It’s not always easy to stay motivated. From tasks draining our energy, problems in our lives, and so many other things, trying to do one more task can be a pain. That or we fall into procrastination or lack the focus we need.
Whatever the case is, when we struggle on a task, part of the source can be our own motivation.
But that doesn’t always have to be the case.
I know from my own experiences that getting motivated and to stay motivated is easy. All that you need is a system to help you get into a flow state.
Why I say this is because I’ve had troubles in the past with procrastination, staying focused, and staying motivated. But it’s through the strategies I’ll mention below that have helped me get out of that state.
Related: An audio version of this post.
Have Passion In What You Do
A quick and easy way to stay motivated is to have a passion for your work. If you’re not big about your job, I’m sure that when you get back home, you’re drained. Even if where you’re working is at a desk.
Am I right?
Well if you’re looking to change that, my suggestion is to do what you love.
Speaking from my own experiences, doing what you have a passion for can give you boundless energy. Even thinking about it can be something to look forward to if other activities drain you.
But getting to that point takes time. Some pointers to consider when finding your passion are:
- Think back to hobbies or passion projects you had in the past.
- Reflect on your life and set some goals that mean something to you.
- Look at the sources that are draining you and ask yourself why that is. Maybe you can change the environment around work or how you deal with people.
I feel that this works best because it gives us a sense of individuality. Often times, many people are pushed into positions where they have to do something regardless of their emotions.
The sad part is that many people learn to tolerate it and don’t bother changing their lives. In the end, many people are used to it and come back home without much motivation to do anything.
So look to find other purposes that bring you joy.
Always Have Something You Are Working Towards
Why is that?
Well, setting goals gives us a purpose as well. If we’re not pursuing something then what are we doing with our lives?
And while that might not seem so bad on the short term, it can do damage long-term. Comfort as I find is one way to make us complacent, resistant towards change, and unmotivated when it comes to change.
You need to be setting goals and to have something to pursue both short-term and long-term.
For example, one thing that I’m taking a leap towards is video creation. It’s been a long time since I’ve done this because I placed priority on my written content. If it wasn’t for the fact I place video creation on my to-do list and make it part of my goals, I would probably be keeping the same course as I have been.
Instead, I’ve got a video I can show you all summarizing these points.
Have More Optimism
One other element I’ve pointed out thus far is how negativity can impact our motivation. If you are always thinking negatively about your skills or outlook, it’ll be hard to muster the motivation. With this in mind, it makes sense that thinking in a positive way will help.
That’s not to say you need to see everything in a positive way, but it’s a viable strategy for getting into a workflow state.
When we focus on the positive aspects of our situation and life, we can find more reasons to stay motivated. For example, I continued to pursue my business all due to thinking positive. I gave myself hope and thought positively about my business.
How I did this was:
- Question negative thoughts.
- Remind myself of positive aspects and/or achievements.
- Embracing the process.
Remember with optimism though that it can be dangerous. Don’t fall into a state where you ignore all negativity. Failure exists. Problems exist. These will challenge you. What’s important is to change your view of them.
Be With Like-Minded People
Who you choose to be around is also important. If you’re around people who don’t do much and aren’t motivated, guess what? You’re going to be like them too.
This holds true to a lot of other aspects of life. We call it the power of association.
The people you spend time with create your environment and influence your actions over time. But what’s also challenging is the fact that changing becomes tricky as well if you’re in that situation.
So make a point of changing your environment and surroundings. Don’t try to be the best person in the room or in your group. Be with those who challenge you, keep you motivated and inspire you to grow.
This also applies to the things that we do as well. As I said, our actions can influence behaviour as well. Make sure that most of your activities are things you want to be doing and give you energy too.
Have Some Kind Of Reward System
This is something I do with particularly hard tasks. Even if you love what you do, there can be tasks that drain you. For me, it’s writing for a specific client. What I do to stay motivated is to do the work, but also provide some reward after I hit a certain point.
Having this sort of system, in general, can be impactful. Especially when you are starting off.
For your daily tasks, taking breaks or doing something else you love can be a good incentive. On a larger scale, you can always treat yourself to something nice. Or remind yourself of those bigger rewards too.
The idea is to tailor a reward system that is good for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the optimal way to keep your energy going. Even consider rewards like listening to relaxing music while you’re working can be part of it.
Don’t Always Use Money As A Motivator
This tip should be more like “be wary of your motivators”, but I do want to pick on money a bit.
When people think of incentives or motivators, people may be quick to using money, or motivational content in general.
And while the thought is good, I feel people’s intentions aren’t in the best place when they use that.
The key here is to stay motivated of course, but we see time and again that money fails us. For example, if financial growth right now for you is at a crawl, it can be hard to persuade yourself to keep working. Who knows how long it’ll take you to see more financial growth after all.
Another solid example is looking at my own business. I’ve been writing for five years just about and the first two years I struggled a lot. Part of that struggle was the fact that I wanted to make a lot of money.
It wasn’t until I looked at my business and found other motivators that money soon followed after.
What I suggest is to do what I did. Look for deeper and personal reasons for doing something. I find looking for internal sources to be more consistent than external forces like money or motivational content.
Stay Motivated By Visualizing Results
One thing I’ve talked about from time to time is intrinsic motivation. This is motivation where you have goals and you’ve got a vision to go with them. If you’re someone who is already setting goals, my suggestion is to visualize results and the actions too.
Want to lose weight? Visualize the exercises you’re doing. The sequences. How many reps you’re doing. Everything.
Want to start a business? Visualize what the business would look like. Picture your product or service and making it happen.
What also helps with visualizing is not only the results but the emotions as well. When we visualize everything, we can stay motivated and push through
Have The Goals In Small Steps
As much as you want to be setting massive goals, that’s not how goals work. More often than not, our minds can’t handle massive tasks and we end up not doing them. Similar to vision boards, we may end up drifting off if the goals are too big.
Instead, to stay motivated, it’s smarter to set small steps that lead towards those goals. This makes the challenge seem smaller and makes it easier to achieve.
It also feels more natural seeing as goals at their core are like daily habits. For example, if you want to lose weight it boils down to habits like walking daily or eating healthier.
These are small changes to make in our lives. Not only that but they are specific in what you need to do.
Compare that to goals like losing 30 pounds or being healthy, those are still cryptic in how one achieves them. Sure one is more specific than the other, but 30 pounds is a larger ordeal compared to setting a goal to go for a walk five days a week or work out 10-20 minutes per day.
Stay Motivated By Focusing On What You Can Control
There is a surprising amount of stuff that is out of our control. Unfortunately, many people have a tendency to harp on those things and it drains motivation.
What if what I’m doing amounts to nothing?
What if I apply and I get turned down?
There are all kinds of thoughts but those circumstances are out of our control. What is in our control is how we react to those situations and how we view them. We can also control how we act moving forward.
If you fail, you can always try again after you learn your lessons.
Running into problems? View them as challenges and plan around them.
Have A Plan And Act On It To Stay Motivated
Fail to plan is a plan to fail as they say. I believe having some outline is going to be key to success and to stay motivated. It’s something that you can fall back onto when you need direction or guidance.
As far as making an effective plan, I believe in being brief. Why I say that is because many people get so wrapped up in creating plans, they forget to act on those plans.
Keep a plan simple, set some goals and have simple steps. Other alternatives are using a vision board properly or having a solid to-do list.
Stay Motivated All The Time
Staying motivated all the time is a tricky thing. There will be times where your focus and motivation will shake. It’s during these times where you want to be focusing on these strategies.
Fall back on them and have enough that you have a way to get motivated and stay there.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon