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Lost and Found Motivation

As children, your motivation is dangled in front of you by your parents.

Either you got something of desire if you complied, or perhaps you faced punishment if you did not do as you were asked.

Of course, your motivation for getting up and going to work every day is at least the paycheck at the end of the week, but hopefully you also go for the satisfaction you get from your job. Maybe not.

Maybe you find yourself going through the motions of life with no real desire to go above and beyond at work, no interest in cleaning out the messy garage, and no desire to write those thank you letters.

Sometimes motivation challenges are larger than menial tasks. Do you have a goal untouched? A project unfinished? A life unfulfilled? Whatever it is, let these 6 tips guide you on your way to finding the motivation and getting your life on track

1. Take it from your parents. When your parents would offer to let you have a new toy, or take the car Saturday night if you performed certain tasks, it certainly inspired you to do what was asked of you, didn’t it? Likewise, you can incentivize yourself to complete tedious tasks by creating a reward for yourself.

Boxes of papers to file? Get a manicure afterwards. Cleaning out the garage? Pick out something fun to put in it. Whatever you decide, make the reward as big as the effort, and you’ll find yourself working towards the goal a lot quicker.

2. Break it down. Some of our lack of motivation comes from being overwhelmed by the goal or project. Does obtaining your PhD seem too daunting? The piles of boxes too massive to tackle? Do you want to change careers but aren’t sure how? Identify the end result, and then break the workload down into sizable, manageable chunks.

This is a key component of feeling motivated to stay on target. Find out what’s entailed in getting your PhD and set a plan for when you can accomplish all these things. Put the plan somewhere visible, so you don’t forget.

3. Set a reasonable goal. I want to lose 30 pounds in two weeks, get the corner office by next month and be debt free in three months. None of these are very realistic goals, and it’s likely that you will not be able to accomplish them.

When this happens, it erodes our overall motivation, and leaves us feeling like failures. Its better to set goals you can achieve. Such as: I’d like to focus on my health so I can start losing weight, or I want to be debt free in 3-5 years. Then you can take the steps and be successful.

4. Make it fun! Getting that PhD will be so much more exciting if you budget in some time for a couple of extra classes that you will enjoy, and tackling that pile of papers will be more satisfying in front of a movie.

Whatever you do, when you set out to tackle big projects and lofty goals, make each step rewarding in the moment by making it fun, entertaining, or interesting. Time will fly, and you will look forward to taking on your chores.

5. Just do it. That’s right, just jump in and do it. Sometimes, we waste too much time thinking, planning, and bemoaning our lack of motivation or energy. Sometimes it just takes a little resolve.

Even if you don’t know where to begin, beginning somewhere – anywhere – will help you get on your way and will likely help you identify the steps you need to take to accomplish your mission. Before you know it, you’ll have achieved what it was you set out to do.

6. Get help. Getting experienced professionals to help you learn what motivates you and getting the expert advice you need to achieve your goals can be critical in getting things done.

Talk to debt counseling services, a fitness coach, or nutritionist to get help in succeeding in your goals, and talk to a lifestyle design coach to find the resolve to achieve your dreams.

Practice makes perfect, and finding motivation is no exception. The more you treat yourself well and make your goals and projects enjoyable, the more motivated you will be for the next project, and you’ll be much happier in the process!

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