There is no secret to staying motivated, despite what many “experts” will tell you.
There is no right or wrong, but there are clues to success that we can follow.
Take my high performing clients as an example.
I asked 10 of my clients, what was the number one aspect of their goal that kept them motivated and allowed them to follow through.
We got a range of results so let me go through the TOP 4 right now.
Before I get to the Number 1 tip, I would like to help you visualise this first.
Because studies show that visualisation is a proven technique that works, images have such a powerful impact on the brain and if we can see something, run through the process of doing something mentally and then follow through on the action itself, then you will be more likely to be successful.
So let's imagine your goal now--
The goal at the top of this mountain.
Right now, this is you starting out on your journey.
The difficult thing about this mountain, is that you may have already been here, or even here before. But now you are here and the first thing you need to do as hard as it can be, is accept your current position, circumstances, obstacles and environment.
Forget looking back to when you were here, just live in the here and now.
Have you done that?
If you have, then let's move on. If not, and you are struggling to accept where you are right now and you can’t stop looking back, then prioritise this as your main focal point, outline what makes you feel that you are ahead of yourself and explore what you were doing when you were closer to the peak of this mountain before trying to climb it again.
Without acceptance we can’t progress to the next stage of strategy.
Looking at this mountain from the bottom up, the closer you get, the bigger it looms.
The excitement of starting the journey can waylay to fear and doubt within yourself, but harnessing this fear and doubt will be your key to long term change.
When we look up and our eyes are focused on this… (peak) then you inevitably can’t see the small steps ahead of you, you can easily trip up and if you struggle with motivation then you may stay down or worse fall down the mountain even further.
So, let's bring your eyes down to this level.
What can you see ahead of you?
What is at your eyeline that you can focus your attentions on?
Right now, you don’t have to be a professional to take these steps to meet the goal at eye level, you don’t need to be perfect, you don’t need to have everything nailed down, but let's say you choose one thing that will benefit everything else you are doing.
Sleep? How you manage stress? Avoiding the common issue of being reactive as opposed to proactive? Improving your activity levels? What is it that you can grasp with both hands right now and run with?
Nail this goal, don’t stop focusing on this goal until you have a solid solution in place that you are happy with and you have formed valuable habits around.
Don’t see that shiny object over there and jump at it.
Every time you achieve a new level-- stop! Don’t do anything for a moment and acknowledge your success. Look at what you did, look at what you did differently to before and appreciate what it took mentally and emotionally to make that goal conceivable and tangible.
Stay on this until you are ready to look back up and see what the new level holds for you, if you truly want long term success.
You can rinse and repeat this same thought process until you reach the very top of that mountain.
And you will, for some it will take longer than others depending on how much of a priority you place on each step and how much time you are willing to dedicate towards that end goal.
I mean you will have practiced this same model unwittingly through your academic life, your career and even your relatonships, so you already have great practice at being patient and collecting your just rewards, but make sure you are focused on your mountain and not the other person who may be climbing it at the same time.
When you hit the peak, whatever that peak looks like for you. You need to set a new goal in place, you need to find a bigger mountain or switch the focus to something that excites you, something you couldn’t have done at the start of this journey.
Otherwise, it's easy to let the layers of success your built crumble into a distant memory.
Have you pictured this mentally as I talked?
Maybe you can sit down with your pen and paper and write down the levels of your mountain, what you will do different at each stage, what you will implement, reflect on and even the time frames you would like to work within for each section.
As you ponder your mountain, I would like to leave you with the four repeating themes that cropped up with my high performing clients:
If you aren’t currently doing anything of this or you feel it's okay to skip this part of your journey, then please take that step back, set this up for yourself and you will break the cycle and change the narrative for the goals you are setting in 2020 and beyond.