Your 5 steps to getting and staying motivated towards your goals

Motivation is a hard thing to find when you are feeling low. Do you consider yourself a motivated person? Do you like making goals and reaching them, ticking off your internal “to do” list as you go?

Some people are movers and shakers. Some people are motivated to seek out what they want in life – others are not. Some people like to dream big dreams, never getting anywhere because they fail to put their plans into action.

Which “Motivational” camp do you fall into?

Firstly, it’s important to consider what ‘motivation’ is. In a literal sense, it simply means to do something with an action, an imperative – to make something happen.

But it’s not just about that. According to Psychology Today, motivation, “involves the biological, emotional, social and cognitive forces that activate behaviour. In everyday usage, the term motivation is frequently used to describe why a person does something.”

Psychology Today even discusses the two types of motivation that people generally come across: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is a reward you might get for doing something, such as a trophy, an accolade or a reward. An intrinsic motivator is something that arises in an individual – where we seek to achieve only for personal pleasure. The example the website gives is a crossword puzzle.

Why is motivation important?

So – why is it important to be motivated? Blogger Coleen Torres has come up with a list on the great blog Recovering The Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing. Quite rightly – she speaks about motivation being the kernel of success. Whatever you seek to be successful in, you will need a degree of motivation to achieve it.

According to Torres, motivation is important because:

  • Motivation is the spark – it gets things started
  • Motivation fuels – it keeps things going
  • Motivation warms – when problems arise, you don’t give up
  • Motivation can change – your drive can keep you focused
  • Motivation satisfies – stops you getting tired on a long journey

Your steps to getting motivated about a project, plan or personal desire

Often, people find that when they don’t have a clear focus, they lack motivation. If you are currently trying to find motivation there are a few things you can do.

Step #1: Nail down what you need motivation for

Are you trying to do too much? What is it that your heart most desires? You won’t get anywhere until you focus.

Step #2: Get inspired

Remember what it is about the thing you love that first attracted you to it. Have you lost motivation because you have failed to keep up with trends and refresh your knowledge?

Step #3: Start

Create a short to do list. Nail down three things linked to your goal or personal project that you can get off the ground right now. Make your steps small, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Step #4: Make sure you are accountable

Many strategists suggest public pledges but committing to yourself can be just as effective. Make an iron-clad deal with yourself and use “strong determination”.

Step #5: Chart your progress

Think how far you have really come. Often we are achieving small steps towards our goals when we don’t even know it. Even a ‘mindset change’ can be a good start.

The final stage: Identify your motivational killers

Think about what has derailed you in the past and strategize against falling into the same trap again. Some common things that can derail your motivation are:

  1. Laziness
  2. Entropy
  3. Unrealistic expectations
  4. Lack of help and resources
  5. An unrealistic timeframe

I like this quote by US entrepreneur, Jim Rohn, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”


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