I believe we can all relate to the feeling of getting excited about something and the, “I’m going to do this!” attitude, and then after some time it turns to, “Meh, I’m over it.”
How many projects have we started and then stopped mid-way? Are short-term goals better for you, while looking at the long-term goals is difficult? I fall into the category of liking short-term goals. I was never good at answering the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” A lot of things can happen in five years, and I’m just trying to figure out the next six months.
Keeping ourselves motivated in all areas of life, takes time and attention. When we start something that is going to take some time to grow and nurture, it’s easy to get sidetracked. The big picture of how it will feel when that goal is accomplished can get lost over time.
Here are some ideas for staying motivated when you want to throw in the towel.
- What is your “Why?” It’s important to be clear why you wanted to do this in the first place. What were you hoping to accomplish when you started something? When goals get sidetracked, or if it’s not going according to your plan, ask yourself, “Why did I start this?” Knowing your “why” behind what you are doing will keep you motivated and moving towards your goal.
- Make a plan. If you created a plan at the start of your goal, pull it out and re-examine it. Does the timeline of accomplishing this plan need to be changed? If you don’t have a plan, make one. It’s important to have clear steps to stay motivated. If this is a long-term plan, set up smaller goals along the way. There needs to be milestones, so the big picture doesn’t stay too large and feel unattainable.
- Work towards your goal every day. If you want to be a better writer, you need to write every day. If you’re working towards your degree or a certification, don’t let a day go by that isn’t dedicated to attaining it. I work on my blog and podcast every day. How can I make it better, what needs to get accomplished today, what articles do I need to read that I can implement into making my business better? If you only have 1 hour to put towards your goal, do that. Something is better than nothing.
- Have people to lean on. To stay motivated, you need to have individuals who have your back and will motivate you when you want to quit or walk away from something. I’ve learned over time who has my back and who doesn’t. It doesn’t mean those people are not in my life, it means they are not my motivators. There’s nothing wrong with that, but know who in your life is going to give you the boost you need when you need it.
- Recognize when progress is being made towards your goal. Don’t discount when there is progress towards your goal. You may not have met the goal yet, but what type of progress are you making? Is some part of your plan getting easier to do? Are you grasping an idea or concept that you struggled with when you started on this path? Give yourself credit when you are sticking to it and moving in the right direction.
Staying motivated takes work, but with the right plan and goals in place, you can get there. It may take months or even years, but in the end, it will be worth it. Remember why you started this, and why you want this to be a goal in your life. Keep pushing forward and you will get there!