By: Elaine Currie
No matter what goal you are aiming for, staying motivated is a challenge for everyone at times. Even though you have set those goals for yourself, it will be hard to stay focused at times. Using self motivation techniques is a great way to ensure that you stay positive and have the mental attitude needed to achieve your goals.
One of the best things that you can do is to map out a plan detailing your goal and the steps that you will take to achieve your dreams. It is also a good idea to regularly reassess your plan and make sure that you still feel that your original strategy is the best one.
There is nothing wrong with changing your plan if you feel that changes will improve it, the plan is not carved in stone and should always be considered as a flexible tool. Life is full of unexpected surprises and this can mean your initial steps will no longer lead you to where you want to arrive, you can change your written plan to take any surprise changes into account.
Making your written plan is the first step. After that, you might find that you still need sources of inspiration and encouragement. Self motivation techniques such as breaking your plan into small tasks that you can achieve daily will help give you a sense of accomplishment as each task is finished.
This is a great technique and will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or feeling that your goal is too hard for you to accomplish. Remember, the way to eat a whole elephant is one bite at a time. Make a written list of tasks for each day and cross them off one by one as you complete them. Each time you cross off a completed item, your spirits will get a boost that will encourage you to tack the next task on your list.
Rewarding yourself after you complete your tasks will also help keep you feeling mentally positive and optimistic. The reward can be anything, eg a coffee break or ten minutes to chat to a friend on the phone. The reward doesn't need to be anything big but, by giving yourself an incentive, you will have something to help motivate you to take the next step towards reaching your goal.
Procrastination is called "the thief of time" for very good reasons. Procrastination is an easy habit to adopt and a very hard one to break, so it is best to have a scheme in place to avoid it all together. Avoiding procrastination is one of the simplest and biggest ways that you can increase your motivation and remain focused on taking the necessary small steps towards achieving your goals.
Making written lists (and following them!) is an excellent way to avoid procrastination. Try taking your yearly goals and breaking them down into manageable monthly chunks. Next break the monthly lists down further into weekly parts.
Finally make daily lists that involve small steps towards your yearly goals. By working on your yearly goals in this step by step fashion, you will reduce the opportunities for being tempted to procrastinate. Once you get into the habit of following your daily task list, the temptation to put things off will be overridden by the desire to see all the items crossed through by the end of your working day.