Staying motivated to achieve your goals

Staying motivated for long-run to work on your goals

Many people believe that you need high level of motivation at the beginning of any task or journey. Once you begin, it is easier to continue moving forward. According to me, the truth is opposite of this. Remember your New Year resolutions? Most people are super excited in the first week of January. They find themselves dragging for it by the end of the January month or during February and by March they even forget the resolution. Whenever we set goals for ourselves, we are generally excited at the beginning which also works as self motivation. As we move along, it will take some efforts to stay committed to goals and fueling motivation for long run to ensure we are consistently moving towards the achievement of goal.

We have already seen about staying committed to your goals by:

  1. Seek knowledge
  2. Avoid distractions
  3. Setup positive triggers
  4. Avoid burn-out

When it comes to motivation, lots of people turn to motivational video or books. These might help you to get passive motivation. However it is active motivation that will make difference on your journey to achieve goals.

Now let’s see how you keep yourself continuously motivated to achieve your goals:

Surround yourself with like-minded people: “Surround yourself with people who have dreams, desire and ambition. They will help you push for and realize your own.” The company you surround yourself with has a direct influence on how you behave. To take this one step ahead, you can also adopt the practice of social support. “Social support” is identifying a person who can be your accountability partner. You can share with him what do you intend to do and take his help (in a positive way) to ensure you get your task done. Social support need not play a role of police to catch you from slipping. Instead he or she can be your prime motivator to help you start working on your task and encourage you for each smaller accomplishment. His role is to encourage you to remain on track each time you feel like staying behind.

Reflection in non-judgmental way: In the journey of achieving goals, prepare yourself mentally for slip-ups or setbacks. If you don’t come across any slip-ups you should better revisit your goals at first. Most people start to lose track of their journey to success after facing initial slip ups as they are not prepared how to manage them. At this point, instead of losing your motivation you should do some reflection. Most important is to do non judgmental reflection. So do not ask yourself questions like why am I not able to do this? Or what’s wrong with me? These are all judgmental questions which will not take you anywhere. Instead reflect with questions like, what part of my plan is not working? How can I make it work? What small change I can do to get back on my goal achievement journey? Key here is to think your slip ups like a mechanical problem which will help you to identify faulty part of your plan and repair it to make complete system work again.

Revisit your goal or task to make it “Just manageable”: During your journey of accomplishment, if you find yourself feeling unmotivated to continue to work on, it is good idea to revisit your goals. Re-design your goals where achievement is not guaranteed but is possible with little serious efforts. It is basic human nature to love challenges which are difficult but within minimum level of difficulty. When you work on the edge of our capabilities, you are motivated enough with the thought of challenging our capabilities and also completing it. Further, once you complete such task, you will also have satisfactory and positive feeling of overcoming the challenge and it will fuel you with motivation of moving ahead to the next task. This might requires to further breaking your pre-defined goals in to smaller task or redesigning your schedule. Looking at the benefit of continuity and consistency we get form this task makes it worth doing it. 

Keep eye on your Vision: Many times smaller tasks of what you do may become less motivating than why you are doing. Visualizing benefits or fun part of your achievement can powerfully boost your motivation. I do not want to refer this with points like channeling cosmic energies. I just want to keep it very simple practice as many times it will help you to get up and kick start your work. Visualizing your good reasons for choosing the goal like material reward or personal gain or feeling of accomplishment will help you to gain your motivation.

Measure your achievement: Measuring how you are keeping up with your goals can also fuel to keep your motivation high. You can have fixed periodical review mechanism (ideally it can be weekly basis). Knowing every week that you are on track will make you happy and motivated to be on track. On the other hand knowing you are behind your achievement, can either force you to take corrective actions or will kick start your need to devote more time and energy to get you back on track.  

Break the monotony: Many times smaller reason like repetitive task for weeks or months can also defuse your motivation. You can break these monotony with spontaneous or out of the ordinary activities. Sometimes it is OK not to know what you will be doing tomorrow. Smaller changes in your routine like going to different place for lunch break or go to unplanned night out or any unplanned recreational activity of your choice will help you to break the monotony and refill your energy level to continue going ahead.

Finally, whatever method you choose to be motivated in long run to achieve your task, do remember to take action consistently, every day.  

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