Regardless of whether your goal is to increase your business’ profit, to lose 20 pounds, to read The Lord of The Rings trilogy, or to build a successful blog with hundreds of thousands of visits per day, there are times in your journey to reaching your goals, somewhere along the line, your motivation wanes.
Motivation comes and goes, so what can you do to ensure that you have the energy and the drive to take consistent action until you reach your goals?
Most people set goals and they have something that they want to achieve in their lives.
According to a study done by professor Andrea Bonezzi from the Stern School of Business, the slump, or the moment when your motivation fades is a very common and predictable pattern.
It happens to almost everyone.
So if this is happening to you, don’t worry because it is a normal pattern. It is not because you are lazy or don’t have what it takes.
So rest assured, my friend.
If motivation comes and goes and somewhere in the midway, our motivation wanes, what can we do? Is there a way to prevent our motivation from going away or is there a cure to this?
Yes, there is a solution to this. And the solution is…
Stop Waiting and Relying on Your Motivation
I’m not saying that motivation isn’t important. In fact, motivation is one of the keys that determine your success in life, but we cannot solely depend on motivation itself because it comes and goes.
What we can do is to rely on other ‘system’ so that we will take action and work on our goals even when we don’t have the motivation to do it.
If you are relying only on motivation to work on your goals, what if you don’t have the motivation? What if the motivation doesn’t come? Are you going to procrastinate? How many times and days are you going to procrastinate?
This is the problem that most people face when it comes to achieving their goals because they rely solely on motivation to work.
Your motivation works just like your emotions. You can feel extremely motivated in the morning, but when it comes to the afternoon, your motivation fades and you are immediately hit with a slump mood.
There are many reasons why your motivation wanes, one of the main reasons is the result.
Imagine you are feeling totally motivated to start a blog. You feel good about it and you imagine all the success that you are going to get from your blog.
In the beginning, you are so driven and you write 3 articles in one go. After a week gone, you check your traffic stats and notice that there no one is visiting your blog.
So you started to doubt yourself. Your motivation started to fade because you don’t see any significant results after pouring in your hard work for a week.
On the second week, you put in less effort thinking that no one is going to visit your blog anyway. And the cycle continues.
You put in less effort and you get even lesser results. And when you see that you have less result, you feel dejected and totally lose your motivation to work on your blog.
In the end, you give up and quit, and say that building a successful blog is difficult, so you continue your journey to look for another shiny opportunity.
Does this sound familiar? Did it happen to you?
Regardless of whether it is building a successful blog, to lose weight, to write a book, to create a life-changing product, etc, the same cycle can happen to you.
This is why solely depending on motivation to reach your goals can be very challenging.
What you need to do is NOT to rely on just motivation. Motivation is good when you have it, but what should you do when you DON’T have it?
Here’s what you can do when motivation doesn’t come knocking:
1. Build a life of discipline based on habits
We have all heard it, don’t rely on motivation, build habits instead. And this is true.
We know that motivation comes and goes, but what about habits? Yes, habits come and go as well, but not as often and as quickly as motivation.
You can build a habit and it can stick with you for life, especially once the habit has been deeply ingrained in your subconscious.
Think about the way you drive, sit, brush your teeth, bath, and how you wear your shoes each day, you are performing these actions in the same way, isn’t it?
Thus, habits are more consistent than motivation. Habits are something that we do day-in and day-out, and we don’t need much motivation to perform our habits.
Do you need to be extremely motivated to brush your teeth or to put on your shoes when you go out?
Not at all. Habits require less motivation to perform, and thus, is a better system that we can leverage on to reach our goals.
Therefore, if you want to build a successful blog, don’t just rely on motivation to do this, build habits that support this goal.
Make it a habit to write daily. For example, you can make it a habit to write 1,000 words every morning before you go to work.
And when it has become your habit, you will do it without question. You will never think about whether should you do it or not, you will just do it.
Once you have made writing 1,000 words your habit, rest assured, because eventually, you will have a blog full of good and updated content.
Michael Phelps, the Olympic gold medallist made it a habit to swim each day and kept himself in the water most of the time, and that is why he is such a good swimmer.
The same goes for Kobe Bryant, one of the most successful basketball players of all time. Kobe made it his habit to hit the court and practice every day, and that is why he becomes the best.
Now that you understand that habits are more important than motivation, so what can you do to develop habits that are helpful in reaching your goals?
Here’s my suggestion. First, read this article:
And then use the Jerry Seinfeld Calendar Method to keep your consistency.
Being consistent is crucial when it comes to building habits. You want to make sure you are performing the habit every day at the same time, in the same place, and in the same manner.
2. Leverage your environment and surroundings
The second thing you can do besides building habits is to leverage your environment and surroundings.
We all know that our environment can shape our life and so with the people we mix with most of the time.
If you mix with people who always complain and play the blame games, guess what, you will eventually think like they do and become part of them.
On the other hand, if you spend most of your time talking to highly successful people, you will be influenced by their thinking and beliefs, which eventually will give a positive impact on your life.
Thus, the environment you are in can grow you or destroy you.
And if you want to maintain your motivation to achieve your goals, build a supportive environment that is helpful to you.
For instance, if your workplace is noisy and very distracting, it is difficult for you to sit down quietly to write a blog post. What you need to do is to change the environment.
What you can do then is to either create a bunker and prevent yourself from being distracted, or get to somewhere where the environment helps you in writing the article.
There are many tips and tricks on how you can change your environment to help you in reaching your goals.
I strongly suggest you read this post:
Learn the hacks and tips about how you can change your environment to build stronger motivation to succeed.
Do you know that studies have discovered that a clean and organized desk promotes productivity and focus?
And do you know that motivational posters are not the only feature that can drive productivity and motivation to work?
According to InspirationFeed, here are the other things that can influence your level of motivation:
Poor lighting can cause physical health issues, including eye strain, headaches, fatigue, and depression, so good lights are easily among the most important features in an office. Natural light should be a priority, but natural light bulbs are an adequate substitute.
Sitting is the new smoking, as they say, so workers who can obtain standing desks should strongly consider it. Those who must sit to work should invest in an ergonomic chair and an adjustable desk to keep the monitor below eye level.
Colors have a profound effect on mood. Blue is known to incite productivity, but workers should be permitted to decorate their spaces with colors that help them stay focused.
Most offices are kept at a frosty 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit – despite evidence that productivity increases with the temperature. If employers are unwilling to touch the thermostat, employees should be allowed to bring space heaters and blankets.
An overly stressful environment is not one filled with motivated workers. Instead, since workers often spend as much time at work as at home, offices should be places of community and inspiration, where everyone feels welcome and appreciated. Smiles and laughter are the best decorations for workplaces interested in excess motivation.
So build a positive and encouraging environment that supports your dreams and goals.
3. Align what you want with your inner drive
One of the best ways to always stay driven is to align what you do with your inner drive, such as your passion.
A lot of people set goals to achieve financial freedom and to build a successful business. Take building an online business as an example.
Many people want to build a passive income from their websites and blogs, but unfortunately, most of them don’t have the consistency in taking action.
This is because what they do is not in alignment with their inner drives. You have to understand what drives you internally so that you can tap into that drive and get motivated for as long as possible.
I suggest you read this article:
And find out the 6 common drives that motivate people into taking action. Discover your inner motivation and then align your dreams around them.
And if you want to understand more about internal motivation, read the book by Daniel Pink called Drive. Else, read this article:
It is important to learn and tap into your inner potential because if you only rely on physical motivation or outer motivation, it may not work over the long term.
Knowing what drives you internally and tapping into it is one of the main reasons why successful people are able to work so hard and achieve outstanding results in their lives.
4. Create small victories and results along the way
Another thing you can do to maintain your motivation is by leveraging the success cycle.
Your motivation wanes and fades because you don’t receive the results you desire after pouring in the work.
If you are on a mission to earn $1,000 a month from the internet and you have already hit this target after 2 weeks, do you think you will have more motivation to set a higher goal the following month? Do you think you will be more excited about what’s possible?
This is why results are important. People become doubtful and they started to lose their motivation because they don’t see the results.
When they get the results they want, they start to believe that they can do it and what they do is worthy. Thus, they become more motivated and are ready to put in even more hard work.
Therefore, here’s what you can do:
- Get results as quickly as possible,
- Celebrate whatever small victories you have,
- Start small and grow.
Here’s a great method of thinking that can help you feel like a success right away. It was an idea shared by famous coach and entrepreneur, Dan Sullivan.
Watch this short video below from Vishen Lakhiani and how he explains about the “Reverse Gap” thinking:
The key is to make yourself feel like a success right now and not when you achieve your goals.
When you feel good, you will have the motivation to want to do more. This is why the Reverse Gap thinking is powerful.
And remember to celebrate all your successes, no matter they are big or small, celebrate and feel good about them.
5. Commitments and Accountability
Let’s face it, we can’t fully rely on motivation because motivation works just like feelings and emotions. It comes and it goes.
When you are motivated, you feel so driven that you are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals. However, there are also times when you feel no motivation at all that you just want to do nothing.
Hence, don’t rely on motivation, rely on others.
Make a public commitment and create accountability so that you will do the work even when you don’t feel like you want to.
A study from Dr. Gail Matthews discovered that people who not only write down their goals, but also send a progress report to a friend on a weekly basis greatly increase their chances of reaching their goals, as much as 76%.
You can read the full article about the study here.
Therefore, it is important to create the commitment and to build up the accountability.
Think about it, if you need to send a progress report to someone by the end of the day to report on your work for the day, will you feel more pressured? Of course, but it is a good pressure, in other words, it is a eustress, the positive stress.
When you feel accountable and are committed because someone is waiting to check on your progress, you are more likely to get things done rather than procrastinate.
Hence, find an accountability partner so that you can send your daily and weekly report to him or her. And ask your partner to keep an eye on your progress.
Now that you know you cannot rely on motivation because it is inconsistent. What you can do is to:
- Build habits of discipline
- Leverage on your surroundings and environments
- Align what you want to achieve with your inner drive
- Practice Reverse Gap thinking and celebrate small victories
- Build your commitment and get an accountability partner
If you follow through these 5 suggestions above, I pretty confident that you will take action and follow your plan to achieve your goals.
What do you think about this article? And what plan are you going to implement according to these 5 techniques?
Do share your views in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you. Cheers.