. I would suggest performing a bit of task-related triage. Prioritize the perspective projects in order of importance and pour all your focus (at least, for now) into the primary. When you accomplish the primary, move on to the secondary, and so on. This will help you to actually finish one project instead of getting bogged down by the details of many.
Be sure to write down your goals, establish a timeline, and use very specific language. Pretend as if you’re writing step-by-step instructions for yourself. This tactic is especially helpful for visualizing success.
Eliminate the Noise
When my friend was finishing the dissertation for her PhD, she seemingly disappeared off the face of the planet. That is, she merely disabled her Facebook account for several weeks and went into hiding until she met her deadline.
Maybe Facebook is inconsequential to you. Perhaps your distraction is a television show, a chatty friend, a video game, texting – the list could literally go on. The point is, know your distractions and eliminate them while accomplishing your goal.
A good support system is key to the self-motivation process. Surround yourself with positive, motivated, and like-minded people. These folks will not only hold you accountable to yourself but they will also inspire you to do and be more. Once you’ve publicly acknowledged a goal, it becomes that much harder to give it up.
Keep the Finish Line in Sight
Sure, doing is much harder than not doing but the rewards of the former far outweigh the latter. By focusing on the bigger picture, instead of getting weighed down by all the tiny details, you’ll keep the finish line in sight. While there is merit in focusing on the bits and bobs of a plan, sometimes it threatens to down you in the day-to-day minutiae. It’s important to remember the payoff, because that’s what got you excited in the first place.
This is a guest post contributed by Victoria Labalme, a company that helps people become more effective communicators.