Advice, Motivation

Five things to remember when you want to stay motivated

Sometimes you just have to push yourself (or, in my case, drag myself, kicking and screaming) to do something.

I haven’t written in a while. I’m not talking about a few weeks, I’m talking about a few months. (Yes, I know I’ve had blog posts in the past few months, but those were 95% written, so I just had to finish them off. Yes, I do that don’t ask me why because my guess is as good as yours.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried, but it just has not worked out. I have sat down at the computer, began typing, and 30 minutes later my words resulted in absolutely nothing. Last week I even began complaining (like a five-year-old) about adult life in a post, but I decided to spare you all and not share it with the world.

I just haven’t had the motivation. I haven’t had the desire to dump my brain (which is absolutely fried at this point) and create something great, and I haven’t made the conscious effort to change that.

Until today.

Today, I sat down to type and still came up with nothing, but, unlike every other time this happened, I didn’t just give up. I scrambled around for a scrap piece of paper and started jotting down thoughts I’ve had over the past couple weeks.

As I was doing this, desperately trying to figure out a topic to write about, it dawned on me—motivation. In trying to stay motivated, I came up with five ways to do so. This list is as much for me as it is for you. I might even print it out to remind myself…

Don’t wait for the motivation to hit you

When you have a complete and utter lack of motivation, you absolutely 100% cannot sit there and wait for it to hit you. Maybe, eventually, you will somehow get a wave of motivation and want to do whatever you set your mind to, but the odds of that happening are slim.

Instead, you have to go out there and force yourself to do it, even if it means taking baby steps to get there. Take my lack of motivation to write as an example.

Typically, whenever I write a blog post, I just sit down and start typing, half the time without even knowing what I am going to say. After countless times of trying this and getting nowhere, I had no choice but to grab a piece of paper and start forming my thoughts into an outline (Thank you countless years of English class).

See baby steps.

Just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean it’s not possible

Maybe you realize that some things will be hard, but you don’t fully understand how hard they will actually be until you’re in that moment of “Oh my gosh I can’t do this.”

The reality is you are going to hit road blocks. You are going to encounter obstacles, both physically and mentally, and you will think there is no way around them. You will want to give up. You will want to turn around. And you will probably wish you never even bothered trying.

When that happens, you must remind yourself that you absolutely can do it. Give yourself a pep talk and push yourself as much as you possibly can. You may hate what’s happening in the present, but you’ll thank yourself in the future.

You will lose track of your end goal

During those road blocks, you might ask yourself, “Is this really worth it?” (Spoiler: Yes, it is.)

You will start to talk yourself out of needing or wanting what you’re striving for. You will come up with countless reasons as to why you don’t need to do something, and you will whole-heartedly believe those reasons. Don’t.

Even if you have 100 reasons to give up, you only need one reason to keep going. Tell yourself that one reason, over and over, and if that isn’t enough, then write it down. Everywhere. Look at those words every morning, every night and every time you can in between. You may lose track of your goal for a moment, but you can always bring it back to focus.

Take time to celebrate the little wins

Yes, you need to keep looking towards that ultimate goal, but you also need to celebrate your little accomplishments, because each small accomplishment helps you reach your larger goal. After all, if I didn’t start making a list of potential blog post ideas, we wouldn’t be here right now, right?

It’s always important to celebrate your accomplishments along the way, but it’s especially important when you’re finding that it’s difficult to stay motivated. It’s so easy for us to talk down to ourselves.

Why didn’t I do this sooner? How am I supposed to reach my goal if I’m taking so long? Why even bother?”

What’s difficult is giving yourself a pat on the back, especially when you need it most. Remind yourself that every goal, no matter how small, you accomplish gets you that much closer to achieving that ultimate goal. It all goes back to the idea of taking baby steps to get where you’re going.

Picture yourself at the end of it all

I’m a future thinker, so this almost comes naturally to me, but I realize that not everyone thinks that way. It’s amazing how motivating it can be to actually picture yourself reaching your goal. And when I say “picture yourself” I don’t mean just visually. I’m talking about every aspect of yourself in that moment of success.

What are your emotions? Are you happy? Relived? Excited? What, exactly, are you thinking? Are you proud of yourself? Are you content with achieving your goal or do you want more?

Not only does picturing yourself achieving your goal push yourself to want it even more, but it also makes you think about what’s next. (This can be either terrifying or exciting. Again, I’m a future thinker, so I get even more motivated by this, but if you’re not like that, then just picture how you will celebrate your accomplishment.)

Staying motivated when things get tough (Heck, even when things are easy-breezy.) is one of the hardest things to do, but if you keep these five things in mind, hopefully it makes it easier. Focus on yourself and what you really want and always keep that in your sights.

You got this (and everything else you set your mind to). I know it.

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