Have you ever found it difficult to motivate yourself to complete a task?
Have you ever thought, I know I need to but, I just can’t get motivated?
Does the task seem too overwhelming?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then you may be procrastinating. Procrastination is a label given to putting it off.
Then, what is motivation? How do you get it? What does it feel like?
Motivation is not a tangible object. It is not something you can purchase at your corner store (imagine the tax you would pay on it).
So, how can you get motivated?
How can you get the task accomplished?
Motivation: is an insatiable desire to succeed. Motivation comes from your desire to achieve your goal, to bounce back from setbacks with greater determination to succeed. To be motivated to achieve you need to be specific about what your true goal is.
Step 1. Identify your goal.
Identify what it is you wish to achieve. What is in your heart that you truly desire?
A goal can be focussed towards a potentially, desirable result. Eg: Eat well, lose weight, fit into your favourite dress/suit. Alternatively, a goal may directed towards avoiding a potentially, undesirable result. Eg: eat well, lose weight, avoiding ending up with diabetes.
Example: You may like to start with a broad goal. Which may go something like: I want to be wealthy and enjoy financial independence. That’s a terrific goal! Now, bring this goal down into smaller more manageable goals. You are going to need direction, small achievable goals to aim for along the way. For instance: I am going to become a CEO of a large corporation. Great, another specific achievable goal has been identified as a marker along the way to achieving your ultimate goal; i.e.: enjoying financial independence.
Let’s break this down again. How are you going to become a CEO? What is the smallest thing you can do today towards becoming a CEO? You may say something like: I need to go to University and get a degree in business management and accounting. Fantastic! You have got the hang of it. It’s all about, identifying smaller goals along the way to reach your full potential. What would be something you can do today towards your goal?
Here’s another example on a smaller scale.
Example: Your goal is to do a 5 kilometre run. Okay. That’s not a bad start. But, what is your real desire? Is it to get fit? To lose weight? To have a healthier lifestyle? This is why you need to break it down. (is your goal towards a potential outcome or, avoiding a potentially undesirable outcome?) the It is great to want to run 5 kilometres. But, what is your specific goal? What is it you are truly aiming to achieve? Why 5, what difference would it make if it was 2 or 10? I wonder…. Okay, so I think by now you will be getting the hang of it. This is why you need to be really specific. Write down your goal and then reflect on why it is you wish to achieve that specific goal? What is the reason behind it? What is driving it? The more you identify this desire, the more self-awareness you will develop, the more motivated you will become to achieve your true goal.
Step 2. Work towards your goal.
Don’t wait for motivation to come knocking at your door. It is already there. It is within you. You have the power to turn it on and off at will. When you think about all the things you want to achieve, having the power to turn motivation ‘ON’ is pretty exciting! What do you truly desire? Imagine…
Step 3. Planning.
Make a list of all the obstacles that are keeping you from achieving your goal. What tools and equipment do you already have? It may be, things like, your runners have a hole in them; you can’t get out of bed in the morning because it’s too cold; you are too tired after work, etc. etc. Sound familiar.
Break the task down into small achievable tasks. Let’s go through the list. Okay, so you may need to buy some new runners because if your feet get wet, you are probably not going to continue running. So, it’s off to the shops for new runners. What about the rest of the equipment you need for running. Separate the need from the want, it works. Ladies may wish to invest in a quality sports bra, for practical reasons.
Okay, so assuming you have all the gear you need. What else do you need to get running? If the mornings are cold and, you are too tired of an evening, maybe you could go during your lunch break. This could become a potential obstacle, think it through. Although, a lunch time run may sound good at first, you will need to put in a lot more effort each day to pack all your running gear, change of clothes, towel and shower essentials. This could significantly cut into your lunch time and soon feel like a chore.
What if, when you get home after work, all you have to do is get all your running gear out and put it next to your bed? This way, when you wake up in the morning, you can quickly get dressed into your running gear, thermals included. That sounds sustainable. So, whatever you are working towards, you need to be organised to ensure you prioritise your goal and make each step simple and sustainable.
So, what you have ultimately been doing so far is overcoming obstacles to your success. It can be a matter of trial and error sometimes. It’s all part of the learning. Planning is key to achieving goals. What do you need to organise to achieve your goals? Well done!
Step 4. JUST DO IT!
Early the next morning, you wake up and get dressed in your running gear, thermals included. WOW! That wasn’t so hard! Okay. All you have to do now is walk out the door. But, don’t try to run five kilometres straight away. You can work your way up to this goal. You may decide to walk for the first few days and gradually increase your speed. After a few days you may gradually incorporate short bursts of jogging and so on. Until, after three weeks, guess what? You are running your five kilometres. Now, how are you feeling about what you have achieved? Well done! What an achievement! What’s next?
Make sure you take time to really reflect on this achievement and celebrate. Every bit of progress you achieve along towards your goal is worthy of a celebration.
Watch some motivational speakers on Youtube. TED talks are excellent for this.
Identify a mentor. Interview the mentor. How did they overcome any obstacles or adversities along the journey to achieving their goal?
Read books and articles on your goal and topics of interest towards achieving your goal. Knowledge is key.
Spend some time each day reflecting on what you have learned about yourself and the goal.
Write a journal about your journey towards your goal.
Complete a 30 day challenge towards one of your goals. Click here to view my running 30 day challenge.
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