Monday, May 12, 2014

My secret sauce for staying motivated

From the Ask Isa Inbox:

Dear Isa,

How do you stay fully motivated?



Dear Unmotivated,

I'd be happy to share my secret of motivation with you - it's what has kept me motivated throughout my entire life to work hard each and every day. My "secret sauce," if you will. Are you ready?

Okay, here it is:

I'm not fully motivated all the time.

Whew. There. I said it. I feel better already. 

The truth is, people often confuse hard work and persistence with the emotion of motivation. Motivation is important - it is - but it's an emotion that ebbs and flows. It isn't constant. And that's okay.

The secret is that to stay "motivated" all the time what you really have to do is build habits and routines into your life that keep you on the right track EVEN WHEN YOU AREN'T MOTIVATED.

Make sense?

Let me give you an example: when it comes to college, write down your goals. Ask yourself: Why are you in college? What do you want your life to look like after you graduate? What's in it for you? Why are you doing this? How will your life change?

Write down what you see, and what your goals are, and THEN, build into your routine a time where you read them each day. I also recommend journaling at that time as well as reading a book that will help you reach your goals (whether it's a college success book or a book related to what you want to do in your career, or an inspiring biography or memoir).

All of the above are part of my morning routine, in addition to this:

Write down the top three tasks you want to accomplish each morning and do at least one task right away. 

Building routines and developing good habits in your life is what helps you act yourself into the feeling of motivation.

I've rarely just "felt" motivated - if ever. What happens is that I do something towards my goals and motivation follows.

It's kind of hard to explain, but once you experience it you'll know it. Here's a quick list of some of my go-to activities when I'm feeling "meh." 

1) Have lunch with a friend
2) Grab coffee with a mentor
3) Read a book about a subject I'm interested in
4) Browse a bookstore for a new book about something I want to accomplish
5) Read a biography or memoir about someone I admire
6) Volunteer with an organization that inspires me
7) Edit my goals and re-think what I really want
8) Write or read my mission statement
9) Read The Alchemist (again)
10) Take a walk outside, preferably somewhere pretty
11) Tackle a big task I've been procrastinating
12) Make a list of what I've accomplished so far to remind myself that my actions can affect my future

Try some of these things and let me know how it works ( 

And if you have anything to add please share in the comments of this blog or on the Facebook page

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