Do you have any of those people around you who always seem to be in a great mood, who seem driven and motivated at (almost) any time of the day and who seem to effortlessly achieve whatever they want to achieve?
I do – and I was wondering where they took all this motivation from. And even more importantly how they sustained it and never (at least not openly) seem to run out of steam. A feeling I can definitely relate to.
I am sure you did the first step hundreds of times. So did I. Having an idea, a wish that sounded rather exciting. New Year resolutions spring to mind: I want to lose weight, I want to change my nutrition to a healthy one finally – oh, and I definitely go running every other day.
Just out of curiosity? How long did it last for you? Two weeks? Three? Or even a month? Then you’re really good.
So you see what I mean: finding this objective that we want to achieve is rather easy (I bet your list is as long as mine). But how can you stay at it?
An objective is great. But the question is WHY you want to achieve it. And this is where step number 2 kicks in. The desire. Do you really want to lose weight and why? Is this desire burning enough to take the next step or is it because your better half would like you to? If the reason is not good enough you might not even get to step number 3.
The commitment. For some people an ugly word. After all it makes us accountable for what we do. It’s binding – just think about being in a committed relationship. That is something completely different than just going out with somebody. I am sure you know what I mean. So - how committed are you towards your objective considering that it will involve work? And effort.
And this is when step 4 has to kick in: Discipline. Another old-fashioned word, but a trait (which everybody can learn) that is so crucial in life that I’d recommend everybody to work hard on it, in case you are lacking it (you will know if you do…). Without discipline the objective will stay a dream. Without discipline there is no follow-through and no action – hence no result. You will not go for this run every other day and you will probably be far more tempted by the yummy croissant than going for the green smoothie.
Now, you got all of the above, but your motivation is still not really kicking in?
Let’s dig a bit deeper. Motivation needs a spark for turn this little flame into a roaring fire. And this spark has all to do with myself believing that I can actually achieve what I want to.
In other words: The belief in yourself is what really kicks all the above into the right direction and makes you move and act!
This is not an easy one to achieve, but if you master that one, there is not a lot which will get in your way.
Motivation can dwindle – even if you started out strongly. Daily distractions, new issues or problems jumping at you and suddenly this great goal is being pushed further and further in the background until it becomes a distant memory.
But how can you can you avoid this New-Year-resolution-syndrome from happening again and again?
1. Re-engage with your goal and give it consistent attention. Remind yourself why you want to do what you want to do. Write it on a piece of paper, stick it to your screen, put it in your wallet or as an alarm in your phone. Sometimes this is all what’s needed to remind us what and why something is important.
2. Schedule your steps to how to get to your goal. Stuff we don’t schedule does not happen (still got my wardrobe doors standing packed up in the hallway – not going to tell you for how long – I never put it into my calendar, so it did not happen…don’t be like me).
3. Create a supportive environment to help you keeping your attitude positive. If you are surrounded by people who do not believe in your goals, you will get dragged down and sooner or later doubts will kick in. If you don’t have this environment one, create one. Want to lose weight and got no support in the family – join weight watchers. Want to start your own business and got doubters around you – join an entrepreneur’s meetup group.
You get the idea,
It can be difficult and believe me – I am often struggling with keeping myself motivated in many situations – even now while I am building up this venture, The Better Workplace. When things don’t not turn out as I expect them to. When I fail. Or lose the belief in myself when there’s something unexpected knocking me over.
But after all I found that motivation is a choice. And it’s within my control to create it from the inside out. If you expect that you can make things happen, give consistent attention to your goals and work and live within a supportive environment you and I have a good chance to rekindle the fire. Again and again.