If there were dreams for sale, what would you try to buy? No matter what your dream is—find a better job, run a marathon, lose ten pounds, learn a new skill—motivation usually makes the difference between success and failure.
These tips and tricks will help you get started:
Surround yourself with friends who think positive. The affirmative beliefs and attitudes of your peers are contagious. It’s also helpful to inform your friends of your new goals or projects. This type of disclosure to a peer may help keep you accountable to yourself.
Make it fun right from the start. Do you prefer looking at the big picture? Or are you more detail-oriented? Do you like seeking advice from “coaches” or friends? Do you prefer starting with what’s familiar or do you prefer novelty? Organize the tasks to fit your lifestyle and make it enjoyable.
Write down good ideas the moment you think of them. It’s always valuable to keep a notepad and pen handy. If you don’t have a pen and pad, open up the “notes” application on your phone! We all get good ideas, but only a few of us save them – and more importantly – execute them. They can fly out of our brains as soon as something else comes along to distract us. So be prepared to record your ideas for rides or executing your next session.
Use your dreams…literally! Right before you go to sleep, think about your goals. Get a strong mental image in your mind. If you do this night after night, it will help you visualize a plan-of-action for the following day, and you will probably sleep better!
Have a plan B, C and D. What will you do if things don’t work? With an alternative plan, you can relax in the knowledge that even in the worst case you’ll be prepared.
Set priorities. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. How do you actually spend time working on reaching your goals? Do you let everything and everyone else take precedence? Balance all your demands as best you can.
Be realistic about your work habits and needs. Are you a morning person? Do you need quiet? Do you prefer being a team member or going solo? Can you make the time to achieve your goals, or does a tight schedule get in the way? These are important considerations to make before you set off on your project, so make a note of each questions as you are setting your goals and milestones.
Celebrate successes! Make a list of everything you’ve accomplished, big and small in the past day. Then do this for the past week. You’ll realize you are a very motivated person who does hundreds of small things every day. You simply forgot or, worse, took them for granted. Realizing what a motivated person you are already will inspire you to take on bigger tasks.
Learn from your mistakes. All things of value are created from experience—and experience includes failure and setbacks. Mistakes can give you insight into yourself and others. Don’t ever be afraid to go for it!
Stop sabotaging yourself. If you don’t feel motivated, maybe it’s because you have an internal conflict. Maybe you’re worried about the unintended consequences of reaching your goal, like the possibility of failure, or what your friends will think of your ambitions. Remember that you own your dreams; you must desire everything that comes with it. Don’t do something to please someone else.
Get rid of negative self-talk. Browse any store or office, and you’ll see some negative sentiments pasted on coffee mugs and t-shirts. Many social media postings can spread some dour feelings as well. Some of the things we say to ourselves, we would never say to our best friend. Why, then, is it part of our internal chatter? Stay positive in your language. And in the company of friends, you’ll find your words and thoughts will become much more affirmative as well.
To love what you do and feel that it matters—what could be more fun and rewarding? Go get ‘em!