Motivation and passion are by far the two most important ingredients when cooking up a remedy for success. In a recent article discussing what I believe to be the most effective ways to set goals I mentioned motivation in parenthesis throughout. Here, I’m going to discuss effective ways to stay motivated when trying to succeed with any set of goals. I call this “The Art of Motivation Maintenance”
Why is motivation important? This is the force behind EVERY action. Every? Yes. Every. (Obviously) The motivation to pick up a glass of water to drink is often thirst. The motivation for eating is often hunger. Sure, we eat and drink for leisure, which again is motivation. Motivation maintenance means keeping yourself thirsty as well as hungry for xyz. What are you thirsty or hungry for? I have a hunger to communicate, share and connect with people. Hence the reason I learn languages and write. When things get a little tough it’s far easier to pull through because my desire to communicate is a whole lot greater than any problem that I could encounter on my journey.
The first step is to identify your motivation. Here are some questions to ask. Why do I want to achieve XYZ? Who is going to benefit from XYZ? Is XYZ important to me? Do I enjoy XYZ? Is there anything I would prefer doing with my time? These questions will do one of two things. Reaffirm your beliefs or encourage you to re evaluate. If you’re having trouble with motivation there’s a big chance your motivation is a little screwed up. You’ll probably want to read my article ‘Being honest with yourself ’ (coming soon)
At this point your motivation should be clear
Now we can move on to maintenance.
- Fun – As far as I’m concerned, any task that takes up a lot of my time has to be fun. That’s absolutely imperative. I’m not one to do anything just for sake of it or because it’s the way things ‘should’ be done. (That’s crap and brainless) I take FULL control and responsibility for my life and having fun is something that I take very seriously. If you want to become healthier, however you find running in the park boring. Why not pick up a sport? No, not any sport, one that YOU ENJOY! In the case of learning a language. Why learn how to give directions when what you really want to do is tell a foreigner you think they’re hot and want to take them out for a drink? It’s simple. Make things fun and everything else will follow. Fun is a BIG motivator and time flies when your having fun.
- Work together with others – I’ve been the person that has thought that I could take on the world all by myself. Sure, you can do things all alone but in reality life is easier, more pleasant and more fulfilling when you include others on your journey. You can learn from each other, motivate and of course have fun together! However, you need to have the RIGHT people around you. Positivity breed’s positivity and you don’t want to spend to much of your time (if any) surrounded by people who aren’t contributing to your greater whole. (More on this later) I have the most fun learning a language when I’m speaking with foreign friends. Having my nose in a textbook holds my attention for only so long. Working together with the right people can make the most daunting journey pleasant.
- Combine things together – This point deserves an entire article of it own. (Coming soon)
- Take a break now and again – Just like computers, no matter how super we are, we need to switch off and take a break in order to function at our best. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break every now and again. I rarely take a break from my language study, but I find that when I do I have a series of eureka moments. Time away allows me to approach a task with a fresh set of eyes and ears. Which often gives me the answer I was looking for without the excess frustration.
- Keep track of your progress – This should have been higher up on the list but I’ve left it till last because I’ve said it before. This is a HUGE part of maintaining motivation. If you don’t recognise how far you’ve travelled you will only focus on how far you need to travel, which is the quickest way to burn out and give up! It’s happened to me before. When I tried to learn to play the piano and when I tried to become the next Jay-Z (I’m dead serious) I’m sure you have a similar story?
As you can see, there are many different components to maintaining motivation. Consider some if not all of the points I have written the next time you feel as though your motivation is wearing thin.
Leave a comment a let me know what you think.
Thank you for reading.
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