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If you lack the motivation to pursue a goal that you think is important for your life, learning about human nature and how your brain works will go far. For instance, did you know that motivation is not a feeling most people experience until after they start seeing results? If you’re waiting for motivation to start, you are doing it wrong. Start today and the motivation will come.
Extrinsic motivation is driven by either fear or reward and isn’t exceptionally dependable. Usually, the fears aren’t realized, and the rewards suffer due to elevated expectations and are often never achieved. If you need outside motivation to get things done, understand that this type of motivation is much less reliable and harder to achieve.
However, when you learn about your mind and how it works, you will understand that you need to build intrinsic motivation into your life by knowing your why or the impact you want to make, breaking down the tasks, focusing on the right things, and being accountable.
Most of all – focusing on truly fathoming that the journey of your life is the thing to focus on, not the unreliable results that everyone experiences, but the daily unexciting and normal parts of life that make up a full and contented life.
Life Should Be Good
Going for your goals shouldn’t be unpleasant or make your life miserable. Life, even when it’s mundane, can be a joy. To motivate yourself and stay productive, these five tips will enable you to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
Know Your Why
For everything you want to do in your life, whether it’s learning to sleep better at night, learning how to eat right, or planning how you want your life to look ten years from now, you must know why this is important to you. Plus, you must understand why the actions you are taking now impact the future.
Ask yourself how this impacts your life and goals.
For any task or action that you need to do, whether one step in a bigger plan for your life or a small factor in your daily needs, understanding why you’re doing it in the first place will give you a lot more motivation than if you’re taking actions without understanding the impact.
Because if you have no idea what the impact of your actions is, it will be much harder to make yourself want to do it in the first place. For example, saving money for the future will be much easier to do if you know how you’re going to use that money when you save it, but it also helps to find ways to do it without suffering in the meantime.
Your Why is Your Core Source of Motivation
Your why is the core source of your motivation for doing big and small actions that get you to where you say you want to go. To discover your why it’s important that you learn who you are by discovering your principles, morals, and values through self-discovery, self-care, and a real understanding of the big-picture result you want to achieve then breaking those goals down into shorter-term goals, and then the shorter-term goals down to daily actions that you can take to achieve the results you desire over time.
Simplify The Tasks
To boost your desire to do the steps necessary to get the desired results, breaking down the main goal into smaller benchmarks to simplify the tasks will help you go far. When you take the time to streamline the actions or tasks that you need to accomplish toward short- and long-term goals, you’ll easily get more done than you realize each day.
Break Everything Down into Chunks
Break down any goal into smaller chunks that enable you to take focused action toward achieving your goals. Once you divide your goals into several steps performed over a few hours, days, or even months, it’s easier to plan your schedule and overall calendar to work toward achieving them efficiently. For example, finishing your novel two hundred words a day for a year is much simpler than trying to author an 80,000-word novel without any plans on when and how you’ll do it.
Avoid Unnecessary Actions
As you plan, you will also notice the things you need to do that you don’t fully understand or know how to do. You’ll learn what you don’t want to do and even stuff that doesn’t need doing. Because of planning, you will avoid unnecessary actions that only take time and make you appear busy but kill your productivity.
See The Big Picture More Clearly
As you break your larger goals down, eventually, you can see the big picture more clearly than if you only looked at the result you want and not what it takes to get to the outcome.
For instance, imagine buying an acre of land full of vegetation and trees on which you plan to build your dream house. If you just look at the acre as is, it will feel overwhelming to imagine building the house, but if you step back and just do one thing at a time, it will be easier.
For example, define the type of land you need, know what’s required as to clearing the land, find out how to get power, learn how to build a foundation (and the type of foundation you want), and so forth – to set up all the steps through to the end result will ensure that the process goes more smoothly and that you end up with the result that you want, but most importantly you’ll set up your daily life to ensure you take the right actions.
Another example is, suppose your goal is to start a meditation coaching business. You’ll make a list of everything you need legally and professionally to run that business. You’ll include what you do for your customers, and how you’ll do it when you’ll do it. You’ll also list the resources you’ll use (equipment, contractors, technology, money, and so forth). Finally, after thorough planning, you’ll end up with a list of the exact steps you will take to serve your customers and run your business.
As you see, the more you put into the planning process, the more you can simplify the actions needed to achieve the goal. In addition, you can tell in advance if the plans you have will work, which will help you eliminate unnecessary actions that are just time wasters because planning helps you notice a lack of resources, knowledge, and time so you can mitigate in advance for those problems.
Channel Your Energy Into The Right Things
People lack motivation because they expect to feel excited about doing things, including the mundane stuff everyone must do every day. They feel like they work and work and work and never see any results. Therefore, planning is so imperative – it will enable you to put your energy into the right things.
For example, if you know you want to publish your first novel next year, waiting until next year to start will ensure you never make the goal because you may not know what to focus on first.
Big Picture Planning Helps Avoid Wasting Time
The planning allows you to know in advance all the steps that you need to take so you can publish next year will enable yourself the ability to focus on the right things – like getting the research, outlining, organizing, and writing on your novel finished before panicking about the cover art, how you’ll publish it, or something that doesn’t matter yet.
Stay On Track with Daily Small Picture Planning
To ensure that you focus on the right things each day, look at your schedule the night before, so you know what you’ll need to do upon rising. Then, when you get down to work, do the hardest tasks first, eliminate distractions, and practice self-care by eating right, sleeping well, and staying hydrated so that you’re healthy enough to act toward each of your goals every single day.
The 80/20 Rule
One rule of thumb to consider when choosing the actions that you’ll take each day is the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule says that twenty percent of your activities account for 80 percent of your results. So, if you track and measure the impact of your actions and focus on the steps that get the most results, you’ll end up putting your energy into the most impactful things you can do each day instead of busy work.
While planning is something you need to do to accomplish the most impact, remember that you can plan all day long forever. If you don’t take action, none of your plans will come to fruition. So, remember to give yourself a planning time limit, set deadlines on acting, act first on the most impactful tasks, and finally monitor your results so you can change on the fly when needed.
Get an Accountability Partner
Finding someone who helps you stay accountable to yourself, and others is a wonderful way to ensure you act every day toward your goals. Surrounding yourself with folks who don’t shy away from telling you the truth, support you when you struggle, and want similar things in life will help ensure you succeed.
Formal or Informal
Accountability partners can be formal agreements like you might have with a life coach, or they can simply be your friends and family who support you and hold you to a high standard while also cheering for you and providing positive feedback that motivates you to succeed in a planned way.
One Way or Two Way
An accountability partner can be like a mentor to you, or they can be someone you consider an equal with whom you’ll also provide accountability. For example, groups like Weight Watchers have so much impact because of the accountability factor involved with going to meetings, getting a weigh-in, celebrating accomplishments, and sharing success tips.
Shares Your Core Values
Whoever you choose to collaborate with you as an accountability partner needs to be someone who shares your core values and is committed to helping you do the things you need to do to achieve the results you say you want.
For example, suppose you join an investment club devoted to investing in environmentally friendly choices over those that aren’t. In that case, you all share a core value that the environment is more important than earning money. As a result, you’re going to feel good about your investments and therefore be more likely to stick to the plan.
Ideally, your accountability partner should be someone you check in with daily, for about five minutes, to be the most effective. It also helps to formally plan out the partnership to ensure there is a real feeling of accountability. Put how you’ll check in in writing, whether via a quick phone call, social media, or some other method. Knowing how it looks and the process in advance will ensure that it all works out for you.
Providing and receiving accountability is one of the main ways movers and shakers get things done. They surround themselves with folks who value the way they live and place importance on similar things. This is not to say differences of thought aren’t a good thing, but when you want to focus on reaching a particular goal being around people who think the way you need to think to achieve the goal is important.
This shared value system is the main reason you’ll find that you all generally earn the same if you average the income of your five closest friends. It’s more than likely you fit right in with that number than otherwise. If you want to earn six figures, network with those who are also earning six figures. If you’re going to become a long-distance runner, join a club with long-distance runners.
Enjoy The Journey, Not Just the Outcome
While it’s true, that most goals result in a big reward when you achieve them, the problem with relying on the outcome is that you may be waiting years to experience them. Motivating yourself for years without any joy in the process is asking for problems because due to human nature, which mostly likes immediate gratification, most people can’t do that.
Know How the Human Mind Works
Understanding how the human mind works will enable you to focus on what you like about your actions, even if you don’t like doing the act itself. For example, exercising 30 minutes a day is much more doable if you find a way to enjoy it.
Don’t like sweating? That’s okay, go swimming in an indoor pool instead. There is always a way to get what you want and need without suffering. An alternative way to think about this concept is to consider that if you hate broccoli, you don’t need to eat it because several other vegetables offer the same nutrition – no reason to suffer through bitter broccoli.
Choose To Do What You Enjoy
When you choose to take steps that lead to the desired results, you can enjoy the entire process, not just the reward at the end. As mentioned before, if you prefer a particular outcome but find out you dislike doing the tasks that you think you need to do to get there, try looking for another way. For example, you can outsource building that foundation instead of digging it yourself if you hate digging.
No Motivation Necessary
When you design your tasks based on your likes and dislikes instead of what others say you have to do, motivation will not even be something necessary to start with because you’ll automatically want to do it, whatever it is, because you enjoy it or at the very least you enjoy the knowledge that you’re that much closer to reaching your goals. So, for example, if you want to exercise daily for health, finding what you like to do will be much more likely to be successful than trying to make yourself suffer through something you hate.
It’s All About Mindset and Perspective
When it comes down to it, motivating yourself to be more productive is really about mindset and perspective than doing more. When you have the right attitude, you will focus on doing the right tasks that are the most impactful over mindlessly going through the motions.
For example, if you’re preparing a romantic meal for your partner, prep, and clean-up might not be your favorite thing. Still, the reason that you’re doing it will add joy to the tedious tasks that lead up to the reward of watching your partner enjoy the meal you’ve fixed them, and guess what, even if the worst happens and they aren’t able to show up for the meal you prepared at least you enjoyed doing it.
Overall focusing on the reasons you’re doing any given task, whether cleaning the cat litter, walking a mile a day, starting a business, or something else entirely, will surpass the need for feeling motivated before you act.
Because the truth is, motivation comes after doing because it’s about the experience of knowing that success is at hand because you took certain steps. Without experiencing success, the concept can be difficult to grasp, so take the time to set up your day to experience small rewards from completing even the most mundane tasks, even if it’s just about noting you did it by crossing the action off your list but more importantly, ensure that the list is effective by designing each task to be impactful toward your goals.
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