When you are in the trenches, working towards your goals every day, how do you stay motivated. Here are five ways you can find motivation when you are feeling overwhelmed.
I have to admit. I’m not one for motivational memes. There. I said it. I know we share a lot of inspirational posts on Instagram, but I tend to be quite cynical on these so-called inspirational quotes. What usually motivates me isn’t a clever meme, but a success. When I get a new client, or the Facebook numbers improve, or we suddenly see an upturn in email sign ups – I’m on cloud nine. It’s easy to be motivated when you are continually successful.
But you know what? Not every day is going to be full of big successes. Many days building a business, especially from the ground up are spent doing the same thing over and over again, with (seemingly) very little results. It can take weeks, months, even years to see your hard work pay off in any real capacity. So I thought I’d ask – Where do you find that inner motivation to keep going, even without those successes?
Here are 5 ways to find motivation before you hit the big time, okay!
1. Focus on what could go right, not what is going wrong.
Okay, I admit it. This is an almost exact quote from our friend Tony Robbins. This week he shared this on Instagram and it really made me think. Okay, I guess a few inspirational memes and quotes do make it onto my radar. When you are working on building a business, it can be all too normal to focus on the problems in your business. You are constantly analyzing data, crunching numbers, focusing on the metrics – it takes a special kind of endurance to focus on what could go right.
For me, that’s the difference between a change maker and anyone else. If you want to push your idea to the masses, if you want to change the world, it’s going to take some real focus. The lesson I’ve learned from all the amazing social entrepreneurs we’ve interviewed here: Focus on the solution you are providing, not the obstacles that could get in your way. If you have a mission, are dedicated to seeing that happen, that will be your focus. That’s how you stay motivated through those dull, long, tough days hustling.
2. Just get something done off your list.
When you are in the trenches building a business, your to-do list can get very long. If you are like me, you start each day writing down what you need to accomplish every day. Of course, then I add in some things I would want to do as well if time permits. I have to admit. There are days I only get the first couple of things done on my list. This can be quite discouraging for someone who likes to get things done, but I’m here to say any success can keep you motivated. Sometimes there’s so much to be done I don’t even know where to start on my list. So what do I do? I just start something. I make sure I check one thing off my list. I count that as a success and keep going. Let the small things you do keep you moving towards those bigger goals.
3. Build motivation in your day-to-day schedule.
If you don’t schedule time for what you want to get done, it just won’t get done. How many people have amazing gym memberships but never go? How many people start a side business but never get it off the ground? Are these people lazy? No. They just didn’t create the schedule that builds motivation into their lives.
Sit down and write down your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Now, get out your calendar. Make appointments to work towards your goals. If you want to grow a side business, be ready to give up your weekends, nights, early mornings – whatever it takes. You create motivation with your calendar. You show up. Start doing. That’s it.
There’s so much more I could share about how to schedule a time to be motivated, but the point I want you to take away is that nobody finds the time, we have to make the time. What you are spending your time doing is what you are motivated to do. Look at where you currently spend your time. Is it getting you to where you want to be? If not, reschedule.
4. Be around people who give you energy.
Have you ever been to a really great event? A conference, an awesome concert? How did you feel afterward? If you were around really positive, motivated people you probably felt like a million bucks afterward. You were probably buzzing with ideas and yes, with motivation. But that feeling can quickly end if you are not around those amazing people.
How do you create that kind of energy in your day-to-day life? I say, find others who give you energy instead of draining it. Now, this might mean that you have to get rid of toxic people in your life and that could be tough, but my friends, we only have so much energy to give this world. I made the decision this year to rid myself of any toxic clients in my business. It wasn’t always an easy choice but someone reminded me that I, even as a business owner, cannot serve everyone. I only have so much energy. I need to find those that not only need my services but give me energy too. I have to say, I’ve got some amazing clients now, ones that drive me to do more every day. Who wouldn’t want that?
How do you know someone is an energy sucker?
Ever feel more tired after being with someone than you did before, that’s an energy sucker. They might not even seem negative or draining, but they are. If you feel that energy shift when you are around someone, do some investigation. Not everyone is going to give you energy, many will drain you. Don’t invest your time with these people if you want to stay motivated. Nothing drains the motivation away from you more than an energy sucker. Once you gravitate towards others who are more like you, watch out. Your days will be lighter, more energetic and you won’t feel that dreaded ‘I’ve got to go to work feeling’. Trust me. It’s all about the energy around you too.
5. Do one small step that leads you to your big goals. Oh, and yeah. Remind yourself of your big goals every, single day.
Okay. This is a two-parter but they fit together. I wanted to leave you with one practical tip to keep your motivation up – Do one small step. What do I mean by this? Create a routine where you can’t say no to the next step. Don’t feel like writing this blog? Don’t commit to writing it just yet. Just commit to starting up your computer. Then, commit to making an outline. Then commit to writing 400 words. See how I’m breaking it down.
You always have a series of small steps that lead to your big goal. Sometimes you just have to do that one little thing that starts the momentum. The motivation comes in the doing.
Okay, part two of step five. This is perhaps the most important part of the motivation, especially for the change creators, the social entrepreneurs out there.
“Remember why you are doing this.”
Every single day you should remind yourself of those big goals you are working towards. If your big goals aren’t keeping you motivated, change them. You need to have goals big enough to move mountains, and sometimes… your ass of the couch to get that blog done.