In my previous article, I discussed 5 ways to keep yourself motivated. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here.
If you’re honest with yourself, you will admit having low points in your day or week. Periods when you do not feel the drive to pursue your goals. Worse, such periods come without warning and they hit you like a falling stack of cartons.
Back in the days, I used to beat myself up for feeling this way. As I learned and grew, however, I discovered that it was the normal course of life for everyone who commits to achieving something great.
You see, if you had no goal, lack of motivation would not be a problem. Heck, you wouldn’t even notice you lacked motivation. But a periodic lack of motivation only shows that you are making progress and you are battling your fair share of resistance to get to the top.
When you fall into that dip again, keep the following 5 lessons in mind.
1. Make Your Goals Achievable
In my goal-setting masterclass, I teach participants that a goal should follow the SMART model if they are ever going to achieve it. SMART is the acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound. I believe you have seen it before. But in case you haven’t, look it up in my goalsetting video here.
Part of what makes your goals possible is the element of achievability. If you are a fashion design startup aiming for Zara or Gucci status in 6 months, you have set yourself up for failure already. Why? Your goal disregards the law of process.
So starting today, split your big goals into small chunks you can achieve daily. This way, you are more likely to follow through. But it does not end there.
2. Give Yourself Achievement Rewards
My one-on-one mentoring sessions have shown me that we are often the last to acknowledge our efforts. What I mean is, when most people achieve something worth celebrating, they shrug it off with “well, that’s what I should’ve done anyway.” Modest as this sounds, it is a quick motivation killer.
When you acknowledge yourself for a work well done and also reward yourself for it, you are sending a strong message to your subconscious. Like dogs, humans also thrive on rewards.
How do you know when to reward yourself? Set standards! When you have clear performance indicators for your goals, it is easy to know when you did a great job and when you flopped.
It works. Try it now!
3. Set Reasonable Deadlines
Back in the university, lecturers often dished out weekly assignments to us. Sometimes when we are lucky, the submission is two weeks from the announcement date.
My observation is, most students often let the first week pass without doing zilch on their assignments. Heck, some leave it until the eve of submission. What did I do in those periods? I procrastinated like the others. (Laughs)
Sometimes, the assignment looks mentally draining and so I’d rather not deal with it upfront. I preferred to shove it into the future. But when the deadline comes, I suddenly find my creative juices flowing and I give it my best shot; only to repeat the cycle on a different assignment.
To be honest, don’t you do the same?
Perhaps you are a repentant procrastinator. But you can admit to finishing stuff a night to the deadline. What does that tell you? Deadlines are motivation steroids. They empower you to do stuff you never thought you could do.
So, set deadlines for yourself and make sure you honour them. When all else fails, a deadline is the ultimate motivator.
4. Prepare For Downtimes
We are not born with motivation. Unlike blood, we do not have motivation flowing through our veins 24/7. Like food in the stomach, we run short of motivation. The key is to know where to go for a refill.
Yours could be watching a motivational video. It could be listening to an empowering song or reading an inspiring line in a book. You could remind yourself of why you started by staring into your vision board for a while and let the memories drive your motivation tank full.
Know what works for you and explore it.
5. Never Forget Why You Started
In my years of coaching, I have realised that nothing keeps people on track than knowing why they began. I once heard the story of a young man who made it through the university and graduated top of his class.
When asked the secret of his success, he narrated how he had lost his father as a boy. He worked to support his mother and his younger siblings. When it was time to go to university, he could not find a sponsor. His mother could not afford the fees either.
God so kind, he landed a scholarship to school outside the country. The only condition for the scholarship to continue is that he remains the best student in his set for every session.
He studied like crazy. He gave his education full focus and maintained a perfect CGPA until he emerged best graduating student for the entire school that year. His why was simple; he either emerge the best every year or risk dropping out of school altogether.
As you set your goals, write out at least 10 reasons why you want to achieve them. These would be your anchor when your boat hits rock.
Which of these 5 lessons hit home for you? Please share in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe.