Most people don’t understand how to stay motivated. Take this scenario: Do you start out kicking ass, ready to change the world, only to lose your steam after a few weeks?
“Motivation doesn’t work,” you might think to yourself.
Wrong. Let’s reframe. Does bathing work? I mean, you do it and smell good, but by tomorrow, it has worn off.
Is bathing bullshit? No, you just have to do it daily.
Motivation is pretty much the same thing. Here are some ways to rethink motivation to make sure it works for you.
Make Time For Motivation
Think of motivation like working out. If you schedule time for it and work your ass off, the sky’s the limit. With a good game plan and some natural aptitude, who knows, you could look like The Rock in a few years.
If you only sporadically exercise, then good luck to you. Eating an entire pizza and then going for a long run the next day out of guilt isn’t going to be enough to change your body.
Motivation works much the same way. Don’t just get yourself psyched up once because you found out some former classmate is killing it and you want to catch up. That’s not a recipe for success.
Just like getting in shape, the first key is to simply make time for it. In the early going, it doesn’t really matter what you do. Just do something.
Watch inspirational movies. Tell yourself that you’re the f*cking man. Start setting aside time once a month to get those motivational juices flowing.
That one simple step puts you miles ahead of where you were before because you will consistently replenish your motivation. It’s no longer reactionary. It’s proactive.
Revisit Your Goals … And Your Reasons For Them
In these monthly motivation sessions (doing them weekly wouldn’t hurt), restate your goals. They could be big or small, short-term or long-term. It doesn’t matter.
In fact, it actually kinda helps to have a couple big goals (happiness, financial, career, relationship, etc.) and a few small ones (move into a new place, get your desk organized).
When you can crush those small goals, it gives you something to cross off your list and helps you build momentum.
When focusing on your big, long-term goals, sometimes you’ll find yourself starting to fizzle out. It’s tough to make 10 times as much money (or whatever you financial goals are), so naturally you’ll get frustrated and lose some of your motivation.
That’s why reasons are so important. Reasons strengthen motivation. They give you the ammunition to keep firing back in the face of adversity. Create and reaffirm as many reasons as you can for why you’re pursuing a particular goal.
In the case of the financial goal, think of the freedom you could create in your life. Think of never having to worry about your bills. Think about the things you want to buy your girlfriend — but can’t.
How much could you could give back to your community or the world?
Hold those reasons in your mind and make them real. Imagine how you would feel accomplishing those things. Imagine if this goal had already happened and how you would feel on a day-to-day basis.
That’s really what you’re aiming for, not the goal itself but that feeling.
The truth is that motivation is the thing that keeps pushing you uphill when it gets tough. Without it, you can only do what’s easy. You need motivation to do what’s hard.
By viewing it as a never-ending process, like working out, you can eliminate the sporadic, reactionary, one-and-done approach and replace it with something that works.