You’re probably here right now because you’re lacking in motivation. In this article I’ll go over a proven strategy consisting of 6 steps to dramatically boost your motivation so you can tackle your goals harder than ever before.
Let’s dive right in.
Step 1 – Get Clear
Everyone has goals. The issue is over 80% of the population aren’t clear on their goals. “Make money” can be a goal but doing one shift and earning $50 satisfies that goal. What do you want exactly? Where do you want to be? What type of person do you want to be?
Do you want to be disciplined? Do you want to be someone who saves X amount regularly? Do you want to be someone who reads a book each day? Do you want to exercise each day?
Get clear about where you want to be, who you want to be and by when you want to hit that goal. I can set myself a goal of a net worth of $1,000,000, but if that means saving $10,000 a year for 100 years that’s a lot less exciting that hitting $1,000,000 in 5 years.
If you want your goals to excite you, make them grand and glorious. If your goals don’t scare you, make them bigger. If you aim for the moon and miss, at least you’ll be on top of the world.
Step 2 – Start Now
Your future comes down to every single decision you have made and every decision you will make from here on out. As much as we love hearing inspirational stories from people who have achieved the body of their dreams, or wealth beyond their wildest imaginations or other crazy achievements, we never hear stories about those who failed.
The reality is that it’s really hard, over 80% of new year’s resolutions fail even before January ends. If you were to ask people if they’re still going on their new year’s resolution by March, it’s quite scary. Not to sound egotistical, but you’re better than that. Your decisions now make up your future. You can’t change the past, but you control your decisions for the future.
The more decisions and the more action you take that will bring your goals closer to you, the faster you’ll hit your goals. So take more decisions starting today that will take you closer towards where you want to be. A famous quote summarises my sentiment towards this factor; ‘everyone either suffers the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret.’ What you suffer from is your choice.
When you make any decision, be weary of whether or not they’re productive towards your goals in life. If they are, awesome. If they aren’t, understand the sacrifice you’re making.
Step 3 – Build Habits
Most, if not all, successful people, in any field (minus the ones who inherited it), always have one thing in common. They have great discipline towards their goals. So, let’s be real. Even if you stop everything and exercise without any breaks for the next week, you’ll likely not get abs and you can’t be fit if you’re dead.
You have to exercise, diet, sleep, hydrate and manage stress effectively for at least a few months before you can get abs.
So bring your focus towards the habits you want to build, that will eventually bring you the success you desire.
Let’s me ask you a simple question. How hard is it for you to walk? Pretty easy, right? Well the statistics say that kids fall over thousands of times before they learn how to walk. But once they learn it, they practice it for a few more months and suddenly it becomes effortless.
Imagine if you had the same experience with saving money, exercising daily or whatever other goals you may have. Just like you don’t need willpower to walk, you won’t need willpower to do anything that you practice enough.
Get started, stay consistent for a week, two weeks, three weeks, a month, two months and three. At all these pitstops, ask yourself, how difficult was it to get motivated?
Chances are, it’s hard to get motivated the first handful of times. After that it becomes easier, and easier, and easier until eventually it becomes effortless. The goal is to get there.
Step 4 – Overcoming Overwhelm.
Everything you’ve read so far leads into my next point, having goals is fabulous but now how do you just get started? Likely surely, the goals of having a fabulous body, or having millions in the bank is really motivating but at the same time scarily intimidating.
I’m with you. It’s pretty scary, you know what if you get all hyped on eventually getting there, but you never do. The pain of failure is a stinger. No one really wants to face that disappointment.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret, the brain can’t differentiate between imagined and reality. Use visualization to your advantage. I’m going to share with you my personal strategy, before I take on any task I spend a few minutes to visualize the process prior to me executing.
For example, before a workout, and during rest periods, I’ll visualize myself doing the exercise, I’ll feel the repetitions, I’ll feel the muscle tiredness, I’ll feel myself pushing hard and I’ll really live it in my mind. You can spend a few minutes visualizing what exactly you need to do, prior to doing it.
Just to be clear, a lot of self-help advocates that you should visualize your end-goal, but controversially studies have shown this can reduce your motivation. So instead, I suggest visualizing the process you’ll take.
By doing this, and spending a few minutes to properly visualize the process, you’re warming your body up to executing it in real life. Try it for something you’re putting off, maybe it’s doing chores, cleaning something, doing homework etc. Visualize yourself doing that task for about 5 minutes, then just get at it.
Motivation will come a LOT easier, I promise.
Step 5 – Sit Up Straight
Hopefully all my advice thus far fired you up. In case of a motivation emergency, I’ll include one more quite effective strategy that I use.
Sitting up straight.
I want you to look at your posture, are you slouched forwards or do you have a comfortably straight back? Is your chest pushed out or are your shoulders coming in? Are your arms wide apart or are they hugging your body?
When you’re sad and distraught, me and you both will naturally want to slouch over. What actually happens is your body reads your posture, then uses that to further influence your moods. You feel sad, so you look sad and your body makes you even more sad. Similarly, if you feel insecure, tired and lazy, and you look that way, the feelings just go stronger.
Fake it till you make it really does apply here. The science proves this but let’s run a quick experiment. First note down how you feel right now. Then set a timer on your phone for two minutes and try to hold a stable posture for those two minutes. After the two minutes is up, notice how you feel and compare it to your notes. Even though you may not feel over the moon, I promise it’ll improves feelings of confidence, energy and vitality.
Confidence goes a long way with motivation, first we need to be clear about what we want, create momentum and have the confidence to see it through. Sit up straight, let yourself experience feelings of confidence and let that fire your motivation up. Admittedly maintaining great posture is hard, but be mindful of it as your posture has a powerful effect on your mood.
Step 6 – Put Away Your Phone
Honestly, I get it. I love my phone as much as the next guy, but having run a few experiments where I put my phone away, I noticed my motivation for just getting things done exploded after a few days. The thing is that we’ve become addicted to our phones, constantly needing it to distract us from the pressures of live.
The sad thing is that while our lives can be stressful, they’re also full of opportunity. That thing you don’t want to do at work, might help you get that promotion. Attending to an argument with your family might help you deepen your relationship. Exercising even though you’re tired and stressed might give you the energy and strength you so desperately need.
When we resort to our phones in the face of any stress, as we scroll mindlessly through our social media feeds, we’re training ourselves to run away.
When we make the conscious effort to just stick with it, see it through and to not use our phones as a coping mechanism, all of a sudden you’re so much more focused. The science isn’t off either, phone usage can reduce sleep quality, increase feelings of depression, increase feelings of anxiety, increase feelings of stress and restlessness and ultimately, undermine our feelings of happiness.
If I had to pick between a few hours of scrolling on Facebook or my happiness and peace of mind, my choice is easy.
Let’s be real, I don’t have the answers for discipline that are perfect for you. I know what works for me and I’m more than happy to share that with you. But for you to create the changes you want in your life, it will take much more than mine and other people’s advice, and that’s exactly how it’s meant to be. You will resonate with some things I say, and others not so much.
I haven’t lived in your shoes, and you haven’t lived in mine. The way certain things can impact me, they can also have no impact on you. Vice versa, there are a few things that you hold quite dearly that I would not due to differing lives. So, nor me or no one else will ever be able to provide a clear cut answer on how you can be disciplined. That being said, I hope my advice does help you.
Thank you for reading thus far.
I really appreciate your time and your effort, every single reader motivates me so much more to keep writing and to share my voice to the world.
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Again, I’m so grateful that you trusted me with your time.
Take care and speak soon.
P.S: If you used any of these strategies and they helped you, note them down so you can motivate yourself when you’re feeling down.