You know that feeling when you first get an idea or start a new project and you feel really excited and motivated? Don’t you wish you could maintain that enthusiasm and drive all the time? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some way to capture and bottle that energetic motivation to use it when you need it the most?
It’s natural to feel very motivated at the beginning of a project. That’s when you’re most in love with the whole idea! No matter what it is—a business endeavor, a new fitness routine or diet plan, or the plan to quit smoking—getting things started while you’re excited is the easy part. It’s the long run motivation that can be tricky.
Really, it’s just like a honeymoon. First you fall in love, then there’s the excitement of the proposal, then the wedding, and finally the blissful honeymoon… But that’s not the finale. To be successful, you have to work to build a solid marriage. It’s an ongoing process. There are everyday realities that aren’t necessarily exciting, but they’re important. You may not feel as excited as when you first fell in love, but you can learn to foster a strong, consistent, steadily burning passion that can be much more useful in the long run, no matter what your project is.
We have to learn to continuously motivate ourselves so as not to succumb to fatigue, stress, or even boredom. There are some important steps you can take to help to keep yourself motivated.
1. Positively Positive
Have you ever heard the expression, “Perpetual Optimism is a Force Multiplier”? Well it’s true! Positive thinking can breed more positive thinking and better attitudes all around that will help you to keep truckin’ on the path that you’ve chosen for yourself. When you find yourself feeling down or cranky, take some time to consider all of the things that you have to feel grateful for. There’s nothing like gratitude to help lift your spirit!
2. Keep Good Company
Along with being optimistic, surround yourself with positive people. Likewise, create some distance between yourself and any negative people who may be part of your life. When you surround yourself with positive people, that force multiplication expands exponentially!
3. The Law of Simplicity
It’s easy for us to overcomplicate things. It’s true in all aspects of our lives, from keeping busy calendars to running inefficient processes in our work. The more that you can streamline what you do, the better. Give yourself room to breathe. Schedule downtime in your calendar for self-care, friends, and family. If you’re wearing too many hats in your entrepreneurial endeavors, bring on an assistant. Challenge the way that you do things so that you’re always finding the most efficient ways and not spinning your wheels and spending energy in unnecessary places.
4. Never Stop Learning
No matter how much of an expert you are at something, there’s always something new to learn. Learning new things is very motivating! It helps you to see your specific project or the entire world from a new perspective. What have you learned recently? Stretch yourself!
5. Set Mini Goals
It’s wonderful to have large goals, but it’s the baby steps that help us to achieve those grander targets. Break out your progress into small, achievable benchmarks and work towards each of those mini goals as though it were its own project, even if it fits into a bigger picture. Celebrate the small goals as much as the big ones.
6. Give Back
There’s nothing in this world quite like generosity. Whether you’re taking someone less experienced under your wing in your entrepreneurial efforts or volunteering in your community, doing something good in this world will contribute to your positive outlook and will help to energize you. Pay it forward!
Once the honeymoon phase is over, you have to learn to self-motivate yourself and it comes primarily from within. Some external factors, like surrounding yourself with positive people, can certainly make an impact, but in the end, it does take personal effort to push your motivation forward. With a little effort, you can maintain your enthusiasm and drive and create a happy, long-term marriage between yourself and project.