Have you ever had a task ahead of you that just felt overwhelming? Like, you’re exhausted just thinking about it? Maybe it’s a huge job, like going back to school or losing a lot of weight. Maybe it’s a smaller, but horrible job, like going through all of the boxes in your attic to organize and declutter. Uuuuugh, how to get motivated?!
There are ten million ways to find the motivation you need, all depending on your personality and what you’re trying to accomplish. But I don’t want to overwhelm you with all ten million. That sounds exhausting. (See what I did there?)
So today we’ll focus on the eight tricks that are most universally helpful, no matter what task you’re trying to accomplish.
How to Get Motivated Now
- Set one goal, just one. You can’t launch your own business, go back to school, and lose 100 lbs all at once. You can try, but you need boatloads of energy and focus to actually accomplish a goal, and you’ll be spreading those assets thinner and thinner the more goals you tack onto the list. So decide which goal is most important to you, invest your heart and soul into accomplishing that goal, and once you’ve smashed it, move on to the next.
- Break your goal down into smaller goals. The bigger your goal, the further you’ll feel from accomplishing it. And the further you feel from accomplishing your goal, the harder it’s going to be to stay motivated. The solution? Break your big goal into smaller goals you can reach relatively easily. So instead of saying, “I’m going to lose 50 lbs,” try saying, “I’m going to work out twice this week,” “I’m going to eat more veggies today,” or “I’m going to lose my first five pounds.” When you accomplish your smaller goal, it will fuel your confidence and motivation to knock out the next, and the next, until your big goal is within your reach.
- Make your goal public. We’re more likely to stick with goals when we know others are watching us. So share your goal with family and friends, and ask them to keep you accountable.
- Focus on positive motivation. Positive motivation involves focusing on the benefits you’ll gain from reaching your goal, while negative motivation focuses on the negative consequences of not reaching your goal. Both can be effective depending on the circumstances. But negative motivation is more likely to make you feel helpless, and in turn, kill your motivation. So try framing things in a positive light, and focusing on the benefits of accomplishing the task in front of you.
- Imagine how you’ll feel when you accomplish the task. Envisioning yourself at the end of your goal will excite and motivate you to get there in real life! For example, imagine that you’ve reached your goal of launching your own business. What do your finances look like? How has it positively affected your lifestyle? How do you feel? Imagine it in detail, and when you’re in a slump, imagine it again.
- Move. Have you ever tried to work up the motivation to exercise while you sit on the couch? Just thinking about getting up feels like a huge task. But once you’re up and moving, you gain some momentum. Whatever the task ahead of you, stand up and physically move your body toward accomplishing your task. If you can’t work up the motivation to start your workout quite yet, then move toward the kitchen to grab your water bottle, or toward the door to put on your shoes. Just move your body to start gaining momentum.
- Find something that interests you within goals that don’t. Sometimes you’re tasked with accomplishing goals that you just don’t care about. For example, I had to seal the wood on my daughter’s playset this summer. I knew the job would be hot and messy, and involve spiders and other creepy bugs. Not very appealing. But I do enjoy listening to good music, and an occasional glass of sweet red wine. So I pumped myself up by focusing on the karaoke potential of the job, and the glass of wine waiting for me inside when I finished. Find something, anything, you can look forward to.
- Get support. Ask family and friends for support. Bonus points if you can find a friend with the same goal, and work toward it together! If your real-life support system is lacking, expand your search to online friends. When I first started blogging, it was hard for family and friends to support me, because they didn’t know much about blogging, what was good, what was bad, what was exciting. So I hunted around and landed in a few Facebook groups with writers on similar journeys. They not only supported me, but offered solid advice to help me reach my goals sooner and more smoothly.
Wrap It Up
You can do this! Focus on one goal, break it down into smaller goals, and make it public. Seek out the positive aspects of the task, start physically moving toward it, and get the support you need!
Why are you still here?! You know how to get motivated. So…go do it! Like, right this second! You’ve got this!
P.S. Want a little help organizing and knocking out that to-do list? Download your free Tame the Overwhelm worksheet here!
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