Actions You Can Take Toward a More Motivated You
The key to finding and maintaining the drive, momentum and creativity you need is a strong sense of motivation
By Gina Blitstein
Whatever you seek to accomplish, the key to finding and maintaining the drive, momentum and creativity you need is a strong sense of motivation. Your motivation can make or break your productivity. Even when you "want" to take on a project or task, numerous factors must align in order to propel you forward toward completing it.
It's all well and good to have good intentions where motivation is concerned. Without positive and solid actions, however, it's all just that - intentions. Fortunately, there are many actions you can take to help those factors fall into place and enhance your motivation. Here are some concrete steps to help enhance your motivation:
Steps toward Enhancing Motivation
- Define/redefine goal - Motivation may wane when you're trying to stick a round peg into a square hole. Go back and assess your ultimate goal to make sure that it's realistic and achievable.
- Track that goal - Don't just assume that your goal will be achieved. Break it down into smaller increments so you can witness your progress easily. It's very motivational to acknowledge and celebrate those benchmarks you achieve along the way!
- Schedule yourself - work toward it on a regular and ongoing basis - Instead of saying, "I'm going to walk on the treadmill three days a week," make it a commitment by scheduling it like any other appointment. If it's truly a priority, scheduling tasks associated with a goal will motivate you and remove excuses for neglecting or postponing it.
- Take a break - Stand up, stretch, drink some water, take a walk, take a vacation... whatever it takes to clear your mind for a time and refocus. When you return, you'll be more highly motivated and energized.
- State your goal publicly - Once others know your goal, it becomes awkward and embarrassing to back out of it. It's like employing self-inflicted motivational "blackmail," and it can be highly effective.
- Brainstorm - Invite fresh, new, out-of-the-box ideas into your mind. Brainstorming opens the floodgates, washing away what's stale and flowing in a fresh perspective.
- Read/learn - Perhaps your motivation is waning because your mind isn't adequately challenged. Make the effort to read up on a subject or take a class to enhance your knowledge and jumpstart your intellect.
- Talk to someone with a fresh perspective - One sure way to get out of your own head is to engage with someone else's. Pick someone's brain about your goals, project or something totally unrelated. The change will do your motivation good.
- Find support - There is strength in numbers. Whether you take on a partner, contribute to a forum or join a club, don't go at it alone. These exterior sources can be encouraging motivators, whether things are smooth sailing or choppy seas.
- Prioritize - Circumstances and people change, and you must be willing and able to perceive what's most important at any given time. Stubborn adherence to irrelevant goals isn't productive and will ultimately bring your motivation to a screeching halt.
- Give yourself permission to move at your own pace and accept the ebb and flow of your motivation - No matter how much of a dynamo you are, no one can give it their all 24/7 and expect to be able to keep up an energized, creative and productive pace. Learn to recognize the times when you've "got it" and give it your all. Also, learn to recognize and accept when your energy and focus are lagging. Motivation is cyclic - it will come around if you give it the occasional break it needs. To force yourself to "be motivated" when you're distracted and/or not legitimately feeling it will prove disheartening.
- Keep on keepin' on - Don't abandon all hope! If one project lacks promise or results at the present time, keep forging ahead with something else to keep your mind and body occupied. Remember, there's value in the journey - not just in the destination. There's nothing motivational about a state of stagnation.
- Visualize your success - It may begin as nothing more than a glimmer of light at the end of a long dark tunnel, but try to "see" the results you want. Every step closer will create a clearer vision of your success, and there's nothing as motivational as seeing a dream through to fulfillment.
Motivation is a complicated issue with many contributing factors. While there will always be roadblocks and setbacks to achieving our goals, motivation is a key driving force behind our success, and we have the power to enhance it.
Rather than merely "wanting" motivation, taking actions such as these will help you to actually "be" more motivated.
Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC