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Get and Stay Motivated


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Why does it seem getting motivated can seem so hard? Sometimes we are able to motivate ourselves easily. When the goals are something we really want to accomplish the ability to stay motivated seems easy. Sometimes though it is something we do want but we do not want to take the steps to get there. That is where motivation tends to be hard to find. One thing we always need to remember is regardless of the number of videos, speeches, or audio we watch or listen to in the end motivation comes from within.

Now I do not want to dive into the weeds of self-talk or talk about some of the greatest motivational speakers like Tony Robbins, David Goggins, Jocko Willick, and so many more. There is plenty of that available to you. We even have a YouTube channel that aims to pump you up when you need that little extra push to help accomplish your goals.

What is Motivation and how does it work?

The scientists say motivation is your general willingness to get something done. It is the set of psychological forces that make you want to take action.

What is Motivation?

Motivation is the act of wanting to get something done. Typically this is driven by the desire to accomplish something new or you can find motivation in things that need to be done.

Say you have rent to pay and you are a salesperson. You know that in order to pay rent you must make sales. You can find motivation in the fact that in order to keep the roof over your head you must accomplish another objective. Close a deal. The NEED to close a deal will help you stay motivated so you can still sleep comfortably at night.

So we tend to find motivation as people in the NEED to do something. At some point not doing the said activity becomes harder to bear than completing the said activity and we find our drive there.

Now having your back up against the wall all the time is no way to live life. If that were the only way to motivate us we would always be in do-or-die situations. It is just one of the different ways to stay motivated and something a lot of people can relate to.

Common Misconceptions About Motivation

Something that shocks many people is we typically find motivation after starting a new behavior. People tend to think that motivation comes from our support network, motivational video, or motivational book.

We find motivation in action. Once we getting started with something the ability to stay motivated becomes easier. We know from Newton's First Law that objects in motion tend to stay in motion. So once we start doing something it is easier to continue doing said activity.

The ability to get started at an activity is the hardest part. By knocking down the barriers of entry that only exist in your mind you will be able to get started with a new activity and once that process kick starts you will find that the ability to stay motivated becomes so much easier.

How to Get Motivated and Take Action

A lot of people struggle with getting motivated. I have found in plenty of conversations with others people like to overcomplicate the process. They are always missing something they need, or always have a reason as to why they can not take action to accomplish their goal. Here are the steps that I take in my life to get motivated, stay motivated, and accomplish my goals.

Build a Motivation Schedule

Planning makes everything easier. When working with others on their goals I like them to identify their goals then we can work backward to build a plan of action to accomplish the goal. If you build a schedule you already know what you need to do. So this eliminates those times when you are asking yourself what you can be doing.

Building a schedule is really about developing discipline and good habits. I use it in fitness, family life, and my business. Every day before the day begins I know what tasks I am going to accomplish and how that plays into the bigger picture of where I am going.

A schedule also helps provide a way of holding yourself accountable. It does not feel good to not check items off your task list. The reward of being able to mark something as done drives you to stay motivated to continue doing said action.

Also by planning your tasks you start to fall into a routine of positive behavior that will assist you in driving towards that next level for whatever goals you have.

If you want to run a marathon but have never done so before you are going to need to train.

This training is going to be broken down into smaller steps.

Build a schedule of going on short runs on a consistent schedule and slowly adding on duration and intensity over time you will build towards your goal.

Getting the motivation to do that first run is the hardest part but once you do it one time it becomes easier every time you tackle said activity.

Another thing a schedule helps us with other than accountability is not letting our feelings or emotions get in the way of our decision-making process. Remember an object in motion stays in motion. The first day we make an excuse to not do something on our schedule it becomes easier to justify that behavior over time.

It boils down to taking the actions you need to complete your goals. If you have a plan your move from being the person that wishes for it to be the person that works for it.

How to Get Motivated (Even When you don't Want To)

This is hard especially if your motivation typically comes from having your back up against the wall. When I first started my first business and quit my full-time job the business had to work. My back was up against the wall so putting in those 20 - 24 hour days and all that grind came easy.

Now, what happened after that hard work started to pay off and the days became easier. I had accomplished numerous goals but I was happy being comfortable.

Over time I noticed my comfort was dwindling as the business fell out of its peak. It was no longer being driven as hard as it once was.

I realized it was time to get back to the basics. I had to rebuild that routine that brought me to the place I was currently in. The realization that I made was that if we are not building we are not growing. If you do not use it you lose it.

Getting motivated or finding motivation even when you don't want to boils down to planning and executing tasks. The same process always takes us from point A to point B.

As the routine continues to improve you will start to notice that you are able to accomplish more and more each day. As you get quicker or more efficient with tasks just remember to keep adding more so growth can continue.

How to Make Motivation a Habit

Turning motivation into a habit does not need to be a complicated process. It really all boils down to planning out the steps that need to be taken to accomplish our goals.

It boils down to routine so that habits can be formed. Your routine should align with your end goal. Evaluate your routine from time to time and make sure that it is still in alignment with the stated goal.

My day starts the same way every day. I wake up and do my first set of pushups. I then go brew my first pot of coffee and then start my first bit of work-related tasks. This happens every single day of the week (unless I am on vacation which is when I switch into a more relaxing routine).

That first set of pushups every day are the hardest pushups of the day. Once the first step is done I find it to be easy to keep going to get all the items that I have planned checked off the list that day.

By building a solid routine you remove the need for yourself to make decisions. This saves you time and thought about the next best course of action forward. It keeps things simple and hard to fail.

You know the routine is taking towards your goals so that may be enough reward to keep you going to the next item on the list. If you need more reward to help drive yourself it is important to not always reward yourself every time you complete an activity. My favorite method of building a reward structure is filling up a jar with random marbles. Then add a special color marble but make sure it is a minority of the marbles in the container (5-10%). Now make it so you when you accomplish a task you can draw a marble. If the marble is a special color then grab your reward.

The more you follow the same routine the easier it is for the habit to form.

Ways to Stay Motivated for the Long-Run

It is true we are going to fall into and out of being motivated for different things as we continue down the journey of life. There are some things we can do to make sure that we can continue to follow our routines and keep driving forward as we accomplish the goal that we laid out in front of us.

As things become easy we start to get bored. It may drive us to stop doing said activity. If you notice something becoming too easy that is your queue to make it slightly more challenging.

The other thing we have observed is when a goal is too large it can be like running into a wall. When you do not know what actions need to be accomplished to get to the stated goal your mind may start putting up roadblocks.

Remember to sit down with your large goal and build a plan of tasks that are going to need to be accomplished to get there. Then just work those tasks into your routine.

If you ever start to feel comfortable. Like you are living in that comfort zone. You are going to eventually get bored. Growth does not come from being comfortable but comes from being uncomfortable. So make sure to step up the tasks a little bit when you start to feel like things are getting easy. Stay in a constant state of growth.

Remember if we are not growing we are declining. Keep challenging yourself and every time you accomplish a goal remember to set some new goals to accomplish.

What to Do When Motivation Fades

Constantly driving would be tough. Life is going throw interesting challenges at us along the way and we have no idea what these things will be. I am not going to sit here and write that you will never be unmotivated. We have all been to those dark corners of our personas where it just feels like everything is against us. There are some tips though to help get us through.

It's all about Mindset

In my life, I have noticed when talking to numerous people the people I consider successful vs the people I do not have very different mindsets.

If we think something sucks then it very well is going to suck. If we think something is going to be great then it is likely going to be great. This is where a little bit of self-talk can help keep the mindset in the right place.

Pain is Temporary

Life today is easier than it has ever been. You can hop on your phone and have products at your doorstep in hours.

There was a period in time when microwaves were not around to heat our food in 1 - 2 minutes. We had to cook things the long hard way in the oven.

Pain or discomfort however we want to refer to it is something we should not shy away from but something we embrace. It will only make us stronger. So embrace the discomfort and get through the task.

Good Work Makes us Feel Good

In today's world of instant gratification, we can forget that anything great will take time.

We know that not many people can just go out and run a marathon or complete a 100-mile long bike race.

It takes training and dedication to get these things done. I enjoy cycling and am working towards my first 100-mile long ride. Not every day do I feel like doing my 20 - 30 mile long ride. Even when I do not want to accomplish the task since I planned to do the task I still get it done. Even if I do not exercise at the planned intensity I will still go through the motions. I know that doing the task will get me just a little bit closer to my goal.

It's Just Life

Life is a balance. Distractions come and go, random curve balls get tossed our way, injuries take place, shit happens. It is how we deal with the shit is that get's us our results. Take control of the one thing that you can control and that is yourself. Focus on your success and use visualization to help with staying motivated.

Never fall into the trap of starting to hand out excuses to friends and family. Everyone goes through some kind of shit at some point in their life. The way we react and deal with it is the key to success. Provide consistent encouragement for yourself and remember the strategies you have built to stay on track.

Do not be concerned with things you can not control. Stop looking backward and making excuses about why something can not happen. Remember your purpose and experience and keep on the consistent routine.

Now it's your turn. How do you get motivated? Do you have some strategies you can share about the steps you take for staying motivated? Do you use a lot of self-talk? There are so many different ways to go from one point to another I would love to hear your tips or struggles in relation to motivation.

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  • 1 month later...

Something a friend of mine always went back to was what you mentioned, that is Newton's Law. She told me this all the time and said this is what keeps her going, even when things are hard or reaching her goals seems impossible. This is a wonderful post! A very long one though haha, I will have to come back and read it more thoroughly when I have more time. Just wanted to get an account going on here while I am waiting for my friend to pick me up. 

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I like to think of motivation as a key and the handwork/effort being a door. You can pick up the key and stare at the door, but it isn't going to open itself! You have to put the key in, turn it, and push forward. Your goals are just on the other side!

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I have always been the type to need to see results in anything I do in order to stay motivated to continue something. This is a blessing and a curse really. I have given up on a lot of things but it has also inspired me to continue with other things. Great post!

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  • 2 months later...

This is nicely put. Motivation is what helps us get out of bed and into action. It is what get us moving and gives momentum to our lives. The key thing is to get yourself to act on what is supposed to be done and stay on it long enough to see the fruits of your labor. I often get motivated when i am able to push myself to carry out the activities that contribute to my bigger goals.

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