Have you ever been super motivated to accomplish a goal, only to find yourself completely indifferent about it only days later?
If you’re anything like me, then the answer is a resounding yes.
Unfortunately this scenario is all to common. During those days of motivation we become highly enthusiastic and are ready to take on any and all challenges. Sometimes we even enjoy doing the work involved.
But what happens a few days later? Our motivation takes a dive, we start to get lazy, and then we block out the fact that we ever wanted to pursue that goal in the first place.
When it comes to achieving goals, it’s not enough to be motivated. Motivation is just energy, what really matters is how you use it.
The Purpose of Motivation
Motivation has a specific purpose: To inspire you to take meaningful action.
And what does meaningful mean? That the action must reduce the discomfort of actually working towards your goal.
Allow me to explain it like this: motivation is like a guns trigger.
When a guns trigger is pulled, what happens? A bullet shoots out at high speed.
In this equation, we are the bullet and motivation is the trigger. The triggers job is to propel us in a certain direction, which a gun does very well.
Unfortunately, that propulsion of that shot is bound to let up. No matter how explosive that shot may be, we always fall back to the ground.
What we need to do is find a way to maintain that momentum. What we want to happen is that even when we hit the ground, we’re still sliding towards our goal.
Motivation Runs Out
As great as motivation is, it’s not something we can rely on. It has an extremely short life-span and can fluctuate wildly throughout the day.
In short, it dies out.
If you’ve ever gotten really excited about making a change to your life but failed to stick with it, then you should understand.
But does that make motivation pointless? Are the benefits too short-lived to be of any use?
No. Rather, motivation is a tool that must be wielded a certain way.
And the key is in how we wield it.
How to Use Motivation
It can be best summed up in this quote –
Proper motivation use is to grease the wheels of consistency.
All that enthusiasm and energy go to one purpose: setting yourself up for success.
Since motivation eventually runs dry, you need to ask yourself “what’s going to keep me going afterwards?”
Initially you might have been enthusiastic, but it quickly disappears when you realize that all the hard work you’ve been doing has given you little results. And what happens when you run out of motivation?
You switch to willpower.
Like motivation, willpower is limited in use. You only have so much of it, and it needs to be rationed very carefully. Because once you’re out of willpower, you’ve got nothing left to give.
So how can we best utilize our motivation? What can we do to preserve our precious willpower?
Accountability and a Success Inducing Environment
Don’t waste time planning out the entirety of your goal or bulldogging your way through it. If you actually want to stick with your goal to the end, then you will only focus on these two actions during your initial motivation phase.
1) Find ways to be held accountable
Accountability works by making use of the “feel bad” you get from letting somebody down.
Even if you don’t feel motivated to do something, chances are you will do it if people are asking you about your progress on it. Nobody wants to say “oh that? I gave up on that because it was to much work.”
By using our ego’s against us (nobody wants people to know they’re a quitter after all), we can better stick with our goals.
But the ultimate in accountability is joining a master mind group. What makes these so effective is that your group is composed of like-minded individuals, all eager to succeed and help those in their group succeed as well.
2) Make your environment conducive to success
When it comes to making your environment more conducive to success, its more dependent on the goal your trying to achieve.
So ask yourself these two questions:
- What will make the goal easier to do?
- What will make the goal harder to avoid?
If that sounds confusing, then look at these examples.
If you were trying to be healthy, you would:
- Throw out all the junk food and replace it with healthy food – goal harder to avoid
- Find a workout partner – goal both harder to avoid and easier to do
- Get a dog to run with – goal harder to avoid
- Hire a personal trainer – goal easier to do and harder to avoid
- Tell others your weight loss goals – goal harder to avoid
Imagine if you did all of the above when first starting out, how could you not succeed?
Even if you lost all of your motivation, you would be surrounded with goal achieving variables. At that point it would be harder to fail then to achieve.
Motivation is all about preparation, and that preparation should always entail:
- Getting accountability
- Setting up for success.
Whenever you happen to feel motivated for something, immediately think to yourself ” What can I do now to make this “easier” later”? And as soon as you know, do it.
When it comes to goal achieving, quitting is easy.
Your job is to make winning easier.
What do you do you when you feel the motivational surge? Please leave a comment and let me know!
If you enjoyed this post, why not hire me to write for your blog? You can contact me at Ericson@onewaythoughts.com