Life stinks sometimes. It’s a fact. Sometimes bad things happen that are beyond our control. When unexpected things happen, it can really throw you off your game. We all go through it, but when life happens, how do you stay motivated?
Most recently, I took time off writing and blogging due to the flu. Now, it is really, really hard to get my butt back in gear. The first days, my mind was foggy and all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed. After a week of downtime, I finally forced myself to get back to the gym.
You may ask what is my motivation? I have lost a significant amount of weight. It took me two year to do this and I don’t want to have to struggle to lose it all over again. That is an big motivator!
Another motivator for me is that I look forward to backpacking, camping, and hiking this summer. That means I have to stay in shape! If I don’t, I simply can’t do the things I enjoy. And that’s not cool! So, back to the gym, it is.
The Secret to Stay Motivated
I have a secret to tell you about motivation; There is no answer that works for everyone. That’s the honest truth.
For example, I am not highly competitive. I like to challenge myself, but when it comes to competing with others, I could care less. However, some people are highly competitive. For them, a small competition is the perfect kick in the pants to get things back on course.
I am a very rational person. If I can’t see the benefit of something, I won’t do it. However, if I see a rational reason behind something, I will put all of my effort behind it. One good reason is all I need to push myself. Other people may need more of a push to stay motivated.
Take Baby Steps
When I am dreading writing a blog post or article, I procrastinate. A lot. I do it every time! However, if I get going, I want to keep that momentum going. That first, small step is a great motivator to get things over with.
Don’t Stop until you are Finished
A great way to stay motivated is to see results. To do that, don’t stop in the middle of a project, if you can help it. The snowball effect is a powerful motivator and it’s hard to gain momentum when you have to start over again.
Stop in the Middle
Say what? Didn’t I just tell you not to stop until you are finished? Yes, I did. BUT, and this is a big but, this works for some people.
In order to stay motivated and get going, it is easier to start your day when you are finishing a thought. Instead of sitting around trying to think about what to do, finish what you started. Once you get going, it is much easier to continue to the next task.
Set goals! I can’t stress this enough. With my freelance writing business, I usually have a dollar amount I want to hit on the days I write. This helps me plan a budget. I try to go slightly over that amount, just in case anything happens.
If you are working on a large project, set a goal for each day’s work. Stop at a point that makes you anxious to get back to work to see results.
Use Visual Motivators
I am the kind of person that has to visualize progress and success. I have dry erase boards, a Jot Boogie Board, and other methods I employ to visualize my progress.
Right now, we are remodeling a house. Since some changes are not always easy to see, I take tons of progress pictures. Pictures help me to see the progress I’ve made.
I like to post my progress pictures on Instagram and Facebook too. I like to see that progress and it encourages me and to stay motivated.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Hold yourself accountable for your own actions. When I post progress photos to social media, I feel more accountable for my actions. I have people following my progress. I want the results, but I want others to see the results too.
Surround Yourself with Positivity
Don’t be a pessimist. I used to be pretty pessimistic, and sometimes I still am. These days I try to look at the brighter picture. I think of writing an article or blog post as paying for one more thing in the house we are remodeling. Checking one more thing off my list is a load of weight off my shoulders.
There are only so many days you can go without any kind of reward. As I tell my husband, “You can’t continue to burn the candle at both ends.” Rewards can be monetary or an experience. Take a day off, eat a nice meal, and relax for the whole day!
Rewards are a great way to stay motivated and can be scheduled to keep you on task. If you have a weekend getaway to look forward to, it will motivate you to finish.
Do What Works for You!
Most importantly, do what works best for you. No two people are the same and your motivations will vary greatly.
So, what works best for you? Share your experience and advice in the comments.
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