“I long so much to make beautiful things.
But beautiful things require effort
-Vincent Van Gogh.
If you’ve ever managed your own business from home, then you know how unbelievably difficult it is to stay on track, stay motivated, and stay organized! I don't have a superior hovering over my shoulder to make sure that I'm putting in a full day's work. I don't have a specified time that I'm required to punch in or out. Staying motivated is a constant struggle for me, and it always has been. When I began writing full time, I would get those surges of pure inspiration, I'd work my butt off for about a week, and I would fall back into the difficulty of forcing myself to stay grounded. If I was going to have any sort of success in pursuing my dream, something had to change. I had to stay motivated and I had to build enough discipline to keep me chugging along when my motivation faltered. But how?
There are tons of motivational methods, and the success of each depends on the individual. A few of my most effective motivation strategies are:
All it takes is a quick Pinterest search and you’ve got thousands of inspirational quotes at your disposal for any topic! Have you ever read a line and been so inspired that you vow to apply it to your life every single day? I do all the time, but to keep that inspiration going, you’re going to need a few reminders. When I come across a quote that has a powerful effect on me, I print it out and frame it, or I type it into one of my motivation pages that I keep in some of my organizational binders. Whenever I’m feeling lazy, I take a moment to read the quotes that I have around my desk and really let them sink in. It works wonders. You can print yourself a copy of my motivation page here!
I’ve said it countless times before, and I’ll say it a thousand times again: GOALS ARE CRUCIAL. Goals give you direction. They are the reward for your efforts. You should be reminded of your goals every single day, whether it’s through a goal sheet, a sticky note, or a pep talk in the mirror!
One thing to remember is that goals are only as effective as they are realistic. I’ve come to realize that the harder my goals are to reach, the easier I become discouraged. My overall goal is to make a sustainable income with my writing, but when life seemed to pile on an overwhelming amount of tasks, stress, and obstacles, laying eyes on that one massive goal made me cringe. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Take it one step at a time. If I have a giant goal to reach, I break it down into multiple levels of smaller goals and tasks to achieve by using the pyramid method.
This pyramid is a step-by-step map to accomplishing my dream, and it puts the dream into a realistic perspective. It gives me direction. Every level that I climb, my confidence in my success increases, and that confidence motivates me to improve! That’s called self-efficacy. That’s a psychological fact! Print a couple goal pyramids and test it for yourself!
A Fresh Start!
Even the best of us are bound to get overwhelmed from time to time. The clutter builds up, the to-do list increases, and the time seems to be slipping by. That’s okay. It’s perfectly normal, but don’t let it affect your success! You can avoid the burnout blues by giving yourself a fresh start however often you need it! Every Sunday evening, I reflect on my week and decide how I can improve the following week, I reset my to-do list for the week and the month, I reevaluate my goals, and I “try” to get a good night of rest before I begin my new work week.
At the end of every month, I go through my finances, my income, my accomplishments, and I do the same thing for the bigger picture. By frequently giving yourself a fresh start, you’re able to track and acknowledge your success, stay motivated, and improve!
I must admit that my OCD prevents me from displaying a messy, multicolored vision board, but I’m sure they’re incredibly helpful! A vision board is a collage of inspirational and motivational images, quotes, and words! By envisioning your dreams, it’s much easier to find the motivation to work towards them every single day. If you’re ridiculous like me, you can make a smaller version and keep it somewhere that you’ll see it often enough to keep you focused. I’ve created a paper-sized vision board that I keep in my daily log binder!
All of the above methods have worked wonders for my levels of motivation and productivity.
Do you have any super-effective methods to staying motivated? I'll take all the help I can get! Happy motivating!