Motivation is a powerful force that helps us make things happen. And yet it’s quite elusive for some. Many people get motivated by the simple date Dec 31/ Jan 1 – the New Year. They make resolutions to improve their health, relationships, or businesses and set goals. In the beginning, most are motivated to act and make things happen. Still, then by the end of January or mid-February at best, the majority abandon the noble goals and go back to their previous routines. And if you don’t believe me visit a gym in these times and see the difference for yourself.
It’s easy to get a spark of motivation with an initial cue such as the New Year. It’s harder to make it stay. That’s why I decided to write this blog now, at the cusp of the New Decade to help you stay motivated and consistent in pursuing your goals. If you do, the actions that you need to take to achieve them will become habits before the novelty and enthusiasm for them wear off.
Moreover, if you can master motivation, you’ll be able to deal with any setbacks, inspire yourself to move forward, genuinely grow, and create things you’ve been dreaming of.
Here are then 7 ways to help you stay motivated beyond January and 2020.
1. Align Your Goals with Your Values and Why
I’m assuming you created your business for a few reasons: some internal to you (ex. time flexibility) and some external (ex. to help others). Knowing those most important ones, the WHY, as well as linking your business goals with them and your personal values is a powerful force that keeps us going, especially in the challenging times.
And if you haven’t thought of doing this, setting such foundations for your business, or would like to revisit them now, I prepared a gift for you. Clarity & Focus is a free training that will help you do just that. You can download it by clicking here.
2. Take Action
Motivation to do something arises in us when we feel uneasy about the status quo, and it’s easier to change it than to remain the same. For example, we feel so uncomfortable with our body and health that it’s more comfortable to start exercising. Or we are so tired of mediocre results in our business and slow progress, that we hire a coach to help us speed things up and achieve better results.
Now an interesting fact that you might not know is that motivation gets stronger AFTER we have taken the first steps towards such change not before. Once we get started, the motion creates momentum, which is motivating in itself. It helps with consistency that drives results. And then once we start seeing results, they are even more motivating. Can you see the self-perpetuating circle of action? Taking action is a potent tool all of us have. The trick is to start. And the best way to do that is to make it easy by starting small, which brings me to the next point.
3. Create Routines
Taking up any new goals is quite tricky in the beginning. Anything new that our brains and bodies are not used to doing requires lots of energy. That’s why our primitive parts of the brain often resist it. However, if we stick with the behavior long enough, it will become a habit (think of a time when you started driving a car and now when it’s second nature to you) with no real effort on our part to continue doing it.
The secret to creating new habits and routines is to make the behavior easy to start and set the initial goal small and achievable. James Clear described the science behind it very well in his book “Atomic Habits.”
Once you created habits that help you achieve your goals, it’s very hard actually to lose motivation in pursuing them.
4. Use the Goldilocks Rule to Set Your Goals
Another key thing in this puzzle is how we set the goals themselves. If we set them too high and out of reach, we’ll get demotivated very fast because we won’t belive we can achieve them. On the other hand, if we set them too low and not ambitious enough, we’ll get bored quite fast, and the result will be the same.
So what’s the Goldilocks rule?
It’s about setting the challenge that we all love in the optimal zone of difficulty, which means giving yourself a good chance of winning if you try hard enough (like playing tennis or basketball against an opponent that has a similar skill level to yours).
When we get challenged at the right level of difficulty, our motivation to achieve the goals reaches an optimal peak. That’s why for most people having a coach (in health, business, or sports) helps them achieve results that they would have never reached otherwise. It’s not just the knowledge on the subject we help you with, but also with setting the goals that are at the optimal level for your motivation and then pushing you and holding you accountable to them.
5. Become the Leader of Yourself and Your Business.
Leaders don’t tell themselves I “HAVE” to do this, I “MUST” or I “SHOULD” do this. It weakens the motivation because it implies you are being forced by something external to do things you don’t necessarily want to do.
Leaders know they always have a choice and use its power. Simply reframing your language to “CHOOSE” can be precisely the motivating language you need to hear. “I chose to exercise every day” or “I chose to create this habit in my business” is very empowering. Our language co-creates our reality. Therefore, choose your words carefully and make them work for you.
6.Play to Your Strengths
Spending too much time in your weaknesses wears you down. Spending more time growing your strengths helps you renew your energy and find your flow. And when we are in the flow, we achieve our full potential.
Strengths are the place where you can grow your best. So, find the things that you can do all day that you really enjoy and do more of them. Then, delegate or outsource things that you’re not great at and don’t enjoy doing.
7. Pair up
Finding an accountability partner can help you stay motivated. However, if you’re ambitious and determined to get results, hire a coach. Through it, you’ll get multiple sources of motivation:
- from the need to get your money worth,
- the need of not disappointing someone who’s helping you,
- from the goals set at the right level,
- regular accountability talks,
- from the new tools you’ll learn,
- habits you’ll develop,
- the results you’ll see, etc.
Last but not least, if you’ve been thinking about hiring a business coach or you’re not sure how it would work or even have questions about how to DIY all this, let’s schedule a consult call and talk about it. Great conversations always bring surprising new insights. Whether we end up working together or not, you will take away some great things from this time. Click here to schedule our chat now.