Procrastination loves to show up when you are on the line. Deadlines in college helped me get assignments done, uploaded and completed in a timely manner. The stress of procrastination often felt worse than the actual essay. How does this affect your mentality? Overloaded and burdened when things are not accomplished, we tend to push important plans aside to work with what is easier. Granted, getting the easier tasks out of the way first is essential, however, putting the hard stuff off only makes the work linger longer. Motivation is the rescuer in our world of hectic demands and schedules.
Powerful vision toward the future empowers a consistent pattern in the now. ~PJN
Getting the motivation to do something — whether it’s a trip to the grocery store or to pursue your future career — seems easy enough, however, few can sustain the motivation to follow-through consistently.
The overwhelming feeling of too much to do lingers. An assignment is too big; the requirements are too tedious. Tomorrow’s a better day to get started. Right? We can pull out a million reasons we don’t act. Almost always the consequences of our inaction are guilt and regret. Who enjoys those two emotions? Ugh, not me. Yet we succumb to them repeatedly. What gives?
You’ll be glad to discover you can stop the vicious cycle of inaction and regret. You’ll become a self-motivated person. Once you develop a willingness to keep trying you’ll be stronger and more focused. People may begin to ask you where do you get your motivation from, and you’ll have a handy resource to share.
Here are some excellent tips on how to motivate yourself, even when you’ve hit a setback, are in a slump, or haven’t even begun to figure out what you want from life:
1. Focus. Focus on just one goal at a time. Even if you’re working toward improving several areas of your life, focus on each goal separately. How does the strategy help? It helps to keep you from feeling overwhelmed and prevents you from giving up before you get started. Flush out everything else from your mind, and keep your energies focused on the one goal.
- Develop a tunnel vision focus to tune out unimportant tasks and distractions.
- Shut off your phone, iPad, or messenger so you can concentrate on the task at hand.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes and work without stopping. Take a small five minute bathroom break, get coffee, water, tea, and return. Start by reviewing for five minutes and then get back at it for another 15 minutes.
2. Envision results. Remembering your “why” helps to focus your intention. Your purpose or meaning behind the ‘big’ project continues to inspire you in the first place. Review the vision, and it will refresh your motivation towards attaining your goal.
- Think of how your life will be changed and improved once you achieve this goal.
- Start with the end in mind. Sounds a bit sketchy, however, if you envision results you’ll see them unfold. Powerful vision toward the future empowers a consistent pattern in the now.
3. Start small. Determine the tasks necessary to reach your goal. Now divide these tasks into a series of smaller tasks. Continue the process until you’ve obtained tasks you know you can accomplish. Take fragments of the whole to make a puzzle. When the puzzle pieces connect, you know you’ll begin to see the picture unfold.
- Attaining many small goals on your way to the big goal keeps you happy and motivated with constant successes.
4. Network. Talk to friends, coworkers, and experts in the area you seek to master. Get them to share tips, advice and experiences they’ve had. Doing so assists you as you strive toward your goal. Surrounding yourself with people who have the same goals — or have already attained them — will inspire you to act.
5. Tell people about your goals. By telling people about your goal, you are making a pact, one which you will follow-through. Tell your friends, family and coworkers to energize your motivation. Embarrassment of not completing a task may encourage procrastination, however, the more you talk about your plan, the more you’ll feel motivated toward the plan. Have a solid idea and then share the idea with others.
6. Dedicate daily time. Dedicate a certain amount of time each day specifically to furthering this goal. Investing time in attaining your goal every day will keep it in your mind as positive action.
Jeff Goins was part of a free Schriever meeting to help people learn about setting goals around writing a book. His 90 minute presentation offered vital insights about breaking things down. He also shared some powerful pointers on dedicating a specific set of time every day to write.
As he shared, I realized I needed to dedicate more time in the mornings instead of waiting for inspiration to strike. As I developed my new plan, I found more time to write, more inspiration, and actually accomplishing articles I didn’t think possible. Over all, I’ve been getting about 1500 words down a day toward my book.
- Positive action propels success and diminishes doubts and regret.
- One positive change toward your goals, provides days of accomplishment.
7. Research. Research industry or topic books, blogs and forums. Anything you do to make yourself more knowledgeable about your goal can inspire you to act. Credible sources are the balance between being regarded as an expert or someone who is just grabbing the first bit of knowledge they can to fill a purpose or back their views.
- Non-biased sources include URL with the ending: .edu, .mil, or .gov. Added sources may include psychologists, entrepreneurs in their own words: Their story, researchers who see the facts and bring the stats, and some .org will also have facts, data, and skill sets. Check for bias. Fair and balanced research includes pros and cons.
8. Reward yourself. When you accomplish a step or a positive outcome in your goal plan, reward yourself with a healthy, focused celebration. It will make you feel special. The point is to celebrate small victories. Each win builds your confidence, increasing your ability to reduce procrastination. Your brain enjoys good stimuli so remember to boost brain neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin by rewards.
- Remember, rewards best suited to continued success do not include unhealthy acts, actions or substances which take away from your brain’s superpower.
9. Learn from your mistakes. First, recognize you will make mistakes. Second, accept your error potentiality. Thirdly, take the opportunity to learn what to do (or not to do) the next time. Failure is another chance to make a better plan or choice. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” — Samuel Beckett” ― Pema Chödrön, Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better: Wise Advice for Leaning into the Unknown
- Analyzing how to fix the error will push you forward with greater confidence.
10. Replace negativity with positive thoughts and actions. We all encounter negative thoughts. They tell us to give up. Often, we listen to the negative self-talk without even a bit of awareness. Knowing how to counteract them will keep you on track toward your goal. Your mindset and attitude determine the positive or negative outcome of any situation. Keep positive thoughts and actions coming. Trust the process. Success follows determination.
- Negativity is not reality unless you make it so.
Self-motivation begins with the end in mind, and the only person who can get you there is you. By using the above combination of tips and techniques, you can motivate yourself to take action toward your goals. You’ll be proud of yourself for doing something positive to make your life better. Plus, you’ll develop a mindset , which serves you well into the future for achieving more and more of what you want out of life.
My story is one of motivation and procrastination. The beauty and the beast of life’s choices. As someone who has been on the precipice I know the value of moving forward even with blinders on. Remember ever going through a haunted house, not knowing what came next, but you put your best foot forward, hoping for a scare? Life is like a haunted house, and can surprise you with thrills and joys along the way. As you embark on motivating yourself, you’ll find the thrill of life even more positive and exciting than a haunted house adventure. Remember, each fail is a step toward success.
~Just at thought by Pamela
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This post was previously published on medium.com.
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