When you get motivated, you can accomplish almost anything. You can get motivated to lose weight, get motivated to exercise, get motivated to study, get motivated to write a book, or motivate yourself to do almost anything else that is truly important to you. Here are some ways to get motivated…
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
– Judy Garland
Until one has a clear idea of one’s life purpose, there is no way to know whether a task is important or not. Is today’s physics homework important? Is going to the gym today important? Those questions can only be answered within the context of one’s life purpose. A task may appear urgent, but being "urgent," in the sense of another person having stated a deadline, does not make a task truly important in the sense of furthering your life purpose.
If a task isn’t really important to you, you probably can’t motivate yourself to work on it consistently and energetically. It is best if the task itself, as well as the project of which the task is a part, is inherently important to you. An example of such a task would be parenting your child. Each day you spend with your child is important to you, and it is important to you that your child grow up to be a responsible and happy adult.
Often however, the day-to-day activities (tasks) of your project don’t seem rewarding, and only the final result (project completion) drives you. For example, you want to lose fifteen pounds, or to become a published author. In these cases, it is crucial to find a means of visualizing the desired end-result on a daily basis, and using that image of the desired result for daily motivation.
It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
– J. K. Rowling
At every instant of every day, you are making a choice of how you spend your time. You have a very limited amount of time, so time is a highly valuable currency. You certainly can’t do everything that you consider doing or that others ask you to do. You establish your real priorities in life by your choices of how you allocate your time. Whenever you spend time on some mindless activity or allocate time to meeting someone else’s demands (that don’t further your own life purpose) you have chosen your priorities — but have you chosen well?
Don’t confuse leisure time recreation with mindless activities. Activities such as resting, reading, or going to the beach or a picnic or a party create balance in your life and further your life purpose by relieving stress, relaxing you, making you happier, and strengthening your connection with family and friends. However mindlessly surfing the television or web, checking your email every few minutes, or extended sessions of video gaming are priority choices that are unlikely to further your life purpose.
Choose to undertake only projects that are compatible with your life purpose, and choose to allocate a majority of your time to tasks that further those projects.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
At the beginning of each project, visualize what success will look like. If your project is to lose weight, visualize your new shape. If your project is writing a book, visualize your title listed as number one on the best-seller list. Make it a practice to recall this image of success every day. You may find it helpful to create a drawing or photograph or collage as a tangible representation of the success you are working toward. A collage is made by gluing magazine clippings, drawings, photographs and other objects to a piece of paper to form an artistic representation of a complex idea. A collage to represent graduating from college might contain photographs or drawings of someone in a cap-and-gown, a diploma, a job offer letter, a large salary check — whatever you associate with your goal. A collage can be a powerful aid in creating an emotional connection with the goals of your project and in keeping you motivated.
Projects that exist only in your mind are unlikely ever to be completed.
Begin by writing down your life purpose. While there are likely several distinct aspects to your life purpose, an overly complex or disjointed statement of life purpose is more confusing than helpful.
For each main thread of your life purpose, write down the projects that support the intent of that thread.
For each project, write a time frame, milestones, and the tasks that comprise that project.
As an example, one thread of your life purpose might be physical health. A project within that thread might be reducing your weight. Time frame and milestones could be to lose five pounds each month for three months. The tasks might be to go to the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and to record the calories you consume each day in a diary.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, Begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it, Begin it now.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Half of finishing a project is beginning — and most of the rest is never quitting. Very little in life is complex. Begin and keep going. If necessary, begin again each day. Know that you can only fail if you quit.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
– Winston Churchill
Whenever you complete a task, celebrate. Whenever you complete a project, have a huge celebration. Even if you haven’t met your goals, celebrate. If you set a goal to lose five pounds in a month and you lose three, celebrate. Even if you gained a pound instead of losing, celebrate that you got to the gym twelve times. Always celebrate what you have learned — celebrate learning what doesn’t work as well as what does work.
A friend is someone who understands my past,
believes in my future,
and accepts me just the way I am.
If you have friends and family who support your life purpose, include them in your projects. Tell them what you are doing, and why. Let them be keepers of your timeframes and milestones. Include them in your celebrations — and your painful life-lessons.
If you don’t yet have a supportive network of friends and family, get one. Make the project of creating a support network your highest-priority project. Join organizations that are compatible with your life purpose and seek support. Volunteer for causes that are compatible with your life purpose and seek support. Also, make the conscious decision to spend less time with people who don’t support your goals and life purpose.
Those who believe they can do something and those who believe they can’t are both right.
– Henry Ford
Today, and every day, affirm again your own value as a human being. Affirm the value of your life purpose and your chosen projects. Affirm your commitment to seeing your chosen projects through to completion. Utilize your support network to build your self-confidence. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your values.