Photo: Sara Lando
“It’s the action behind the attraction that makes the wish come true”
Powerful motivation comes in understanding that you can achieve anything you truly desire in your heart. It is the knowledge that you are destined to fulfill your every goal, which drives you to change.
The decision is the first step towards change. Regardless of the decision, every change requires some form of action. Do you find it challenging at times to motivate yourself in taking action? Sometimes, I catch my mind making excuses, and occasionally I ‘succeed’ in avoiding the action all together. Here are some pointers I have personally found helpful in motivating myself:
- What & Why? – “Start with the end in mind.” To achieve a goal, it’s important to define clearly what that goal is. How do you know when you’ve achieved it? Define a measurable end. Once you have your goal, it’s important to understanding the Why – why you are doing it? Ask yourself what are the motivating factors behind it? For your family? For your kids? Why? Why must you succeed?
- Break it down to small achievable tasks – It is very easy, and human, to be overwhelmed by the sheer effort and energy involved in achieving a big goal. Especially if the goal consists of many unknowns or a long-drawn process. We tell ourselves it’s impossible or it’s too much work, and then we give up even before we take any action towards a goal. I’ve found it very helpful to always split the main goal into several milestones. Then breaking each milestone into a series of steps to achieve that milestone. For each step, break them down further into smaller, measurable and achievable tasks that can be achieved in a few hours or less. This will make the goal appear manageable. Achieving one task after another builds confidence and momentum, and before you know it, the end result will be in sight. Personally, I feel rewarded and more motivated just by crossing tasks off with a black marker as I complete them.
- Take a Small Step – Even the smallest first step will help create momentum towards change. “Start doing the thing to have energy to do the thing” -Bob Proctor.When I heard this, a light bulb went off in my head. So now, whenever I don’t want to do something that I know will help me. I would trick myself into thinking ‘I’m just gonna start it, it’ll only take a few minutes.’ And once I start it, I typically will finish the task. I have this quote written on a cue card, taped on the wall across from my bed, serving as a daily reminder.
- Rewards & Celebration – Give yourself small rewards for each completed step or task. Then celebrate when you reach each Milestone! I use ice-cream, Chai, reading and internet browsing time as rewards for myself. Look back at what you’ve done, enjoy it, embrace it, and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done! I like to exaggerate this step by doing a “happy dance“: very silly moves I do, that tend to make other people (and myself) laugh. This way, my body moves, I’m smiling and my mind will create positive associations with achieving milestones to being happy.
- Pain vs. Pleasure – Have you noticed that you are more inclined to avoid pain, than to gain pleasure? For example, we all know the benefits of eating healthy and exercising, but this benefit alone often is not enough to motivate us to action. But, if your doctor tells you that must live a healthier lifestyle or in 6 months you will contract a life-threatening illness, you are more likely to make the change. Here’s a visualization technique I picked up from a Tony Robbins ‘Unleash the power within’ seminar:
- Visualize yourself in 5 years without taking the actions to reach your goal. See yourself in pain. Do this for a minute, and then intensify the feeling. Feel the heaviness on your back. Do this for a few minutes, and then relax.
- Now visualize yourself having achieved your goal. What do you look like? How are you celebrating? See and feel the benefits it’s provided. Now, let that feeling intensify. Do this for a few minutes as the feeling intensify some more.
- Inspiration – Being around motivating people really helps to inspire us into action. People who are consistently aligning their decisive actions towards their goals. Being around these people can be infectious, and their energy will impact you. If you don’t have such people in your life? Get a cd or dvd of a motivational speaker. Just listening to an outstanding speaker’s voices, can create enough energy to pump you up. I recommend, “Anthony Robbins“, “Les Brown” and “Bob Proctor“.
What do you do to motivate yourself? Please share your ‘secret’ in the comments!
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