Being motivated feels great. We get a lot done, feel good about what we’re doing, and get a feeling of accomplishment. Yet, even the most motivated and successful among us get stuck in a slump sometimes.
If you’ve got a list of new projects you really want to do but can’t seem to start, here are some tips to help you become more motivated, stay motivated, and enjoy what you’re doing.
Break the Project down into Smaller Bits
Seeing a huge task ahead and not knowing where to start is one of the main reasons people procrastinate. By breaking the project down into smaller, more manageable chunks, you’ll see tasks that feel much easier to complete.
Set Some Reasonable Deadlines
Setting deadlines gives you something real to work towards. We’re all taught from an early age to work by deadlines throughout our school lives, and probably at home too. Set a series of deadlines in the future, you’ll become more motivated as you hit each one and see your workload shifting from to-do, to complete.
Get an Accountability Partner
An accountability partner is someone who helps you keep on track with your goals by checking in and making sure you’re making progress. If not, they offer emotional or practical support in any way they can. In return, you do the same for them if they are also looking for a partner.
Accountability partners are an effective motivational tool because there is someone other than yourself to answer to. A good accountability partner believes in you and wants you to succeed as much as you do. Plus, it feels bad making excuses when explaining to someone why you made no progress.
Take Inspiration from Successful Role Models
Whenever you’re in need of a motivational boost, take a few minutes to read or watch the story behind successful people and how they got to where they are. There is almost always a struggle, ups and downs, and low points in their lives. The one thing all successful people share in common is their will and desire to push through any challenges and get things done.
Create a Clear End Goal
Goal setting is one of the staples of motivation. Without a clear goal of where you want to go and what your endpoint looks like, it’s hard to set a clear path to get there. Start by planning what your end goal looks like, then write down some smaller goals to help you get there.
This overlaps with breaking down your project into smaller bits, and setting deadlines as already discussed. You can wrap all of this up into smaller goals that build a clear picture of the end goal.
Address Procrastination at the First Hurdle
Procrastinating of some kind is inevitable. Almost everyone gets sidetracked or distracted at some point during a big project. So, don’t feel bad about it, but do something about it as soon as you notice you’re starting to procrastinate.
Once you start doing something else to procrastinate with your time, it’s so much easier to carry on down that path than to redirect your focus back on the task at hand. The sooner you do something about it, the easier it’ll be to break.
Visualization techniques are a powerful motivational tool that anyone can use at any time during the day, and they really work. To use visualization to motivate yourself to start a new project, simply:
- Go somewhere quiet, close your eyes, and create a picture in your mind of what you want to achieve.
- Imagine the steps and processes you need to go through to get there, playing them out in your mind.
- Reinforce the visuals with positive emotions, and tell yourself you can do it if you follow the steps you’ve created.
- Repeat this process daily, picking it up further on as you complete the steps you visualized.
Seeing yourself completing the steps and goals you outlined as discussed earlier makes doing those steps a much more real reality. They will not feel as “new” or as challenging when you do them.
Set Rewards for Yourself
Rewards are a huge motivator. If you know you get to enjoy a Netflix show, order takeout, or whatever is a treat for you, you’ll push that bit harder. You’re going to need to show some self-discipline, both with setting reasonable rewards, and only taking them when you’ve earned them. But that’s part of the challenge.