Search for more Everyday Power
Editor’s Note: UPDATED as of October 20, 2016 for relevance and accuracy.
Zig Ziglar said it best:
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Getting and staying motivated is among the biggest challenges in achieving goals. Without it, reaching the end line is almost impossible to do.
However, it doesn’t need to be so challenging if you know the biggest mistakes you might be making and how to fix them. Here are the top three people make in staying motivated and what to do about it.
Biggest Mistakes You’re Making About Motivation
Mistake 1: Not connecting with the big WHY.
You might be setting goals that are more of ‘I need to or I should do’ types, such as “I need to get healthier” or “I should be exercising 3 times a week but I’m not“. Of course, there are good intentions behind these and probably the right goals. But to stay motivated, you need to connect to a bigger WHY.
To do that, dig deeper by asking yourself questions such as:
- Why do you want to ____________? List every single reason you can think of. If you achieve this goal, what will it mean for you? What opportunities will it create for you that won’t be there if you don’t achieve this goal?
- Who else will benefit from me achieving this goal? Why?
- What will happen if I don’t achieve this goal and stay where I am? The consequences of not changing.
- What does that mean for my future?
- Why is achieving this goal worth all the effort and energy I’m going to put into it? List as many reasons
After asking yourself these questions, you should be clear not only why your goal is good for you, but also what it will mean for your future if you don’t take action. The WHY – the reason you are doing something – needs to be so big it literally pulls you out of bed every day.
If you can find a ‘why’ for yourself and for others, it makes it much stronger and more powerful. If you are not completely moved by your goal, it’s understandable that you won’t be completely motivated either. This is one of the biggest mistakes about motivation.
Mistake 2: Not forming routines to stay motivated.
You might NOT be in the best environment to remain motivated.
Perhaps you have a few negative people around you who kill the buzz, or your daily life seems to smother any motivation you wake up with. Having a big goal that will benefit you is not enough to stay motivated. It’s like thinking that just because you have a gym membership, you will go to the gym.
You need to make a daily effort to get re-inspired and motivated, like creating mini-routines. This is why the big achievers revisit their goal often. They also have morning routines, like mantras or affirmations or vision boards.
Whatever tool works best for you, find something that you can do everyday to keep yourself excited about what you are working towards. Pull out the list you made about your big WHY and remind yourself daily: why you are doing this?
Everyday before I start my day, I read my end goal, and then remind myself of how amazing it will be when I achieve it. I do a quick visualizing exercise, actually seeing myself achieve it so I’m super excited all over again. Then I make sure I’ve got at least ONE thing on my list to bring me closer to the goal.
Not regularly touching base with your goal is one of the biggest mistakes folks make regarding staying motivated. So create your own habits today.
Mistake 3: Not knowing how overcome challenges.
You set yourself a goal, but when the time comes to rise to the challenge, you find yourself backing down and heading for the opposite direction. Your once easy goal has turned into something you just want to get rid of. You feel despondent and demotivated – the opposite of what you had expected.
Giving up on your goal because you have a setback is like slashing your other 3 tires because you got a flat. What most people don’t get is that, the very fact of setting a goal and taking action means you you need to overcome any challenges associated with it. You need to win to move forward.
There is no way around it. You need to learn how to confront and manage the challenges and setbacks that come with it. This is what separates the non-achievers from the achievers. It’s not about how many and what type of challenges we have along the way – it is about your ability to NOT let them get in the way.
Learn the tools and techniques you can use to tackle procrastination and challenges head on!
Staying motivated is your job – nobody else is going to do it for you. If you aren’t feeling as motivated as you thought you would, what’s missing? What would make you more motivated? Find the biggest mistakes you’re making and figure out what else you need to stay on track.
And remember: anything worth achieving will never come easy. Nothing does. But who wants nothing?