Staying Motivated

Most of us have no problem feeling motivated when we first set our goals, but that inner fire dies pretty quickly sometimes. It might be due to an intimidating obstacle that appears in our path, or a sense of impatience when we don’t see results as quickly as we’d like.
How do you regain your motivation when you run out of steam, and can you do anything to KEEP yourself feeling motivated? Yes!
Remember that motivation is a state of mind, just like discouragement. And like all mindsets, you can choose which one you want to focus on.
Here are some great tips for staying motivated, even if you’re not yet seeing the results you want:
Remember Your Dream
If you haven’t already, write a detailed description of your ultimate dream. Take your time with this and avoid editing yourself! Just call up a mental vision of your dream and consider how it will change your life for the better. Write down as many details as you can. What type of person will you be? How much money will you have? What will your home look like? What will your relationships be like? How will you FEEL on a daily basis?
Write it all down in present tense (as if it were your reality today) – and read it to yourself every single day.
When we are confronted by fear and frustration, it’s easy to forget what we’re fighting for. It’s easy to let the importance of our dream dwindle away, and hope that maybe “someday” we’ll have the determination to make it happen.
Don’t let your dream die! Keep it sharp and clear in your own mind. Honor it and vow to keep moving toward it, no matter what it takes.
Reinforce the Benefits
If you find yourself losing steam and feeling overwhelmed by obstacles, take a sheet of paper and write down the benefits of your dream using the detailed description referenced above.
On this new sheet of paper, make a list of the BENEFITS of your dream. A “benefit” is something you stand to GAIN.
So, for example, if part of your dream description goes something like this, “I am happily working for myself, doing work I love, and earning $100,000 per year” – then add these words to your list of benefits:
Keep going until you have a long list of everything you stand to GAIN by continuing to work toward your goals.
After reading through this list and comparing it to how you feel right now, you should be more determined than ever to keep working toward your goals because acceptance of anything less is unthinkable.
See Obstacles as Mere Detours
One of the most common reasons we lose our motivation is because we feel overwhelmed or intimidated by unexpected obstacles. We can have the strongest motivation in the world, and suddenly one little thing will throw our plans off-course, and we freeze. Or worse, we view obstacles as “signs” from the universe that we’re not “meant to succeed.”
Rather than allowing this to happen to you, simply CHOOSE not to let it bother you. Say to yourself, “An obstacle is nothing more than a detour on my path. I’ll find a way around it because I’m NOT giving up!” Just thinking a thought like that can empower you to begin moving forward again, even if you were initially intimidated.
Sometimes success is due less to ability than to zeal.
– Charles Buxton
Hint: a funny thing about obstacles is that they are usually as daunting as we CHOOSE TO MAKE THEM, according to our expectations. If we moan and groan and fall to the ground in hysteria, the obstacle seems to grow bigger and more intimidating. If we instead shrug our shoulders, roll up our sleeves and don our battle gear – the obstacle shrinks to the size of an anthill, and we can sidestep it gracefully.
Affirm the Possibilities
Another way we might lose our motivation is by beginning to doubt that our dreams are possible. When we first set our goals, we are convinced we can do it. But if results don’t show up right away, we might start to doubt ourselves, or doubt that our dreams are “realistic” enough. After all, if it was meant to be, if we were meant to be successful, it would happen quickly and easily, right? Logically we might know that’s pure hogwash, but emotionally we might feel like the universe is picking on us.
If you feel your conviction begin to dwindle, blast the doubt right out of your head by reading success stories of others who have accomplished the impossible. Seek out written stories or television programs about people who have overcome immense personal challenges to achieve success, and affirm that if they did it, you can too.

Better yet, WRITE YOUR OWN SUCCESS STORY! It might start out as fiction but you have the power to make it a true account. Here’s a good opener for your story:
“___________ (your name) never believed he (or she) had what it took to be successful, but that all changed when he decided to begin believing in himself. He decided to stop listening to the limiting beliefs that others tried to instill in him, and he made it his mission to rise above doubt and fear. With an iron determination, he went on to accomplish what others believed was impossible.”
Make your success story as long as you like, and customize it to your unique situation. Read it whenever you need an emotional boost.
Avoid Burnout
Sometimes we get SO motivated that we might take on too much, too fast and end up feeling burned out. You’ll know when this happens to you, because you start feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and irritated by even the littlest kinks in your plans.
You start feeling annoyed about having to work on your goals, and decide you’d rather take a nap. HONOR that feeling. Go with it. Climb into bed and have a good rest. Go see a funny movie with a friend, or curl up with a good book by yourself. Go dancing, or sign up for some pottery classes or painting classes.
Do something completely unrelated to your goals, and feel good about it. We all need rest, recreation, and a reminder that there is more to life than pursuing our goals.

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