How Can I jumpstart myself and get motivated?
How to stop talking yourself out of your goals: 5 Ways to Motivate Yourself
Are you wondering how to motivate yourself?
I’ve been getting questions on motivation lately. Students and followers are asking me things like:
- “I have this goal but I just can’t get myself motivated to start.”
- “I was making great progress toward a goal but I lost my motivation and stopped. I can’t get started again.”
- “I’ve started working toward my goal but have lost my drive. I can’t seem to get motivated to keep going.”
- “What are the best ways to motivate yourself?”
Do you have a goal you want to achieve but you’re stuck and just don’t feel that motivation or drive to get yourself started?
Or maybe you’ve started working on your goal but it’s a daily struggle to keep going and you find yourself fading, making excuses as to why today isn’t a good day and tomorrow will be better?
I know I’ve hit this roadblock where I get really excited about a goal and dive into it. But then I start losing motivation. In the past, I’ve let it derail me.
I’ve let fear overtake my motivation, have you?
I’ll share a personal example with you. I started my first blog 7 years ago. I was so excited for this new side project, as my corporate job was extremely stressful and felt less fulfilling as each day passed. My blog was a great outlet, and something to call my own. I started making some progress toward building an audience. The craziest thing happened. An old friend, who I had lost touch with, reached out to me from 2,000 miles away and said one of her friends (someone I didn’t know) had come across my blog and recommended it to her. When she logged on to look at it, she was shocked that the blogger was me! What a crazy story, I was so excited that my blog was gaining traction and word was spreading!
I was so motivated and focused. I worked on my blog a little each day and readers were giving me feedback that I was helping them. Then it happened. I started feeling overwhelmed and began questioning my path.
- “Maybe this was a bad idea.”
- “I don’t have time for this.”
- “I’m not in the mood, I’ll work on it tomorrow.”
Days of not feeling motivated turned into weeks and months. Eventually I shut down the blog, something I regret to this day, as I start over with similar goals and dreams for this blog 7 years later. Can you imagine the progress I would’ve made by now had I stuck with it?
There’s an important question in all of this – why do we lose our motivation and how can we get it back?
I still find myself losing motivation but now I have created techniques to push past it, so that I don’t create another situation where I’m living with regret.
Here are the techniques I use to rebuild my motivation, I hope they will help you too. These are the 5 ways to motivate yourself.
1. Evaluate Why You Don’t Feel Motivated.
Most likely, it’s not a motivation issue, it’s most likely FEAR.
First and foremost, it’s important to figure out WHY you’ve lost motivation. Most of the time, it isn’t really motivation that we’ve lost, it’s actually that we’re allowing our fears to take control of the situation. In fact, some experts say motivation isn’t really a thing. It’s just a concept we’ve created to justify staying in our comfort zone.
Ask (and be honest with yourself):
- Am I afraid of failure?
- Am I afraid of someone judging me for my decision?
- Am I afraid of change and the unknown?
- Am I afraid of succeeding and how the success will change the status quo, such as my relationships?
- Am I afraid of feeling uncomfortable?
- What do I fear?
After you have the answers to this question, write it down somewhere you can easily refer back to. Write it out: “I am afraid of and when I start , I will .”
Here’s an example of my fear statement, which I have written in the front of my planner. “I am afraid of failing and so I self-sabotage. When I start making excuses and justifications to stop working, I will acknowledge this fear and keep going.”
2. Visualize and Journal Out What it Feels Like to Reach Your Goals
Set aside 20 to 30 minutes and just brainstorm. Let your brain take you to unimaginable places and write it all down as you go, in the present tense.
- What does it feel like when you’ve reached your goal?
- What time of year is it?
- Who are you with?
- What are you wearing?
- How do you feel compared to how you feel now?
- How are you celebrating?
Re-read your description when you are feeling a slump, or when you feel excuses starting to take over your drive.
And even better, set aside 5 minutes each morning to repeat this exercise. This will keep you focused on WHY you are taking on the goal in the first place, and help you overcome the fear that is trying to hold you back.
3. Make a Detailed Plan
First, write down your long-term direction. For example, mine is: I have created a wildly popular blog that helps more than 100,000 people a year and generates revenue to replace my corporate income).
Then, determine your 90 day plan. What immediate routines and actions do you need to take in the next 90 days to progress toward your goal? Write out a detailed plan, with tasks and dates, that will move you closer to your big goal.
And…write out what you WON’T do too. Are there activities you use to procrastinate that you need to stop? Write down what they are and make a commitment to stop. One trick is to tell yourself you’re just stopping for 30 days, or 60 or 90. If you tell yourself you’re stopping forever, that becomes very overwhelming and you may want to rebel.
4. Start with Something You Enjoy to Create Momentum
Look at your plan and find something you really enjoy doing. Start there so you can build some confidence and momentum.
- For example, if your goal is to get healthy, start with a daily 30 minute walk on the treadmill listening to a podcast you love, followed by 15 minutes in the sauna.
- Or, if your goal is to turn your hobby into a side business and you love technology, start by researching 3 different options for creating an online store.
Use this technique to create some excitement and momentum but use this as a stepping stone. Don’t get stuck here.
Caution: don’t stay in this mode forever, it’s called the comfort zone. You’ll want to quickly venture out to other areas that aren’t as ‘fun’ or seem overwhelming. But, use this technique to get started. I love the quote: ‘an object in motion stays in motion.’ If you just get started, and start to experience little wins, you will be able to build those quick wins and stack them on each other.
5. Create Triggers to Take Immediate Action
You know you have a lot to do but somehow you end up on the couch binge-watching Netflix or mindlessly scrolling through social media.
We’re all so busy, running from one responsibility to the next. It’s imperative that we leverage the time we do have, and not waste it on activities that aren’t serving our overall goal.
To make sure you take advantage of the pockets of time you have available, set up a trigger for yourself. For example,
After the kids go to bed, trigger yourself to take 25 minutes of action.
Set a timer, and focus on the next task you have planned in relation to your goal. The worst thing you can do (and believe me, I’ve done this a ton of times), is to sit down in front of the TV and tell yourself you just need a few minutes to unwind. Those few minutes invariably turn into hours.
Set your morning alarm clock for 30 minutes earlier than usual.
When your alarm goes off, trigger yourself to get up and make a cup of coffee. Then set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on the next task you have planned in relation to your goal. Don’t hit the snooze button. (This advice is coming from a non-morning person. I used to struggle to wake up and get going before 9. Now, I wake up between 4:30 and 5:30 each morning).
Maintain a list of quick (but important) tasks that should take 5-10 minutes each, to work in pockets during the day
. If you don’t think you have any of these, rethink your list. Can you break up some bigger projects into smaller chunks? Keep this list handy at all times. Then, when you have a few minutes of downtime (maybe a meeting ends early or your kids are miraculously playing quietly), hammer out 1 or 2 of the quick win tasks. You’ll feel so accomplished if you do a few of these each day. MOMENTUM and PROGRESS!
More Posts that Contain “Ways to Motivate Yourself”
I find a good planning system that I will actually follow consistently to make a huge difference in my daily motivation and productivity. For ideas on which planner might work best for you, check out: How to Choose a Planner You Will Actually Use
And One More Idea
If you feel like you’re constantly spinning your wheels, not sure what you accomplished at the end of each day, you might be a great candidate for the ‘Get Into Action Bootcamp’ that I’ll be offering in January. This round is a beta version and will be by application-only. If you’re interested to learn more, join the waiting list below and I’ll make sure you’re the first to receive info when it comes out.