Remaining motivated can be a drag, even when you are almost there. There are ways to keep climbing when all you really want to do is jump down. The following methods have worked for me:
Review the reasons you’re pursuing these goals.
Before you even start, be clear about why you are pursuing your chosen goals. If you haven’t already, write what drove you to commit to this path, what succeeding in your goals looks like for you and what success will do for you in the future.
Beyond written form, you can:
- record videos documenting your journey towards your goals
- keep up vision board(s) with images of what you want, and update or create annually
- create an inspiration wall in your home and/or office with pictures of people who motivate you to keep it moving – your parents, siblings, kids, best friends, role models, and others
- a soundtrack of songs that capture your thoughts, dreams and feelings for what you want your life to look like
Review these as often as you need to even understand your personal commitment. Maintain multiple forms just to reinforce and affirm your path. Share them with others to gain some cheerleaders and a sense of accountability.
Change things up.
When you exercise and reach a plateau where your routine has little effect on your body, you have to change the routine to start getting results again. The same thing can happen in other parts of your life. Ways to change it up include:
- Do your work in another environment. Instead of working at your favorite coffee shop, go to a bookstore or library.
- Speak with people you don’t normally interact with. Visit a networking group composed of people outside of your normal circle.
- Exchange routine tasks. Instead of calling leads first thing in the morning, do it mid-afternoon.
Changing how you do things will re-ignite the fire inside you to stay true to your original commitments.
Go on vacation.
Taking a rest from the grind can give you a chance to relax and have fun. Resting renews your spirit and increases your energy to finish remaining tasks for your goals (especially if doing so will help you take better vacations). You may even gain inspiration and new perspective for tackling any issues you are facing.
Although it would be nice, don’t only consider a trip to a resort as a vacation. Other ideas include:
- a day at the park
- visiting tourist destinations in your own city
- road trip to a city you have never visited
- spa day with an overnight stay in a local hotel
Don’t spend time thinking about work. Make sure you enjoy the scenery and the people you are with. Talk to strangers, try new food, get lost – most of all have fun!
And on the traveling note…
Visit your hometown (or whatever first inspired you).
Whenever I visit St. Louis, my commitment to my personal mission and goals is reinforced. This metro area was the first inspiration behind what I decided to dedicate my career to. The first time I returned to St. Louis as an adult after living away for a while, I reminisced about living in a neighborhood with a lot of commerce but little financial re-investment. I wanted to dedicate energy to changing that dynamic for similar communities and the people who live in them. During visits after that one, I always feel more energy to keep moving, especially when it looks like little has changed.
If not your hometown, then re-visit whatever it was to trigger your mission:
- re-read that special book
- talk to your grandparents
- play with your children
- study specific bible passages
Anything that engaged you enough to stir up this vision should be revisited regularly to remind you “Oh, this is what I’m doing it for!”
Celebrate the tasks and goals you have completed.
Former goals you have succeeded at completing must not be forgotten. Reviewing them will remind you of how far you have come and what you can do when you put you personally commit to a goal. Pull out your photo album, read journal entries and watch the video capturing that special time in your life. Do what you need to do to remember your sense of accomplishment and emotions of that time you accomplished what you wanted.
Reward yourself when you complete tasks for your current goals. It’s said time after time, but doing this will give you something to look forward to more immediate than completion of the actual goal. Incrementing the rewards to higher levels of value for each completed task is a strategy that can excite you.
For instance, completing a task now may win an afternoon off from work to relax. Accomplishing a task just before you finish a goal may win a ticket to the concert of your favorite artist. Completing the goal wins you a vacation, remodel of your home office, or even the purchase of a new home.
Don’t forget to reward those who are helping you too!
Sometimes it takes seeing others succeed at pursuing their dreams to gain the courage to keep pursuing what you know is yours to have. I’m Fine, Thanks, a new documentary that shares the stories of people across the U.S. who decided to pursue their hearts’ desires, also demonstrates what happens when people make a personal commitment to live the best life they can. Many of them changed their circumstances and now live more fruitful lives. The producers are raising money in a Kickstarter campaign to complete the film. Though it was fully funded as of this weekend, it’s not too late to participate. At the very least, you can contribute today and receive a digital copy of the film before it is publicly released. See more in the video below.
What have you done to renew your personal commitment? Have any more ideas related to the statements above. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
First image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net