“And so mature adults realize that motivation is not an accident, not so much a feeling as it is a conscious commitment to a motive, a choice toward something, a deeply held reason to act. It is an energy that results from thought. We feel motivated because we choose to, not because the sun happens to shine on our side of the street.” – The Motivation Manifestoby Brendon Burchard
Motivation is tricky. It appears to be a fickle friend at best, coming and going as it pleases on whims that we haven’t quite figured out yet.
What if motivation weren’t something that magically woke us up at 3 a.m. one morning, an aha moment slapping us in the face, but something that could be earned by anyone who chose it, at any moment?
After reading The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard, I have gained a renewed sense of what motivation is and what it isn’t. Here are seven tips for staying motivated in the pursuit of any dream, even when motivation doesn’t feel like your BFF:
1. Envision your ideal day.
Having a vision of the new lifestyle you are striving towards is an extremely powerful motivator. Create a vision that is so beautiful and enticing, it makes it easy to resist your old pattern and step bravely into the new.
2. Tell yourself you can have it tomorrow morning first thing.
It’s 8 p.m., you are dying for an Oreo or a Pringle, just one!, you say, but they are not in line with your weight loss plan. Before giving in, try this one: tell yourself that you can have it as soon as you wake up the next morning. Chances are, by the morning you will have a renewed commitment to your vision and will not feel the same strong temptation at that time of day. I used to play this game with myself while on a weight loss plan, and I never took up my offer for an unhealthy snack first thing the next day.
3. Tell yourself you can have it after you achieve your goal.
Maybe your goal is to establish a personal savings account over the next six months, but you find yourself tempted to purchase a sweater for fifty dollars. Or you still want an Oreo. Tell yourself that this particular journey of having to sacrifice things you want in order to have savings or lose weight is temporary. You can purchase a new sweater in six months, and another one in eight, but right now you will refrain. This is where the vision comes in handy – it can be very helpful to remember that this is a temporary sacrifice for a greater good for the rest of your life.
4. Live by a motivational quote everyday.
There is an unlimited supply of motivational quotes out there. Go find yourself some that speak to you and your path, and carry one with you at all times. You might want to use a new quote every day or week so you don’t become desensitized to the message. In moments of temptation or doubt, break out that quote and remember your vision. Refer to it as often throughout the day as needed to stay true to your path.
5. Have an action plan for each day and let no excuse prevail.
It all goes back to the vision, and this one is no exception. Create an action plan for each day. Write out exactly what you will do today to get yourself one step closer to your vision, and then do those things to the best of your ability. Feel good about your accomplishment at the end of the day. Although you are not there yet, you know that staying on this path will get you there.
6. Enjoy small victories.
It’s a long road to make significant life changes. Even a few months can seem like a long time when you are making sacrifice after sacrifice and the finish line is far off. Allow yourself to enjoy the tiniest of victories. If you lost one pound or were able to save five more dollars, make sure to feel really good about it, knowing that larger victories are headed your way with continued work.
7. Expect setbacks.
No one is perfect, and no one who has achieved their dreams did so perfectly. You are almost certainly going to break down and eat a few cookies one night, oversleep a few days, or go shopping and wonder where that seventy-five dollars went. It is critical to your plan that you do not freak out or start beating yourself up. Now is the time to love yourself even more. Become conscious and think back to what led to the slip-up so you can help prevent this one next time, and then continue moving forward as you were. The worst thing would be to quit because you thought you failed, and you worked too hard to give up now.
Create your own motivation plan for your next big dream so that you practically guarantee success. We can’t control the outcome, but we certainly can gain greater control over our daily choices, and start making the choices that are more likely to align us with our dreams.
Do you have other tips to stay motivated? Please share your thoughts!