You might be thinking to yourself how obvious it is to start now rather than later. The truth though is that there are many hidden pressures preventing us from starting now although we continuously think of the results that can come from it.
Whether you’re in a slump, too busy with other activities, or currently finding your groove, there is one thing you can do right now, and that is to make time to create a system that shapes your future self.
Ask yourself the following question…Who do you want to be in the future?
- If you want to be a well-read individual, you might read everyday.
- If you want to run your own business, you might work on a side project every night.
- If you want to be in shape, you might workout every morning.
Notice something here? Each of these items have a scheduled motivation. In other words:
At <Time>, I will <Action>.
Many people never see the results they envision because they lack motivation to fuel their actions. Making the time for your habits will provide all the motivation you need to take action.
Setting a schedule for yourself seems simple on paper, but really what it does is puts your brain on auto-pilot to no longer have to think about doing things, rather at a specific time, you just do it.
Think of some of the most successful people you aspire to be one day. Now try to imagine what their day’s schedule looks like. Do you think they sit around waiting for the next thing to happen?
There is a power to ritual that we take for granted because we’re not always mindful that our rituals may not be productive until we make them that way. Rituals remove the need for us to make a decision and instead we act. It’s far more beneficial for you to act than to decide. Otherwise you might become paralyzed by analysis.
Here are three easy ways you can start by doing today.
You need to get the ball rolling by at least starting. Read that first page in that book you picked up recently, or go on a 5 minute run around the block. Whatever it is that you want to become better at, you need to at least start.
By starting, you need to now picture your end goal and have it in mind as you continue to progress. If you read a page in that book you picked up recently, you might read a chapter next. After that a few chapters, and eventually the whole book. The goal here is to make the end goal easy enough to obtain in a short period of time.
Now that you’ve reached an end goal of some sort, this step is really easy. You just need to do exactly what you’ve just done over again and apply it to another thing, or increase the difficulty up a notch. Remember, you don’t want to make it too hard or else you’ll start to lack motivation for something that might not feel obtainable.
At this point you might be following along but you may be asking about staying motivated for a long period of time. We’ll cover that next.
Long Term Motivation
Let’s face it, there will be a time where you will lack motivation to continue on. Whether something else comes by that is more attractive to you in that moment, or you aren’t seeing the payoff fast enough. Here are two strategies you can use to keep your motivation over the long term.
Staying the course
By staying the course, what I mean is that no matter the circumstance that comes before you, you will continue to do the things that are a net positive in your brain. You will continue to workout every morning, you will continue to spend quality time with family in the evening, and you will work on your side project at night. Your perseverance will set the stage for whether or not you put the rep in or not.
The Goldilocks principle
What does Goldilocks have to do with motivation? Well to not go on too much of a tangent here, we need to make sure that we are challenged enough, and by enough we need to make sure it’s just the right amount.
If we make something too easy or too challenging, we will lack the motivation to continue on. Instead, if we can make it challenging to the point where we can come out of the action either excited that we made progress or disappointed that we didn’t get enough done, we are challenging ourselves to do better and makes the habit more attractive.
What can you start doing right now? Are you ready to commit to doing it?