MOTIVATE YOURSELF AGAINST ALL THE ODDS – 10 HACKS !!
Motivation plays hide and seek with us constantly. Now its there, now its not. When life’s commitments bog you down heavily, to motivate yourself can be quite daunting. The good news is, its NOT impossible.
It’s the first month of the new year!!
Armed with new resolutions and fresh resolve, you motivate yourself to do more and better this year, both at work and at home. Although goals are set, with an I-shall-conquer-the-world feeling, about three weeks later, boredom begins slowing you down. Sounds familiar? Moreover, that feeling of drain, as in mental fog, starts overpowering your brain and limbs.
Phew! Now what?
Its easy to set goals, to wish and to dream about the benefits that will accrue later, but on the other hand, how do you motivate yourself to sustain the initial fervour of reaching those very goals? Furthermore, how do you stay loyal to schedules and keep the momentum going, when the fizzling stalls you big time!?
Motivate yourself to accomplish goals effectively and retaining the great feeling too, seems like a monumental hurdle. But hey! like everything else in life, there are simplistic yet proven techniques which can help to clear your head and to stay on track.
THE MIND BODY CONNECT
Ever heard of the successful CEO who gets up at 5 am and goes for a run? Or the driven VP who plays tennis thrice a week? Well, its not only actors and entertainers who hit the gym to be fit. People across industries are increasingly taking to exercise as a tool to enhance energy levels and sharpen their focus. In fact, it’s a proven science that when you move your body, your mind functions better too. No matter what your nature of work is, target achievement can get monotonous and dull. To replenish dwindling motivation, feel good hormones released during any form of exercise do wonders. Keep a part of your day for sweating it out. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and combine it with timely, quality nourishment.
Likewise, calming an overstimulated mind can optimise the benefits of exercise and also enhance your efficiency at work. Find your niche: simple meditation, a quick nap, a good read or a creative hobby as vent. Quality reading, in particular, has deep impact on one’s thoughts, the effects of which spill over to all aspects of work life too.
Motivating yourself begins with a healthy mind in a healthy body.
BREAK YOUR TARGET INTO SPECIFIC MINI GOALS
When a writer is working on his dream book, he breaks the project down to an outline, a summary, a chapter wise progression of the story and deals with one part at a time.
Similarly, viewing a big project as a whole can be intimidating. Alternatively, keeping the big goal in sight but breaking it into smaller, manageable targets is a practical way of sustaining motivation. As each mini goal is achieved, the part progress will provide the satisfaction and encouragement to drive you further consistently.
Start small, one step at a time, in a pre-planned sequence. As a matter of fact, when you are overwhelmed by a huge list of things to be executed, the time tested method of writing it down manually aids implementation beautifully.
DON’T TRY, JUST DO IT
Now, once you have your targets in place, stop making excuses. The most common refrain we give ourselves is, “I will try”.
No ! Don’t try! Just do it! You either do it or you don’t. If there is a pencil on the table and I ask you to pick it up, you will not say ‘I will try’ but either pick it up or you won’t. Either of the two.
By the same token, apply this to your work too. Excuses are self created. Be honest to yourself. Check mentally: is there really a reason to stall or am I just being lazy? Once you have a checklist of well thought out goals to be accomplished, get cracking. Moreover, don’t give yourself too much time to think. Don’t let doubt creep in. Take the plunge and just begin the execution. Sometimes, rote action, without thinking too much, sets the ball rolling. Once you have motivated yourself like this, the likelihood of you repeating the same behaviour goes up. Make it a habit, focus, repeat.
YOU ARE AS GOOD AS THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
If your granny ever said that you are known by the company you keep, trust me, she knew what she was saying. When you deliberately choose to mingle with people who are self-driven and hard working, it rubs off on you too. The positivity which emanates from diligent colleagues is priceless. Value it. Imbibe it. Even if its coming from a professional rival.
Further, stay away from gossip mongers as much as you can. They can drain your motivation. Indeed, taking cue from people whom you admire for dedication is inspiring and helps you to keep on track.
Worst case scenario: if its not in your control to choose who all surround you, seal yourself off from negativity by your own will power! Focus on your task at hand.
REMEMBER YOUR ORIGINAL REASON
Why are you in the current job? For instance:
Is it the good money?
Or the creative vent?
Or is it the expanse of skills you are getting to acquire on the job?
Is your income from that work the financial backbone of your family?
Or is the role a valuable stepping stone in your career planning, before you move on to better avenues?
Keep reminding yourself why you originally took up the responsibility and it will help to motivate yourself. It will provide a reality check too. Once you connect to the main reason you are there, your will to give your best revives. The burdensome feeling that might be pulling you down can be overcome. Energy flows exactly to where you apply it. Stay focused there and feel the positivity.
BE GRATEFUL FOR THE GOOD TO DEAL WITH
Something as simple as having gratitude for the good in life gives one energy to deal with what is tough to handle. It’s a time tested life skill wise people integrate into their daily lives. One way to do this is to make a list of moments which were special in terms of achievement or the feelings associated with that achievement. You could use plain old paper & pen or the Notes app in your smartphone.
For example, maybe you remember the exhilaration when you crossed that tough sales target after numerous pitches. Make it a part of the list. When the going gets tough next time, read and remember that feeling. Track it. Motivate yourself through it. Rather than getting overwhelmed by the daily list of to do’s, spend a few moments to count your blessings. What is more, the bleaker side will soon perk up and induce real positive emotions in your frame of mind to tackle the day ahead.
LET GO OF THE FEARS
Fears are nothing but conditioned responses to certain past stimuli. They dampen self motivation by restraining our best potential.
Speaking about this, we often hold ourselves back because of some or the other fear embedded inside us. It’s like a coding. You just need to break the code and re-program. Notably, you will realize its just a learnt response. Most fears are not real.
From the beginning, fear of failure should be treated as just one dimension, objectively. Be realistic and don’t be afraid of failure, just view it as one of the expected outcomes and draw up a contingency plan. Do your best but do not be harsh on yourself if you falter.
Reduce the fear to a powerless outcome amongst many others and see your motivation scaling up.
CALL A FRIEND OR USE THE INTERNET PRODUCTIVELY
Try the personal touch. If you are lucky to have a friend or family member you can count on, confide in them to help combat a disappointing slump in your motivation levels. Just as students often raise each other’s spirits during joint study sessions, working professionals can also look up to a mentor or friend in time of need.
On the other hand, for some, taking a break to indulge in a totally un-relatable activity like listening to an inspiring song dissolves blocks in motivational energy. Equally, motivational speeches from movies or from a series like TED Talks can magically sort us out as we realize how much more those people out there have dealt with. Al Pacino’s speech in ‘Any Given Sunday’ or Shah Rukh Khan’s speech in ‘Chak de’, are fine examples. Such words provide us a catharsis of sorts and renew self motivation tremendously.
REDEFINE HARD WORK and CLEAR THE CLUTTER
Is hard work really hard? Or is it just appearing hard because you are not organised enough, not prepared sufficiently or are just plain lazy. Often, your pre conceived notions of how hard work is boring and mundane interferes in motivating yourself. Try and change your perceptions consciously. If you stop viewing your work as a boring project and rather take as a challenging way of testing your skill sets, the drudgery factor lessens a lot.
Often, like an overflowing wardrobe where nothing can be found on time, we clutter our minds with such irrelevant stuff, that regular work appears like an uphill task. Clear out the space in your mind and create breathing space for energy flow. Motivating yourself towards relevant stuff becomes so much more easy. Suddenly, hard work will not appear so hard.
KNOW WHEN TO SWITCH OFF
No matter how much you motivate yourself, you need a break! Not to mention that it is neither possible nor realistic to expect anyone to be motivated all the time. Develop a clearly demarcated zone when your smartphone will be silent or your notifications off. Besides, when you switch off from work and indulge in some idling too at times, it will keep you well motivated during working time
Last but not least, never forget to give yourself a pat on the back or a treat, now and then, for every thing that you have achieved.
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