6 effective ways to stay motivated
Once you decided to go into business, know that you’re in for a long journey. Success doesn’t come overnight. You may have to wait and strive for a long time before you can claim to be successful. And the road to it can be long and winding. A lot of ups and downs, hills to climb and cliffs to fall off from. If there is one thing that can keep you going, it is motivation.
Self-motivation determines the winners from the losers. We can all have the same education, acquired the same training, all get funding and other resources. We can have all the funding intelligence, and skills necessary to run a business. But all of that is worthless if we don’t have the right motivation to succeed.
Money or earning a lot of money is not a viable motivation. You will either lose interest or get lost along the way. The glitter of gold will soon fade when the work becomes a drag, the challenges insurmountable, and the disappointments beat you down.
Motivation is the invisible force that propels us to work longer, try harder, and persist despite failures and challenges. It’s something that must come from within us, stemming from a positive outlook, a good set of established habits, and a healthy attitude to work and life.
Here are ways to encourage better motivation and to overcome the inevitable slack and downtime.
1. Define your goal
What do you want to achieve? Why are you going into business? Is it to provide a comfortable life for your family? To earn money? Be able to do the things you love? Fame and fortune? Happiness? Visualize the life you’re aiming for. When defining your goal, make sure that it is what you want. Not what you think you want, not what your parents want, or what you think society wants. Only those goals that we truly love will sustain our motivation.
2. Have a plan and a few backups
Once you’ve set your goals, write down the plans. This should consist of a master plan and broken-down plans from the big picture. Include as many details as you can, but don’t write in stone. Plans that are detailed, adaptable, and positive are better to motivate rather than intimidate.
- Adaptable – While you can write the best plans, you can never really predict what the future holds. Plans should be easy to change or modify according to the current situation.
- Detailed – Breaking down big goals into smaller chunks of milestones will make the journey easier and less daunting. Starting a new business may sound too intimidating and too much work to do. But if you break it down into specific tasks, the goal gets more detailed, easier to tackle and accomplish.
- Positive – Make your life or business journey as positive and fun as you can. Include the people you love and the activities you enjoy in your plans. Always choose to see the brighter side of things, the half-full glass, and the learnings.
3. Recognize your progress
Occasionally sit back and review your progress. Day to day changes might not seem obvious, but if you take the time to assess your journey, you will see the improvements and accomplishments. Compare your status today to day one. Are you still on track with your plans? You might need to adjust your goals and plans. It is very rewarding and motivating to see your progress and realize the improvements you’ve worked on. This will buoy you up until your next goal is achieved or your next review.
4. Anticipate off-peak moments
Recognize and appreciate the natural ups and downs of your psyche and body. Some of us are early birds, waking up cheery and ready for work. While many are night owls, sleepy during the day, but bright and wired up at night. Some will need afternoon breaks, while others need early bedtimes. Know when you are most alert, pumped up, and productive. Plan your day, schedule most tasks during your active hours and taking time to rest on your off-peak hours. Trying to accomplish tasks during your sleepy hours will not do you any favours and will take a toll on your motivation.
5. Reward yourself
Give yourself credit for your accomplishments. A reward is highly motivating. This is why companies give out bonuses to performing employees, supermarkets give points to customers, and airlines give miles credits. So, pat yourself on the back or treat yourself to a luxurious spa or a relaxing vacation. Rewards don’t always have to be a material thing, or expensive. It can be an hour-long walk with your dog, a slice of cake, or a work-free weekend. Think of things that you will really love and enjoy, then write them down next to your goals.
6. Bank on self-discipline
We can’t be motivated all the time. But self-discipline will be there to save the day. Do not expect to feel positive all day, every day. Everyone is excited and positive during the first phases of starting a business, a marriage, or a project. But long-term goals will need efficient planning, consistency, and dedication to achieve. The novelty spark will soon fade. Only an established routine and developed self-discipline will weather the sluggish points and low morale phases.