Despite our best intentions, many of us struggle to achieve what we set out to achieve.
Too often, life gets in the way or we just don’t have the energy to do what we know we should do. Accordingly, gym memberships go underutilised and dreams are not realised. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Although none of us will enjoy peak motivation every minute of every day (and this is important to recognise), there are simple things we can all do to inspire ourselves to do more of what we want to do more often.
If this is something you’d like, more energy and motivation, then here are my top 10 tips:
- Be clear about what it is you’re trying to achieve; the more specific you are about what you want and need to do the more you increase your chances of doing it
- Be clear, just as importantly, about why you’re trying to do what you want to do. Make sure, for example, that your goals are (in fact) your own (and not, say, something someone else would like you to achieve)
- Measure your progress. It’s often said that what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done; and this is true. But it’s just as important to note that what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get acknowledged and motivation will come, at least in part, from recognising every small step you take along the way
- Ensure your goals are achievable. Unrealistic goals will only lead to frustration and disappointment (both of which are de-motivating). But try, also, to create goals that will stretch you; aiming for something that’s just beyond your current reach can be massively motivating and inspiring
- Break your goals down in to small, bite sized chunks and wherever possible, set times for when you’re going to start and when you intend to finish each step
- Celebrate wins; large and small; on a regular basis. Rewarding yourself (with a metaphorical pat on the back or, when appropriate, something more tangible) is one of the most effective strategies for keeping motivated
- Use other people; it’s a much-underutilised strategy but surrounding yourself with positive and enthusiastic friends, family and colleagues who’re aware of your goals and who’ll encourage you along the way is highly recommended. None of us can do everything on our own and all of us can benefit from having a great “team” around us
- Build habits and routines to make the behaviours that will help you achieve your goals part of your regular day; then make sure these habits and behaviours are not just priorities but non-negotiables! Your goals, by definition, should be important to you and, therefore, what you need to do to accomplish your goals should be important. If something’s important, then, it should not be left to the mercy of other less important actions or even, seemingly “urgent” enquiries or interruptions
- Find ways to remind yourself of the end goal. No matter how important your goals might be, it’s easy to forget why we set them when we’re constantly bombarded with distractions and invitations to take detours. Staying focused, then, on the “what” and the “why” will help us stay motivated and true to our intentions
Finally, control what you can control and accept what you can’t. No matter how motivated or focused we are, there will always be factors outside our control that will get in the way or disturb our progress. This is just life. And it’s OK. We’ll all stray from time to time or struggle on occasions but the more we focus on those variables over which we have control, the more we’ll feel empowered to take positive steps and accordingly, the more motivated, happy and successful we’l