Motivation can be an issue for many of us. While motivation is great, there are many things in our lives that need to be done, regardless of whether motivation is there to propel us. Most of us need to go to work, brush our teeth, pay our bills, and more. It really doesn’t matter whether we’re motivated. These things still have to be done.
Unfortunately, the tasks listed above are usually done from a place of negative motivation. We do them because the consequence of not doing them is so uncomfortable. But it works.
However, negative motivation usually won’t work when there isn’t an immediate negative consequence. For example, it’s easy to put off exercising and to sit on the couch instead.
What’s important is to create a system that makes your challenging activities more appealing. It’s also important to make it easy to get started. Thinking too much makes it easy to talk yourself out of taking action.
Try this system to achieve more of what you want, regardless of your motivation:
1. Accept the fact that you might not “feel” like taking action. The best athletes in the world don’t always feel like training. The most successful business people in the world don’t always feel like going to the office.
2. Create a compelling future. Think about how much you’ll gain by taking action and moving toward your goals.
- Think far into the future and then bring it back to the next few months. Imagine how great it will feel when you’re really making significant progress.
3. Consider what will happen if you don’t take action. Most of us keep living the same day over and over. If you want your life to change, it will take some new actions.
- Imagine how you’ll feel if your life is exactly the same next year.
4. Make a list of the most important actions. What activities will create the greatest results? Frequently, these are the actions that are less than enjoyable. But if you can get yourself to do these things, nothing can stop you.
5. Create a schedule. What are you going to do each day to make your compelling future come true? When are you going to do the activities you identified in the previous step? During what part of the day are you the most productive? Make it easy to get started.
6. Reward yourself. When you successfully stick to your schedule, reward yourself. You could go get a massage at the end of the week or head out to your favorite restaurant. Choose something that appeals to you and makes you want to get busy.
7. “Punish” yourself. Create some additional motivation by setting up a punishment if you come up short. Maybe you’ll have to clean all the toilets in the house. Maybe you’ll go run a mile.
8. Re-evaluate at the end of the day. What did you do well? What could you have done better? Start over tomorrow with your analysis to guide you.
Motivation is great, but if we all waited to be inspired by motivation, little would ever get accomplished. Commitment will usually result in greater accomplishment than motivation. Learn to get started and be “self-motivating.” All anyone really needs is to get busy. Avoid waiting for inspiration. Get things done and your success can serve as inspiration.