Over the years, I've developed a few strategies that have worked for me as well as for friends, business associates, coworkers, employees, and management that I have supported in terms of achieving goals. Previously, I've created and lead sessions of the interactive workshop on "How to Motivate Yourself to Succeed!" So to have more people, like yourself, benefit from this knowledge, I'm going to share some of my secrets with you.
Before we move into discussing the motivational strategies, I want you to keep in mind that your performance is determined not only by your ability but also most importantly by your motivation.
Isn't that somewhat relieving and empowering! Because realizing this concept of motivation allows you to see how you have a huge degree of influence on the outcome by the decisions and actions you take to achieve that aspiration.
If we learn to change our approach when we are struggling to achieve something, then giving up doesn't have to be an option. Who said you have to be the best in everything you do? Not being athletic enough or smart enough or artistic enough or talented enough, doesn't mean you can't play a sport or make the honor roll or take amazing/artistic photos or sing/dance. And if you believe you can't do something because you aren't good enough, well then you believe in nonsense, which is holding you back!
Let me share a confession with you. I wasn't by any means an athletic person in middle school or high school. In fact, I tried out for several sports and the kickline/danceline team, and didn't make any of them. I only made the badminton team because they didn't cut anyone who came down for tryouts and practice. However, today, I'm proud to say I'm a runner who trains to finish races at a better personal time then my previous race. Then after being a runner for three years, that's when I finished my first half marathon, in September 2011 at the Hamptons Half-Marathon in East Hampton, N.Y. It wasn't until I decided that I was going to become a runner and learn to love something I hated that's when everything changed.
Another key concept with success is commitment. Commitment is absolutely necessary in order to achieve goals. You can say you will do something, but until you actually make a decision to commit to it and follow through with the relevant steps, you will most likely not see progress and achievement towards that desired outcome.
So here are some Strategies to Motivate Yourself to Succeed!
1- Visualize the short-term and long-term benefits of achieving that goal/dream
- What does it look like? How are you feeling and experiencing that moment? Bring those feelings into the visualization.
- Who is there celebrating with you and enjoying your experience?
- What are the benefits/rewards to achieving this goal?
Sometimes rather than visualization, it's just an intuitive feeling and thought that comes to you that moves you closer to your goal or dream. Trust this intuition and believe you will achieve this goal. Then follow through with action steps to get you there.
This is seriously a very effective approach that literally has created amazing opportunities and results for me! Time and time again, while I'm on practice runs, I visualize myself crossing the finish line in a race and who is there cheering me on. It's such a confidence booster and allows you to move pass your doubts and fears.
2- Create "healthy" competition with yourself!
One of my favorite approaches! If someone doesn't believe you can do it, then prove that person wrong. How? By showing them that you can achieve that goal, and even exceed that goal. Go after exceeding your expectations and the expectations of those who don't support you. Show yourself and them otherwise!
Tell yourself this when you or someone doesn't believe you can do it. Repeat in your mind this self mantra: "I'm going to step up and prove everyone wrong. I am or I will be ______ (fill in the blank of what or who you want to become - can be a trait, occupation, and the outcome desired)."
Ex: "I'm going to step up and prove everyone wrong. I am going to college and I will achieve my bachelor's degree."
3- Build in rewards for yourself along the way.
- You want to provide yourself with rewards/recognition for each step of the goal achieved.
- Celebrate the big accomplishment/goal in a bigger way, if you can.
- Reward should match goal type -- accomplishing small steps compared to achieving the entire goal.
- We may need to create these recognition opportunities for ourselves.
Sometimes we are lucky enough to have this already built into the goal we are working towards like receiving a medal just for crossing the finish line at a half marathon regardless of your time. That's right -- you don't have to be the fastest runner to receive a medal. You better believe I wanted something to show for that journey of all that hard training and finishing the race itself! I plan to run a few more half marathons and have a collection of medals.
4- Have a theme song or a collection of theme songs to get you psyched about the opportunity and the process towards the goal.
- Any song(s) that gets you feeling positive and energized.
- Enhance your visualization of the goal outcome by playing theme songs while visualizing.
- It really takes you to that moment of success and makes you feel that it has already happened. It's an amazing and powerful technique!
Right now, I'm really feeling "The Good Life" by One Republic, "Raise Your Glass" by Pink, "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida, "We Found a Love" by Rihanna as my theme songs. With adventures, travel, making an impact with the teens/college students, celebrations, and love all in sight for me!
Again, it's not enough to make the decision, commitment, visualize the outcome with theme songs, and repeat the mantra over and over again, as you will need to follow through with the necessary actions to achieve your goal. To further support you with achieving your goals, I'm including in this blog a goal-setting worksheet based on the concept of SMART goals that you can start using today.
Over the next few weeks, we'll review a few more motivation strategies to move you closer to the desired outcome you seek. So check back and see you then! In the mean time, tell me what strategies you have implemented to motivate you to succeed, whether these or other ones.
Originally posted January 2012 on Courageous & Remarkable Self blog
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The importance of motivation
Do you lack enthusiasm and a zest for life? Are you somebody who believes that ‘I will do that’ but never actually does it. If you never do what you intend to do, you may well have a problem with motivation. When you have motivation, you are driven and more determined to create the life that you want to live. You don’t suddenly believe that everything in life is easy but you know that you are prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal, regardless of what challenge that poses. Many people suffer from a lack of motivation but just because it is common, it does not mean that you should accept that way of living. You were not put on Earth to live the same life as everybody else. You have your own purpose, your own goals and you will also have your motivations.
Maybe you are unhappy with the life you are living or, maybe you are just unhappy with one or two aspects of that life. Either way, change is required. As Einstein argued, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Well, if you are unhappy with something, doing the same thing over and over again is not going to change something. The desire to change is one of the most important factors in goal setting but it is not enough to have that desire just once. Desire for change must be maintained throughout the process and that is what motivation really is. When you set a goal, you are looking to change something. It is useful to ask yourself the following questions:
- How will you benefit from accomplishing your goal?
- How high (0-10) would you rate your motivation to accomplish your aspirations and goals?
- Are you ambitious enough to stand out in whatever you do?
- Do you truly believe that you’re capable of accomplishing the aspirations you hoped for?
If you answer these questions honestly, you will have a better sense of your motivation levels.
The importance of motivation
Motivation is one of the most important factors in determining the level of success that you will achieve. Motivation is required throughout the entire goal process. The following are some key reasons why motivation is so important:
1. Identifying a goal
Goals come from a desire to change something in your life. You may be motivated by positive or negative factors. Maybe you are unhappy with some aspect of your life. If this is the case, you would identify what you want instead and set a goal to achieve it. Alternatively, there may be something which you enjoy in life but you would like to experience more of it or, there may be something which you would like to add to your life.
Whether it is a desire for change, a desire to add more or, a desire to add something new, it is motivation for improved circumstances which inspires the goal.
To set powerful goals, check out the Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting.
Whatever you want to achieve in life, you will need to commit yourself to it and focus your energy on it. There is only so much that you can do as time and energy are limited resources. As you are constantly inundated with things that you could do, you need to be able to prioritise your activities and focus on the most important tasks. This allows you to achieve your best results. Motivation is critical in helping you to determine which activities should be prioritised.
Anybody can draw up a plan but the value of that plan will never be known until you put it into action. Setting a goal is not enough to achieve it. You need to take consistent, decisive and effective action to bring that goal to reality. The difference between those who consistently take action towards their goals and those who do not, is motivation. There will be days when you don’t really want to do anything. On these days, it is your high levels of motivation that will push you through.
4. Overcoming setbacks
One of my favourite books is The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield. In one section of the book, Jack provides a rather amazing statistic. He tells us that 94% of all salespeople have given up on the sale after the 4th time of asking but 60% of all sales are made after the 4th time of asking. That means that 94% of salespeople miss out on the chance of making the sale because they don’t have the motivation to keep asking.
This can be applied to all goals. How many times have you given up on something just because you hit an obstacle? Almost any goal worth achieving is going to require some resilience. You will hit obstacles and when you do, you must decide whether you will continue or give up. Motivation will ensure that you keep going.
5. Staying the course
Many of your most important goals will require a great deal of time to accomplish. It is easy to lose motivation and lose sight of your objectives. If you allow this to happen, you may never reach your end goal. It requires a special kind of person to keep their eye on the prize for a long period of time and, keep taking consistent action towards their goal. What makes these people special is that they are highly motivated and they take action to reinforce their motivation on a regular basis.
A clear vision for life and, effective goals to realise that vision, are essential if you want to live your best life. However, goals and a vision are only dreams unless you take consistent action to bring them to life. To take this consistent action requires motivation. Motivation rarely happens by accident and, when it does, it rarely lasts for long. If you want to experience the long-lasting motivation which will help you to stick with your most important goals, from conception to achievement, you are going to need to work on it. No matter what goal you set, never lose sight of your need for motivation as it will be the one thing that will push you through the tough times.