How to Train and Maintain Motivation
If you haven't noticed, motivation is all the rage these day. Unless you've been living under a rock the past year or two, you have probably seen the barrage of motivational posts that come up on your various social media feeds. But what I notice is that people see these posts, like them, and then...that's it. Motivated for the day, then back to normal the next.
The truth is, it's not easy to stay motivated 24/7. We all have our "off days", but there a ways to fight through them. I consider motivation a skill. Whether you refer to it as motivation, drive, or hunger, it's something that must be nurtured. And just like any other skill, whether it be learning how to squat or learning how to play an instrument, it can improve. But you have to work at it. You have to want it. You have to TRAIN it....Here's how.
1) Find Your Why
So what does a relationship have to do with motivation?...One of the key elements of motivation is understanding yourself. Thats the most important relationship you can have. To stay motivated, you must truly know yourself. With apologies to one of my favorite motivational personalities, Simon Sinek, I'm stealing his famous phrase, "Find Your Why". "Finding Your Why" means finding why you do what you do. Finding your why is incredibly crucial. Besides driving you toward success, finding your why allows you to gain a greater insight into yourself. Greater incite into who you are as a person. To stay motivated and driven in the long run, you must find out what drives you.
Tip: Here's Simon Sinek's famous TED talk on 'Finding Your Why'. Its a much watch!
2) Set Relevant Goals
f you've read my previous blog post (if you haven't, shame on you!) then you know how I feel about goal setting. Goals give you're energy direction. Set goals and direct your focus towards them. However, its not just about setting goals, it's about setting goals that mean something to you. Goals should be highly personal. If a goal is relevant to you and who you are, then you are much more likely to complete that goal. This is especially true when times are tough and achieving your goals seem distant.
3) Reassess Your Goals
Once your goals are set, you must not forget to reassess them. This is where you need to run your life like a business. Your life is the business and you are the CEO. The most successful corporations conduct quarterly reports and meetings, and reports. Review your each goal you've set every 3 months see how you're doing. Then, assess your progress and adjust accordingly. Time flies quickly and a year can fly by in no time. Don't wait till December 31st to realize you've been a sloth for 12 months.
4) Reward Yourself
This one is often overlooked, but highly important. Set up a reward system for yourself when you've reached certain goals or milestones. We all need some form of affirmation and positive reinforcement. The reward can be as small as treating yourself to fro-yo after a month of clean eating, or as big as booking a trip to foreign country after you've mastered a new language. They key is the reward must line up with your goal. It allows you to take a moment and appreciate all of your hard work.
5) Set the Bar Higher
So you've accomplished your goals and you've rewarded yourself. HOWEVER...the job is not done. Time to set some new goals. If you're at this step, the be proud!...This is the step that most people never reach. Emotions can run high when you're chasing something. But once you've reached it, it can be a bit of a let down. .This is when the real work starts. This is when it's time to set new goals. Time to make goals that challenge you, and goals that scare you. This is where you double down, and really push yourself. Try setting a new goal, then increase it by 10%.
I like to say that motivation is a trait, not a state. Motivation is not some fleeting feeling that comes and goes. Motivation must be part of who we are, and a part of our everyday habits. It's what drives us to become better. It gives us purpose, and helps us strive to achieve great things....Stay motivated my friends!