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The scent of freshly baked cookies wafts from the kitchen. Five-year-old George could almost taste it. His mom had promised him all of three cookies if he put all his toys away. Usually, he’d wait until just before bedtime, but he wants those cookies. So George scrambles to his bedroom and clears up the mess in under five minutes. Boy was he motivated!
I’m an adult, and I, too, am motivated by a promise of cookies. I mean, who doesn’t love good cookies! But that’s beside the point. The point is, we all need to be like George. We need to be motivated!
Why, though, must we be motivated? That’s almost a silly question, but let’s go ahead and answer it. Being motivated gets things done! And that’s the case when things get hard, too. A motivated person will not shrink back when faced with complications. A motivated person will not sulk for eternity when things go South. A motivated person is productive, both in business and personal life. Being motivated will help you to become that person you want to be, and what’s more? You’ll be able to do so with style and grace if you play your cards right. So let’s get on with it! How can we get and stay motivated?
#1 Be Goal-Oriented
Keep your eyes on the prize. Being absolutely sure about your goals. If you doubt whether the goals you’ve set are right for you, this will absolutely eat away your motivation. But there is more to being goal-oriented than just knowing what your end game is. Imagine a runner knowing exactly where the finish line is but having no clue how to get there. Talk about pointless. You need to have a game plan for reaching your goals, less they are nothing but pipe dreams. Developing skills such as planning, time management, and critical thinking will help you be goal-oriented.
#2 Know What Fuels Your Fire
Sometimes we do just wanna stay in our jammies, eat cookies, and pretend the world doesn’t exist. We’ve all had those days. And you know what? That’s okay. But if you have one of “those days” almost EVERY day, you need to take action. Knowing why you do the things you do, is key to crawling out of a slump or simply keep going when the going gets tough. Why did you set the goals you’ve set? What makes you want to stay motivated? Perhaps you have people counting on you. Or maybe you just want to feel darn good about yourself. Whatever the reason, keep it close in mind.
#3 Build Constructive Relationships
Birds of a feather flock together. We truly do become like those we surround ourselves with. So make it a point to be around people with good habits and avoid unnecessary contact with those with bad habits. This is key to staying motivated. You need to be around people that build you up, not those that tear you down. So think about the people in your life. Is there anyone you need to limit contact with?
#4 Be an Optimistic Realist
Is the glass half-full or half-empty? A pessimist would say the glass is half-empty, an optimist would say the glass is half full, and a realist would say the glass is half-full and half-empty. The realist is right, of course. But an optimistic realist would say, ” Heck, I’ll enjoy this half-full glass of water and work towards getting more.” So what’s the point? First, focus on what you can do with what you have. Use the skills and assets you have to your advantage. Then think about how you can work on whatever you’re lacking. And in case it’s not obvious, by all means, avoid being pessimistic.
#5 Have a Balanced View of Self
If you are a perfectionist, this may be very hard to hear. You will NEVER be perfect. No one enjoys making mistakes, but sadly making mistakes is inevitable. However, if you choose to learn from your mistakes instead of lamenting over them, you will make progress and grow.
#6 Set Targets
Targets help you track your level of progress. A good target must be measurable, specific, and attainable. Targets are the baby steps that will get you where you need to be in due time. Review your targets periodically, and make necessary adjustments. Don’t ever forget to note how far you’ve come, and implement tip #7.
#7 Celebrate Your Achievements
Humans thrive on rewards. According to behavioral psychology, rewards are more effective in encouraging good behavior than punishment. So although you will sometimes need to focus on being disciplined, it’s equally vital that you reward yourself. Making a habit of rewarding yourself when appropriate will provide you with the boost in morale you need to stay motivated. And don’t worry, your reward can be as simple as having an extra glass of your favorite wine.
#8 Have a Healthy Lifestyle
What is motivation if you’re not mentally and physically fit to carry on? Exercising, eating healthy meals, and getting enough sleep&rest must be a constant in your life. If you are already doing well in these areas, kudos to you! But there’s more. Having a healthy lifestyle also involves NOT doing some things. Acknowledge any bad habits you have, and work on getting rid of them. When you succeed in doing so, remember to implement tip #7. Treat yourself!
# 9 Don’t be a Stick in The Mud.
Always be willing to change, and take calculated risks when necessary. Change is not easy, and your comfort zone is, well, comfortable. However, suppose you insist on resisting change and remaining within your comfort zone for the remainder of your days? In that case, your odds may soon start looking kind of bleak. You can’t afford to be bored in your pursuits. I mean, I’m sure you can’t change your life with the flip of a switch, but even minor changes can make a world of difference. Why not try it? Where can you add some spice to your life by making a change?
#10 Be patient
Although there is no harm in getting things done quickly, there is plenty of harm in being impatient. Impatience will have you frustrated over the tiniest of mishaps. This will sap you of all your motivation. Whatever you currently need to work on in your life, remember, all good things take time.
Be determined to be Motivated!
We can’t deny how important being motivated is. Not being motivated can easily lead to the unhappiness of constantly not getting things done or not doing them correctly. So be determined to apply any of the above tips that will help you get motivated. Although this is much easier said than done, you can do it! Again, we all need to be a little like George. Savor what the reward of your hard work will be, and get to work! It will all be worth it in the end.