Think about the goals and dreams that you have put on hold and the opportunities that you failed to grab because you just didn’t push yourself to making them happen. There are ways to get over this hump, and in this post, I will share ways to increase your self-motivation so you can successfully pursue and achieve your goals.
I work with women who want to set and achieve their most meaningful personal and professional goals. Here, I’ll discuss self-motivation, what it truly is and how it helps us set and achieve our goals. I will also share with you six strategies that can help you develop and boost your current level of self-motivation.
Ok, so first, what is motivation? Motivation is that inner drive that you have to make a change. Self-motivation is the ability to make yourself take initiative and action to pursue goals and complete tasks. Being self-motivated means you have a desire for change and that desire urges you to create your goals, focus on them, and take action. Goals are useless without action. So, we need motivation to urge us to make a move and act upon our goals.
Looking deeper, there are specific ways that motivation will help us when it comes to setting and achieving goals. First, motivation helps us recognize that there is room for improvement. This is because we are naturally motivated to correct unsatisfied needs and improve weaker parts of our lives.
Motivation also helps us learn more about our goals and how to achieve them. Have you ever noticed that when you are really interested in a topic that you can spend a lot of time trying to find out more about it? This is because we tend to dive deeper and learn more when we’re interested and motivated.
So, those were some ways that motivation can impact our goal setting and achieving process. Now let’s discuss six key strategies for boosting your motivation over time so that you can reach your goals.
One, keep a journal. I believe that a well-stated goal is a goal that is already half-achieved. So, the first strategy that I’m going to discuss is keeping a journal. You will actually hear me talking about the importance of journaling a lot when it comes to goals. But it is especially important when you are trying to boost your motivation. This is because you will be able to monitor and measure progress and that will encourage more progress.
So, write down what you want to achieve and then use your journal to document your journey. Make daily writing and reflecting a habit. Be sure to journal about what you want to achieve and what you have achieved. It doesn't need to be formal or fancy. The main thing is to document your journey. So, buy or make yourself a journal and start writing about your goals.
Two, visualize your end result. Our minds are very powerful and there is great power in visualization. This is where you create a clear, vivid image in your mind of yourself acting on your goals and ultimately achieving them. Is your goal to become a successful businesswoman? Then visualize yourself in your own office with hundreds of clients. Is your goal a weight transformation? Then you should visualize yourself with a fit body or maybe even wearing your dream two-piece swimsuit. Make it vivid and think about it every day. Creating a vision board is also a great idea. Many women who have created vision boards say that the goals represented on their boards were actually manifested into their lives.
Three, practice goal-chunking. Ok, so what is goal-chunking? Goal-chunking is breaking down your goals into smaller and more doable pieces. To do this, you’ll want to take out your journal and first write down the main goal. Let’s take for example, “To promote my FaceBook business page and gain 1,000 new followers in one month.” Now, you chunk it down to smaller tasks. So, the first task would be, send invites to at least 35 people per day. Task two, publish at least two posts per day. And task three, watch at least two videos about business promotion per day.
You will find that one of the worst de-motivators is having too much to do and feeling overwhelmed by what have to accomplish and that leads to losing determination and drive. But with chunking your goals, the chance of failing is actually lessened because you’re focusing on simpler and more doable tasks. And just in case you didn’t gain the 1,000 followers in one month, you won’t feel less motivated because you’ll look at your smaller tasks that you completed and you’ll realize that you actually did make a lot of progress.
Four, set up a reward system. Why do you think many companies are implementing employee reward systems in their organizations? It’s because the right reward systems motivate employees to perform better and achieve organizational goals. And that can work on your personal goals too. Countless studies have proven that rewards for tasks completed can lead to a greater level of enthusiasm and makes you continue working and staying motivated even long after the reward was given.
So how do you set up a reward system? Let’s use a simple example. Supposed you’re currently 200 pounds and your goal weight is 150 pounds. With chunking, you can break down the goal and write in your journal, “Lose 6-8 pounds in one month.” Then beside it, write down a reward that you will get, such as, “Buy new workout leggings.” Notice how we set up the reward system? First, the goal has to be measurable, achievable, and with a time duration while the reward must be positively related to the goal. Don’t make treating yourself with cakes or steaks as the reward. Remember that the reward should also help you get to your goal.
Five, cut yourself some slack. Setting up room for mistakes and setbacks is as important as setting up a reward system. If you can recognize that you will do well, then you should also accept that sometimes, you won’t. It has been my experience that there is no such thing as constantly moving upwards. I’ve never heard of someone who just kept rising and rising and never had setbacks in life. Even people who are doing well with their weight loss journey sometimes hit a point called a plateau where their weight doesn’t change and they feel stuck. Having roadblocks and downtimes are completely normal. You should write about them in your journal as a careful reminder.
So how do you give yourself leeway and cut yourself some slack? In every goal that you write, think about all of the possible scenarios that may happen. For example in your business, there may be some customers who cannot be satisfied or during the winter season, there may be lower sales. If you recognize now that these things may happen in the future, then you won't be too shocked if they really do happen and your motivation won’t be too thrown off course.
Six, prioritize and manage your time effectively. One of the reasons why we lose motivation is because we lose focus. And more often than not, the times that we lose focus are the times that we are overwhelmed with many goals or we’re just plain distracted. There's actually nothing wrong with having many goals in life. In fact, that's being ambitious and ambition is another motivational force. It’s just that when you don’t prioritize, your motivation gets overwhelmed and nothing gets done.
So, one way to improve your motivation is to manage your time and prioritize the order that tasks need to be completed. There are many ways to prioritize and manage your time effectively. One of the more popular systems is the Eisenhower Decision Matrix designed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
This matrix actually has four quadrants but for the sake of our discussion, we’ll only be talking about quadrant one and quadrant two. This system basically tells us that we have to prioritize goals or tasks based on their importance and urgency. Quadrant one is where the important and urgent tasks are while quadrant two is where the important but not urgent tasks are. Quadrant three is urgent but not important and quadrant four is not important but urgent. Since I don't think that we have goals that are not important, we'll only talk about quadrants one and two.
To illustrate how to use the two quadrants, let's say that you have two goals for your business. Goal number one is to complete ten orders for the week. Goal number two is to promote your Facebook business page to one hundred followers in a week. Both are actually important. But which one is more urgent? Is it the sales or the promotion? It always depends upon the situation, but the point is, you have to learn how to compartmentalize and prioritize your goals. Do this and you can enhance your motivation.
So those were six steps to improve your motivation and reduce de-motivators.
I know this was a lengthy discussion, so before ending, here’s a recap of the key points. First, motivation is a powerful inner drive for a meaningful change that can only be achieved through a certain level of persistence, sense of direction, and goal-orientation. Being motivated means you have a desire for change and that desire urges you to create your goals, focus on them, and take action.
And secondly, we discussed six techniques that you can use to boost your self-motivation and reduce de-motivation. They are… keep a journal, visualize your end results, do goal-chunking, set up reward systems, cut yourself some slack, and prioritize and manage your time effectively.
Please leave a comment sharing your go-to motivational tips and strategies. If you would like more information on setting and achieving goals, please click here to get a free and immediate download of my eBook, The Goal Guide: Everything You Need to Get Started with Setting and Achieving Your Goals.