We all understand that in order to achieve the success that we want in life, we need to consistently take action and move toward our goals. There’s only one problem with this, which is often times, we lack the motivation to do it.
Motivation is the energy that keeps you charged up and put you into taking action and makes your goals and dreams come true. Thus, if you don’t have any motivation, there’s a high tendency that you will procrastinate and put things off.
We all set goals, but we tend to procrastinate on our goals. We all have to-do lists, but we fail to follow through.
There are days when you are totally charged up and motivated. You feel like you can do anything and are so productive. You can accomplish a lot through the day.
There are also days when you are totally down and in a slump. You don’t have the motivation to do what you supposed to get done. You just feel like want to get lazy and don’t want to get anything done.
This is perfectly alright. We are human beings and human tend to have mood swings from time to time. However, do understand this; successful people tend to have more productive and motivated days than ordinary people.
It is totally alright if you feel no motivation and wanted to put things off once in a while. However, if this is what is happening to you every day, I’m pretty sure that your life would be in a mess.
High achievers are able to achieve outstanding results in life because they know how to handle procrastination and stay motivated most of the time. I’m not saying that they are motivated all the time. There are also times when great people need a rest. It is just that their down time is rare and it is only for awhile.
Therefore, if you wanted to be a high achiever, you need to learn how to get motivated and stay motivated most of the time. And below are the 7 techniques how you can do so…
1. Rediscover Your Purpose
Knowing why you do what you do will give you a strong reason to do it. A lot of people go through life without really knowing their purpose behind, that’s why most of them don’t have much motivation in life.
If you look at most of the working people out there, you will discover that they don’t really have a clear, specific, emotional and exciting purpose in their work.
The main reason that they get to work is because need the salary to pay their bills by the end of the month. They work to get paid in order to survive. And this is not a good purpose for doing things.
On the other hand, if you look at people such as Richard Branson and Steve Jobs, they get to work not because of money, instead, it is because they love what they do and they have a strong passion for it.
No wonder Richard Branson and Steve Jobs are able to achieve so much and are always motivated to get things done.
So what is your purpose? What makes you do what you do?
For example, if you don’t have the motivation to get to the gym, you must first discover your purpose. Why do you want to go to the gym and have a fit body? Is your reason strong enough? Is your reason exciting for you?
There’s a guy who can’t find a strong reason to quit smoking. He has the intention to stop smoking, but he failed to do it and continue to smoke for a few years down the road.
Until one day he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and the doctor told him that he has to stop smoking or else he would die of lung cancer in the next few years. Guess what happen then?
That guy stopped smoking immediately and never picked up another cigarette ever again. He now has a strong and emotional reason to stop smoking. He knows that if he still smokes, he may die of lung cancer.
So what about you? Do you have a strong reason and purpose behind to support you?
Here’s What You Can Do
Find out what are the things that you procrastinate on. Get a piece of paper and split the paper into 2 sides, left and right.
On the left side, write down all the reasons why you don’t want to do the task. And on the right side, write down all the reasons why you want to do the task.
Now, compare the 2 lists of reasons. Which side is more appealing to you? If the left side is more appealing, then that said it why you will procrastinate. And if the right side is more appealing to you, most likely you will get the task done.
Your mission right now is to find as much reasons and purposes to add into the right side of the paper. You want to have a lot of fun, exciting, strong and emotional reasons to support you in what you want to do.
Staying motivated is something that you need every day in order move forward every day. If you don’t have a strong reason, your motivation will never last.
2. Make It Exciting
It is said that if your goals are not exciting, you will never have the motivation to achieve them.
Let me ask you this question, do you still remember the first time you boarded an airplane? Or if you don’t remember, maybe you can recall the first time you travel to a place that you have never been before?
Are they exciting? What about your first date? Do you feel excited? The moment you first hold your love’s hands, are you nervous and excited?
I believe that everyone has the exciting feeling. Even up to today, whenever I have the chance to travel overseas to a country that I have never been before, I will feel excited and fun.
This is exactly what is happening if your goals are exciting. This is why people jump out of their bed early morning and can’t wait to prepare themselves and to start their day.
You see, if whatever you want to do is going to be exciting, you will always feel alive and energetic. You can’t wait to get it done.
The sad truth is that most people have made their work so boring and they turn their life into a routine that they are not excited at all.
Life is full of adventures! If you don’t feel excited about your work and your life, it is your responsibility and your choice to make it exciting again. You can choose to live an ordinary life, or you can choose to make your life as excited as never before. The choice is yours.
Think about it, what do you love doing? What is your hobby? Do you love to play computer games? And do you feel excited and have all the energy to stay up late to play the games?
I still remember when I was in the university. Me and my friends are able to wake up at 6am just so that we can get to the basketball court at 7am and have fun playing basketball.
When I was in my secondary school and during the school holidays, I slept at 3am every day because I’m having a lot of fun playing PlayStation. I don’t remember feeling tired or lack of motivation during that time.
Here’s What You Can Do
So you definitely have to make the things that you want to do exciting and fun for you. If it is something boring and does not excite you at all, how are you going to get the motivation to do it?
There are many ways you can add the fun and excitement elements into your tasks. You just need to be creative and willing to do it.
If you want to get to the gym, make it fun by asking your friends along.
If you want to wash the dishes, you can play your favourite songs while doing it.
If you want to write an article, you can go to Starbucks, order your favourite coffee and write it there.
There are many ways how you can make things fun. You just need to ask yourself how you can make it fun and how you can make the task the best part of your day.
Be creative and enjoy it. Life is supposed to be fun and full of excitement. So find the fun that drives you now.
3. Build Your Momentum
Want to get motivated to do anything? First, create your momentum. Just like pushing a car. It is difficult at first and it requires a lot of energy to do. Once it started to move, you don’t need as much energy to push it.
When you are in your lazy state or state of no motivation, you have to break out from that state. You have to start doing something that will create the inertia and grow the momentum to push you forward.
Just like writing this article, I start by writing the headline. And once I got the idea of the headline, I started to feel the ideas flowing in me and that allows me to write all the sub headlines and my first sentence.
After I wrote the first sentence, I have built up the momentum and I will just continue to write. Motivation is not an issue for me anymore once I got the momentum.
Start Small To Build The Momentum
You don’t have to tackle the whole task in one go. All you need to do is to break down the tasks into small actionable steps and commit to do the first step.
If you wanted to get to the gym, you just need to commit to get change. Once you have changed to your sports attire, you will automatically get to the gym, 99.9% without fail.
The reason being that once you moved, you created the momentum to keep moving. Just like a train. It started slowly and requires a lot of push to get it moved. But once it moved, it will be unstoppable and requires a lot of energy to stop again.
Always remember this, success breeds more successes. With all the small successes that you have gained, you will build up your confident and create more successes.
You don’t have to do all the things at once. Just do the first step and take small action will be sufficient.
Here’s What You Can Do
What is the task you want to get done? Making 20 cold calls? Writing an article? Getting to the gym and workout?
Break down your goal into small and actionable tasks that you can do immediately, and commit to take the first small step now.
If your goal is to write an article, commit to only write the first sentence.
If your goal is to make 20 cold calls, commit to only make 1 cold call.
If your goal is to sweep and mop the whole house, commit to start and sweep only a portion of your house.
Remember, all you want to do here is to build up the momentum. You just need to take the first step and the rest will follow through.
4. Create Your Ritual
In one of my previous articles, I said that the best way to stay motivated all the time is by turning it into your habit.
Yes, it is true that you have to turn taking action into your habit so that you will do it automatically without much of your conscious effort. Successful people have made taking action their habit, that’s why they are able to take massive action every day.
And in order for you to do that, you have to first create your ritual. You need to understand what is the cue that will drive you and put you into taking action.
If you read The Power Of Habits from Charles Duhigg, you will understand that before you do your routine, you will need a cue.
For example, whenever you see your sports shoe, you reminded yourself to get to the gym. And that shoe is your cue. It is the trigger that will drive you into taking action.
Do you have the 3pm tea time syndrome? Some people will get themselves a cup of coffee every day at the same time at 3 pm. They do it without fail because they have actually turned it into their habit.
Whenever they look at the clock, it’s 3pm (the cue), they will get into their ritual of making a cup of coffee and enjoy it.
This is why we need to review our goals consistently every single day. You have to make it a cue that will trigger you to take action.
If you want to learn more about how your habits have made you who you are today and how you can change them, I strongly recommend you to get Charles Duhigg’s book.
Here’s What You Can Do
There are 3 steps to creating your rituals. What you need to do is to create the cue, do the routine and get the reward.
Develop Your Cue
You have to develop the cue. What is the routine before you start doing something? If your task is to wash the dishes, what is the thing that cue and trigger you into doing it? Is it switching on the TV?
Some people will eat some snack before they get to the gym and workout. While some other people will listen to a certain song before they start their work.
As for me, my cue for blogging is morning time. I prefer to write in the morning than in the afternoon. Usually I have a lot of motivation to write in the morning.
When in the afternoon, I feel lack of motivation and less ideas to blog. So every morning right after I wake up, I will review my goals, do some readings and start to blog. Reading is my trigger that will get me into action.
Once you knew what cues you into taking action, all you need to do are to repeat the cue. Of course, the cue will be more effective if it is in the right time, right place, and right environment and has been using for some time.
5. Change Your Physiology
Do you know that by changing your physiology, you can change your emotion as well? I first came across this concept from Tony Robbins. He said that emotions are created by motions.
In other words, your face expression, your posture, your breathing pattern, your eye sight, etc, will affect the state of mood you are in.
Here’s an interesting test you can do right now. What you can do is to look up at the ceiling, and then make a big grin. Now, keep this expression and try to think about sad things that will make you sad.
Can you do that?
You can’t. When you think about sad things, you will get yourself into a sad state. And when you are in the sad state, your physiology will be in the different way than when you are happy.
Meaning to say, if you want to be motivated and stay energetic, all you need to do is to get yourself into the right physiology.
When you are in a sad or unmotivated state, you will lean your head forward, your shoulders are slump, your breathing is slow and shallow, your eye sight will be looking down, and your facial expression is droopy.
Now, you change your state if you wanted to. Just snap it out. Jump up from your chair, breath faster and deeper, put your should straight and upright, hold your fist and do a fist pump and then shout out loud, “Yes!”
Notice that your state will immediately changed. You will change from a sad or unmotivated state to a higher energy state. You will feel more energy flowing in your and you will be more resourceful.
Remember, your emotion is created by your motion. The way you move, the way you sit, the way you look, the way you breathe and your facial expression will affect the mood you are in.
Here’s What You Can Do
If you’re feeling no energy and no motivation, jump up to the air, stand straight, look up, focus your eye sight, breathe fast and deep, put up a confident facial expression, and hold your fist tight and say, “I’m powerful!”
Feel the difference? Do share with me if you did this.
6. Reward Yourself
If you don’t have the motivation to do something, it is because the rewards are not excited enough for you.
Do you feel motivated to work? Most people will said no, simply because the reward that they get does not motivate them.
Ask yourself this, what will make you jump out of bed each morning; feel motivated and can’t wait to do it?
If you always wanted to visit Korea, you love Koreans, you love to eat kimchi so much, it has always been your dream to go there, and now you finally got the chance to go there, do you think you will feel excited and motivated and can’t wait for this day to come?
Of course you would be excited and can’t wait for the day to come. I bet that you can’t even sleep the night before because you are so excited about it.
This is the kind of fun and exciting reward that we are talking about. If going to the gym does not excite you, probably it is because the reward is not enticing enough.
What you need to do then, is to create the reward that is irresistible that you will do whatever it takes to do it.
If your current income is $10,000 a month, setting your goal to earn $11,000 a month is not going to motivate you and make you jump out of your bed. You need something bigger, something fun and something more exciting.
A lot of businesses out there are using this technique to hook you up. Look at those credit cards company. They put up a ton of rewards when you sign up for their cards.
This is a very powerful marketing strategy used by businesses to attract customers to buy from them. The next time you go shopping, try to notice all these irresistible offers and rewards, see which one entice you and you would actually buy into it.
Here’s What You Can Do
You can create a reward that is irresistible that you will do whatever it takes to achieve it.
If you love to drink coffee but hate to tidy up your bed, commit to yourself that you will never drink coffee if you did not tidy up your bed.
If you love to watch movie and has no motivation to go to the gym, commit to yourself that no gym, no movie.
If you love to play computer games, commit to finish off all your tasks only then allow yourself to play the games.
7. Burn The Ships And Commit 100%
When you burn all the ships, you have nowhere to go, but to march forward.
There’s a story about burning the ships. There’s an emperor requesting a general to take down an island full of enemies. The general knows that they were outnumbered.
The emperor gives the general 3,000 soldiers, but there are 10,000 enemies on the island. So how is the general going to win the war?
Once the general and his 3,000 soldiers reach the shore, he ordered his soldiers to burn all the ships. Now, all of them have no other options. They either died there or they win the war to stay alive.
This is what it means by putting yourself on the line. You don’t really need to do something to boost up your motivation here. All you need to do is to commit and leave yourself no other options.
Just like the stop smoking example I gave above, you will definitely stop smoking when you are diagnosed with lung cancer. It has become a MUST. It is either you do, or you die.
Most people leave themselves too many options. They want to achieve great success, but in the same time, they have a lot of options and a lot of excuses.
Most people can survive even if they did not achieve what they want in life. They want to be a millionaire, but it is alright if they earn $5,000 a month.
Try to ask around and you will notice that almost everyone wanted to achieve something, but too bad that most people are not committed enough to do what it takes to produce the result they desire.
No one wants to be poor. Everyone wants to be rich and to earn more, but most people are living comfortably with their current income level. Yet, when asked, they will tell you that they wanted more.
You just need to burn all the ships and commit 100% to your goals and your dreams.
Here’s What You Can Do
Give $100 to your spouse; tell her that if you did not hit the gym and workout, she can have the $100.
Call up a few friends, tell them that you are going to achieve a certain target by when, and if you did not hit the target, you will eat a can of dog food. Now you are really putting yourself on the line.
Make a public commitment by telling a few of your supportive friends about your aims and targets. Let them motivate you and keep you on track.
These are the 7 techniques how to get motivated to do anything you want. There are many other motivational strategies out there.
So try out a few of them and see if they work for you. Motivation is something that everyone needs every single day. Sometimes even if you don’t have the motivation, you will still need to press on and do it.
Successful people are successful because they don’t let their emotions determine their productivity. They continue to work hard and move forward toward their dreams even though they don’t feel motivated.
Never use motivation as an excuse to skip taking action on your goals. If you are serious about reaching your goals, do whatever it takes.