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Hello Zen Organizer,
Did you notice that the end of 2021 is less than four months away? It means you still have time to reach the goals you had set at the beginning of the year!
However, more often than not, one of the biggest obstacles to the achievement of projects and goals is usually the unavoidable dwindling of motivation.
So today, I wanted to share a few tips to help you stay motivated in the long run and, hopefully, achieve everything you want!
1. Have a clear why and vision
If you know where you want to go (your vision) and why you want to get there (your why), it'll be much easier to stay on track.
So what is a why and a vision exactly?
"He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." - Nietzche
Your why is your purpose in life. It's your mission, your calling. It's the reason why you live the way you do, do the job you do (or at least, it should be the guiding principle behind these decisions).
With your vision, it should be your strongest source of motivation of all:
"Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living (versus merely surviving!). Indeed, only when you know your ‘why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory" (Warrell, 2013).
Here are some examples of questions you can ask yourself to discover your why:
What makes me feel fulfilled?
What are my strengths or talents?
How can I help people?
If money wasn't an issue, what would I be doing?
How will I measure whether my life was satisfying or not?
Finding your why isn't a one-time exercise, so don't worry if you can't figure it out completely right away. Simply try to identify the pillars in your life that make you want to move forward, grow, and become the person you wish to become!
"If your motivation and desire are great enough (that is, why you are acting), you'll take action even when it is quite difficult." - Atomic Habits, James Clear
Your vision is what you'd like your life to be like in a certain amount of years. (You can outline one vision for your personal life and one for your professional life if you want.) It's crucial to be completely honest with yourself when you do this exercise. Don't be afraid to dream big. Don't let your fears in. Try to picture your ideal life as precisely as possible in your head. And, of course, your vision should reflect your why and be the materialization of it.
To find your vision, try to answer these questions:
Where are you?
What are you doing?
Who's with you?
How do you feel?
How do you look?
What does your day look like?
You can then write a recap of your vision and place it somewhere visible. You can also do a vision board instead, with pictures that represent your vision. Or you can create a strong mental image of your vision.
Personally, when I feel like my motivation starts waning, I visualize my vision, and I remind myself of the reasons that got me started in the first place. It always provides me with a huge motivation boost!
Whatever way you prefer to remind yourself of your vision, make sure you use it when you feel like your motivation is decreasing. It will help you push through in the most difficult moments.
2. Set realistic but challenging goals — and make them actionable!
Now that you've identified your why and your vision, you have to decide how you will fulfill them. And that's usually where the motivation starts dwindling — when you have to actually take action.
It'll be much easier to stay motivated if your goal is motivating in the first place and if you know it's attainable.
If your goal is too easy, you'll lose interest very quickly. If it's too hard, you'll — rightfully — feel inadequate, and you'll want to quit. In both cases, it'll be hard to maintain your motivation, no matter what you do.
So try to set goals that are a perfect balance between the two. The SMARTER method is perfect for that!
Moreover, to make sure you stay motivated to move forward with your goals and projects, you have to make them easily attainable and actionable.
How? By deconstructing all your goals into the smallest possible actionable steps and establishing significant thresholds.
It’s much easier to stay motivated when you perceive your continuous progression through all the steps you're taking towards your objective. Don't focus on the distance that separates you from your goal. Instead, regularly stop to assess all the tasks you’ve already accomplished that take you closer to success.
And keep in mind that the bigger the objective, the longer it takes to accomplish it. Every small step counts when you’re working on accomplishing something important.
So when your motivation is low, don’t think about the immediate and mundane tasks you have to do. Think about their bigger purpose, the dream, the goal, the project they help realize, one step at a time!
3. Have an accountability buddy (or a business friend)
Motivation inevitably dwindles at some point. And when it happens, it's good to have someone to talk to and who helps you stay on track.
This is where an accountability buddy comes into play. An accountability buddy is someone that helps you keep a commitment (a habit, a goal, a project). You can choose a family member or a friend as your accountability buddy. But it has to be someone with whom you feel comfortable sharing your feelings, emotions, fears, thoughts, etc.
If your accountability buddy has the same goal, habit, or project, it's even better! This way, you can both motivate each other. And since you're both going through roughly the same experiences, it's easier to understand and support one another.
In the same vein, if you're an entrepreneur, I highly suggest having a friend that is also an entrepreneur as your accountability buddy or business friend.
Although your family and friends might be very supportive of your entrepreneurial adventure, they probably don't know much about everything building a business entails - unless you're lucky enough to have entrepreneurs in your circle.
Sharing this adventure with someone with the same struggles and helping each other through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship is priceless. It makes a HUGE difference!
If you don't know how to meet a business friend, I suggest asking some of the entrepreneurs you exchange with on social media. Business courses, masterminds, retreats, etc., are also great ways to meet other entrepreneurs.
4. Take regular breaks
Accomplishing a goal or project usually requires quite a lot of time and energy. So if you want to maintain your motivation — and your sanity — in the long run, you have to take some time off to rest and recharge your batteries. You'll come back more energized and pumped to bring your project to its completion!
These breaks can be short, like going for a walk, doing some stretching, or taking a nap, or they can be long (taking the weekend off or going on a holiday, for example).
Make sure you do both regularly to maintain your energy levels high as well as your motivation.
5. Celebrate your victories
Too often, we don't even savour it when we reach our goals. We get there, and we already start thinking about the next goal.
Instead, make sure you take the time to recognize your accomplishments and even reward yourself for them. It can be as simple as cooking or ordering your favourite meal, taking a short (or long) holiday, doing a special activity, buying yourself a present, etc.
I hope these tips will help you accomplish everything you want to accomplish! Remember that most things that are worth it take time, effort, and a loooot of motivation. So hang in there and keep going even when you feel down and unmotivated. I guarantee the end result will be worth it!
What are some of your tips to stay motivated? Let me know in the comments, or send me a DM on Instagram!
I wish you a zenly organized week,