All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do.”
Creating motivation is a skill. Your ability to motivate yourself is one of the most important skills you will need to cultivate, especially if self-motivation does not come easily.
The reality is that you may not always feel motivated; especially when you have tasks to do that are not particularly enjoyable. Or the reward for what you’re doing seems to be a long way off.
So, how do you motivate yourself to get started, and how do you stay motivated? Let’s look at some strategies that have proven to be effective for others.
The reward seems far off: We live in a ‘microwave generation’ where instant gratification is the norm. If you’re working on a project that has a future payoff, it can be challenging to stay motivated.
- Make a list of the rewards or benefits you’ll receive upon completion of the task.
- Write the practical, physical, or visible rewards.
- Do not ignore the emotional rewards. Visualize how it will feel to accomplish what you set out to do. Write about how you will feel about yourself and the value you gain.
- Keep the list handy and refer to it whenever you feel your motivation begins to wane.
- Take the first step: Waiting for inspiration to get started is a mistake. It’s important that you do whatever it takes to get started. You will be surprised to see how motivation will kick in once you take the first few steps and demonstrate that you’re taking action, no matter what. Further, you may be so pleased with the feeling of satisfaction it gives you, that the task no longer seems as disagreeable as you thought it would.
- Schedule regular breaks: I recently had an experience that proved to me, at least, that when I know that I have the flexibility to take a break the task becomes less stressful. I was scheduled to watch a 3-hour program and felt it was going to be challenging to sit for so long. The actual result was surprising. The presentations were very informative and inspirational. I took just one 5-minute break but I also stood up and moved around a bit, even as I listened and watched. The three hours actually felt shorter.
Whether it’s business or life in general, self-motivation is essential for creating the life that you want for yourself and others. Developing this ability will enhance your feeling of accomplishment. Remember, it starts with one step. You just have to take one small action, then another, and another.
How do you stay motivated even when you don’t feel like it?