We all have days when motivation is hard to locate, where we don't feel creative or very inspired to keep going. I don't claim to have all the answers, however I have learned a lot about how to stay motivated since I left my day job earlier this year. So, let's talk a little bit about what motivation is and how you can harness it.
What is motivation?
According to the dictionary motivation is...
"the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way...the general desire or willingness of someone to do something."
Without motivation, you're stuck. Stuck with all kinds of nasty feelings, including despair, denial, and fear. If you're anything like me you probably call your lack of motivation or stuckness by many metaphors, like:
The world is passing me by. I'm frozen. Blocked. Trapped. Enslaved.
You can make a choice to get unstuck. All you need is a little motivation.
How to Find Motivation
Whenever I start feeling unmotivated, I think about the big picture. And if my motivation level is really, really low, then I go volunteer. If I can't help myself then I can use my time to help others.
Other things that help me stay motivated include:
- Inspirational books and blogs
- Taking photographs
- Working with creative people
- NOT watching TV
- Fulfilling a promise
Finding motivation isn't as hard as it seems. There are so many mediums you can pull from to keep you going. But how can you stay motivated over the long-run?
When you start feeling stuck and unmotivated, remember these simple tips:
1. Work on projects you love.
2. Break out of your routine.
3. Be the change you want to see in the world.
4. Continually evaluate your successes and failures.
5. Share your knowledge with others.
6. Follow your own advice.
7. Cultivate gratitude.
8. Use your privilege for good.
9. Invest in yourself.
10. Embrace challenges life throws at you.
Now It's Time to Take Action
If you're having a hard time staying motivated, set a side a few hours and write down your goals. Why? Setting goals is a key part of staying motivated. Setting a goal will give you something to strive towards. For example, in my early twenties I decided I would overcome my eating disorder. It was my main goal and focus for many years. By seeking the help I needed and volunteering with others I was empowered and motivated to stay healthy.
To stay motivated it's essential to complete your goals and you can do that by taking one tiny step everyday. Some goals take longer to meet than others and that's okay. Once you meet goal x, you'll feel a sense of mastery, accomplishment, and be empowered to help others do the same.