What if I told that wanting to know “how can I stay motivated,” isn’t the right question at all?
Here’s the thing… Motivation actually isn’t the goal at all. Motivation is fun and it feels really, really good, but it’s fleeting. What I’m after is figuring out how to get myself to do the thing, even when I don’t feel like doing the thing. Because that’s reality. That’s what we’re all actually up against.
Motivation has a shelf life about as impressive as gas station sushi. For a moment you clearly see what you want and how you’re going to get it — you are motivated! But a week later you can’t remember why you even thought this was a good idea??
“Motivation” has expired.
Today we’re talking about staying “motivated” even after the pull date.
Are there systems that you can use to protect your progress from “I don’t feel like it?” The answer is: Yes. When these lessons are mastered, it’s the difference between feeling confident about your business, systems, and income — and NOT.
1. TREAT TIME LIKE IT’S YOUR MOST PRECIOUS COMMODITY (BECAUSE IT IS)!
The number one goal killer I know of is distraction. Don’t allow distractions to hold your dreams back. Instead, block out time for your key tasks (this is called time-blocking). Then close out all distractions, especially your phone and notifications. I put my phone on airplane mode or in a drawer and I keep all notifications turned off on my computer. It’s critical that you give yourself every advantage possible so that you can win. Notifications, text messages, phone calls… Those are distraction’s favorite form of chaos to throw at us. So, close out your email, close out all open tabs (except for what is pertinent to your current project), set a timer, and go to work!
Dieter F. Uchdorf asked and then answered when he said,
Do you want to change the shape of your life?
Change the shape of your day.
Do you want to change your day?
Change your hour.
2. MAKE TIME TO FILL UP YOUR CREATIVE TANK
When our business starts gaining traction and we get busier, one of the first things we let go of are those little rituals that fill our creative tanks. In the short term, it’s fine. In the long term, it hurts us.
We lose the creativity that we need to continue to be innovative. I learned this the hard way when I cut out all the fun in honor of more clients, projects, and workload. It wasn’t a good thing.
It’s very hard to avoid burnout and stay motivated when your creative tank feels empty. The easiest solution I’ve found is just to periodically schedule time to fill my creative tank.
Taking time can be as simple as carving out time for podcasts, great books, personal development, play research (that’s code for intentionally going down a blog, Pinterest, and YouTube rabbit holes — I always set a timer though), and anything else that inspires new ideas.
I also love a great girls’ weekend. It always does wonders for the soul and if it can be part of a retreat or mastermind, even better!!
3. DON’T EXPECT OTHERS TO VALIDATE YOUR DREAMS
Not everyone is going to “get” your dream. In fact, often those you are closest with, may understand it the least. That’s okay. The entrepreneurial spirit is not for everyone, and your incredible vision may not be viewable by those closest to you. Don’t let that discourage you. In time, as your dreams become reality, they will be able to see what you’ve seen all along.
Having support from others does matter, so look to cultivate relationships that can lift you and encourage you in other social circles. Many of my closest entrepreneurial friends and cheerleaders started as online friends.
4. INVEST IN YOUR GROWTH (SO YOU MAKE MORE MONEY, FASTER!)
Never stop investing in your growth. There are so many incredible virtual courses that will teach you, inspire you, and help you continue to grow. I’m also a huge fan of live conferences and retreats so that you can surround yourself with fellow creatives. You get to learn from inspiring entrepreneurs at the top of their fields, who have already gotten to where you want to go. They can help you bypass some obstacles and share what they’ve learned the hard way. It’s an amazing experience that’s worth setting as a goal and a priority.
If you’re a womenpreneur ready to reach 6-figures but not at the expense of your family, check out Growth Getters — my group coaching mastermind!
If you’re a 6- or 7- Figure womenpreneur who needs systems and structure so you can cut back your hours and find balance, check out my mastermind.
5. YOU HAVE A PEAK PERFORMANCE TIME – FIND IT!
Listen to your energy and follow where it takes you. This was maybe the hardest for me to learn. I would get these blocks of time, and I would say, “Self, this is your time to get all of that really important, brain-busting, solution-finding work done. You need to do it right now because you don’t know when you’ll get more time.” This was especially at its loudest when my kiddos were small and home with me 24/7. I’d sit down and try to get to work, and I’d try, and I’d try…but I just wasn’t producing.
Looking back, I can see that I’ve been at my best when I listen to myself and honor how I’m feeling. There are times when I hit that sweet spot. I just get in the zone (aka: flow). Ideas, creativity, and solutions seem to freely flow through me and around me. If I need an answer, I can almost pluck it out of the air in front of me. There are other times when I’m just… not. It’s like that relationship when you knew he was a good guy and all, but it just wasn’t there. Now you can either force it (but you know those sparks are never going to ignite), or you let that time be honored in a better form.
Pay attention to when you’re at your peak. For me, it’s morning! Knowing that, I schedule my most creative work early!
Trying to push yourself into the zone will never produce the results you’re after. Instead, learn to listen to your mind, follow where it takes you, and be fully present and engaged in the space that you are in right now. Be content and trusting (and that may just be the hardest part) that ‘the zone’ will find you again soon.
These are seriously the most incredible lessons that I’ve learned about staying motivated. They’ve made the most dramatic impact throughout the years for my business and I hope they will help you now!
Here’s the recap, I hope you’ll pick at least one that you’re going to focus on, implement into your life and really try because good ideas are just that, they are ideas until you use them. That’s when they become useful.
#1: Treat your time like it’s the most precious commodity, because it is.
#2: Schedule time periodically to fill up your creative tank. This is like an insurance policy against burnout.
#3: Let go of the expectation that other people need to understand your dream. It’s yours and it was placed on your heart for a reason. They don’t have to get it for you to succeed.
#4: Invest in your growth. I fully believe that I am the best investment I could ever put my money and time and resources into and I invest accordingly. You have more power than anyone else to change your life and circumstances, so invest in yourself.
#5: Start paying attention and looking for your peak performance time. Are you at your best in the early hours or maybe you’re a night owl? Look for when you do your best work and honor that you’re not a machine.
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