Ever have one of those days where everything seems to be pulling you away from your goal? Today is that day for me. Nice weather, computer problems and my favorite time-waster TV show is a 24-hour marathon today. Not much motivation to work on my organization blog. But earlier this year, I set myself a goal of one post per week, so here’s to digging deep to find the motivation to keep going.
A while ago, I read a great blog from a friend, TJ Sullivan that struck me. TJ writes, “It’s all about step two. It’s easy to get started, but it’s harder to keep things going.” I’m pretty sure that is where the saying comes from, “when the going gets tough, the tough keep going.” Step one isn’t easy, but it’s the remaining steps–the devotion to the goal–that can wear you down and make you think about giving up. Here’s what I’ve learned:
Set your eyes on the prize. I love writing and I love organizing, so my blog goal this year seemed like a natural move. But I’ve reached the point in the season (or the semester) where I’m ready for a break. Not just from blogging, I really want a break from all of my goals. I’m tired. Laying around watching TV and eating sugar (I’ve found form doesn’t matter–cupcakes, candy–all good) seems like the way to go. But I know that I’ll be disappointed if I don’t stick to my goal and have changed things up a bit to give myself the motivation I need. I’ve switched one day of running to exercise bike, so I can look at my Pinterest page at the same time. And I’m going to watch my TV show marathon, right after I finish this post. By giving yourself a reward, or switching things up a bit, it’s much easier to stay focused on your goals.
Suck it up and get started. You can find a million reasons not to do something. But you are important, so if it’s important to you, it’s also important. Give yourself credit and do it. Get up off the couch, get your head in the game and do it. You’ll be glad you did.
Realize it’s going to take work. There is a reason that busy people get more done. I think it really relates back to Newton’s laws: “An [person] in motion tends to stay in motion.” When you make it a priority to keep working toward your goal, it gets easier to keep working toward your goal. I read a story about an author who made a goal to write 10 pages a day. That was it. 10 pages. Doesn’t seem like much. But guess what? In a week he had 70 pages, in a month 300 pages and in ten months, he’d finished his entire project. So what if you can only run one mile a day or you only have 15 minutes to learn a new language! Every little bit makes a difference–stay in motion and keep working at your dreams.
You are awesome for a reason. I know my strengths and capitalize on these frequently. I also know my weaknesses and have learned to seek the wisdom of others to help me grow. So if you give up on your dreams, how will I learn from you? Think about the people in your life–they’re watching you and learning from you every day. It’s important to remember that you are awesome and you are good at things that others aren’t for a reason–we’re all in this together. Learn from the success of others and always be willing to help others succeed.
Plan for the future. I’ve got an unbelievable list of goals. Some I may not accomplish ever, some will take me decades and all are taking work and focus. But I’ve got a plan to get each one done. And I keep working on the details, because I know it’s going to catapult me to the end result. What have I done to help get me there? I’ve made my list, I’ve surrounded myself with talented people and I’ve begun to see the success of my diligent work. Sometimes it’s as slow as molasses, but it’s rewarding to see the success, even if it is tiny success. What are your goals? Write them down and get your plan started by making steps of small tasks that will keep you on track toward your end goal.
Nice words can make all the difference. I’ve been burned out on a few things for a little while. Ready for a vacation, ready to relax, ready for a change. And then I get a nice thank you note from a great student. Heartfelt and perfectly timed. Plus, as a bonus, there were delicious cookies. And to complete the trifecta, a gift card. It’s been a week and I still have that thank you note on my desk. So nice and it motivates me every time I see it. What should you do right now if you feel unmotivated? Send someone else encouraging words. Do it right now. Text, phone call, Facebook message or Note/cookies/gift card. All options work! Remember, what goes around comes around and you’ll enjoy it when it comes back to you.
Remember how blessed you are. I read a story recently of a hero who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was near the blast, causing him to lose both of his legs. When I read this story it makes me think about the basics I take for granted. Yes, I want to walk 4 million steps and run 1000 miles, but I’m also thankful I still have both of my legs and can walk around the block. Sure, I feel bogged down by my responsibilities some times, but I’m thankful that I’ve been given so many opportunities–and have the chance to make my dreams happen.
You are blessed beyond compare, share your gifts and your dreams with others. It’s worth it and you’ll be glad you did (so will I).