Whether you’re trying to get a promotion, lose 20 pounds, or start a blog; self- motivation is really the key to accomplishing any goal, but it’s ever so easy to lose it. Like your keys, it can be really difficult to find again.
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I’m going to write this post in the context of working out and blogging, but these tips are really applicable to finding motivation for achieving just about any goal!
Let others be your motivation
Yes, the point of this blog post is to teach you how to motivate yourself, but you can use others motivation to encourage yourself! I have an entire Pinterest board called my Motivation Board, I also have a board called Your Dream is Out There. Go Get It. Both of these boards are full of motivational quotes. Occasionally I will read these quotes while I walk on my treadmill. I also motivate myself by reading others “How I Made $xxxxx Blogging” style posts, or scroll through fitness results Instagrams. Other’s success can be a huge motivator. Just remember that there is a big difference between motivation and comparison. What success looks like for them may not be what it looks like for you, and that’s ok!
Make it comfortable
The thing that makes me the least motivated to work out is the weather. When it’s cold or rainy, or hot and humid it’s so hard to find motivation to go outside. I also don’t blog at my kitchen table because it makes my back hurt. Making it comfortable means taking reasonable measures to make it “easier”. Wear the right layers, have the right shoes, get a lap desk. For me this means remembering to grab earmuffs or put on sunscreen before I go outside, and heading to a coffee shop where the tables are a little lower, but not as low as my lap. Preventing injury, illness, or unnecessary discomfort will keep your motivation going strong.
Distract yourself the right way
Having a distraction can be great motivation. I’ve tried many methods of distracting myself while working out. While I love listening to music I find that it’s really hard to keep a consistent pace when the song is constantly changing and not going and the same beat you need to be. It’s also really difficult to distract yourself with songs you already know unless there exactly the right song for your mood, and I end up changing the song more than I actually work out. Instead I’ve found that listening to a podcast (like my current favorite Lore) when I’m outside, or watching tv if I’m working out inside are the most effective distractions. With my podcasts I’ve made a rule for myself that I only get to listen to it while I’m working out, which is great motivation to get outside and get moving since Lore is so addicting! Now, when I’m blogging this becomes even more of a problem, listening to music with words is too distracting, as is listening to a podcast. I can work while watching TV, but I try to keep that to a minimum and especially when I’m actually writing, because I just don’t do my best work. What I do like to do is listen to a Spotify playlist I made in college specifically for writing papers. It’s called The Most Epic Homework Playlist. It’s full of the most epic soundtracks from the last 40 years. It’s not only the perfect amount of distracting, great for drowning out the sounds of a busy coffee shop or filling the silence of an empty house; but it also makes you feel really hardcore. I only listen to it when I’m working, and although that’s not necessarily a “rule” for me, I do find that it’s great motivation to work on my blog when I know I get to listen to something epic.
Make a plan
I’ve seen the quote “make an appointment with yourself, bosses don’t cancel.” so many times… and it’s so stupid. Let’s be honest, if anybody is going to cancel a meeting it’s going to be the boss. Whether you’ve asked for a meeting with your boss or they’ve asked to meet with you you’re not going to cancel, that’s a good way to get in trouble… but bosses cancel meetings all the time. But while the premise fails, the concept works. Writing down your goals and making a plan of how to accomplish them makes a huge difference in motivation. If you just have a plan or goal in your head you can easily say to yourself “oh, well that’s not what I meant” and brush off your failures as just a “change of plans”. If you write it down you can’t lie to yourself or make excuses.
Accountability is strong motivation. Whether it’s direct accountability like telling my husband “I want to run a 5k in 35 minutes hold me to it” or just posting it on social media, let others help you stay accountable! It’s embarrassing (at least to me) when I put something out there and then someone comes back a few weeks or months later and says “hey, what happened to that thing you were going to do?” Another good way to involve others and keep yourself accountable to yourself is motivation through competition. I did much better at my first 5k (pictured) than I thought I would and a big part of the reason was because there was a girl that was going close to the same pace as I was and I convinced myself I needed to beat her. She didn’t have to know I was directly competing against her, but it made me work harder for what I wanted! Competing against yourself is also good, race against the clock, but if you’re like me and have a healthy competitive streak racing myself just isn’t enough motivation. As I mentioned before though, there’s a difference between healthy competition and comparison.
Invest in your goals
When I started 11 Shades of Pink as a makeup artistry business I failed. A big reason why is that I didn’t invest anything. There was nothing for me to lose, so I’d just let it go by and think “oh I’ll work on it later”. I had 0 motivation to accomplish anything other than that I thought it would be fun “when I get around to it”. When I started this blog I actually invested in myself. I paid for a hosting service and a domain. Now I actually have things to lose, and therefore motivation. Hosting through BlueHost is really inexpensive and easy, (which you can find out more about HERE), but I’m still paying for it. Now, if I just forget about it and don’t do anything I’m losing something. The same goes for working out, it’s easy for me to think “eh I’ll do it later” but after buying new shoes or a sports bra I feel like I need to do it to justify what I’ve spent. When I spend money on something, be it new running clothes, a skincare product, etc. I find great motivation for that thing for a while, but after a while it wears off. So don’t go spending $50 on something for motivation, but investing a little bit in yourself and your goals on a regular basis can really up the ante and motivate you to stay consistent and work hard!
Listen to yourself
Some days you just really don’t want to do anything. There’s 0 motivation. Sometimes it’s cold and I don’t want to go outside and there’s stuff on the treadmill that I don’t feel like moving. Sometimes I don’t have money for coffee so I don’t want to work on my blog. And while pushing through on some of those days is good, make sure you’re still listening to yourself. It’s very easy to get burnt out if you push through every single day. As I said before, it can be hard to find motivation when things are difficult, but it’s practically impossible if you push yourself too far. Your goals and hobbies should be enjoyable. I love writing and working on blog stuff. At the moment I’m really enjoying working on it every single day, I even have a hard time putting it away at night. But I know days will come when it will feel like work and I’ll just want to take a nap. As long as you’re not just letting yourself to continue putting things off, it’s healthy to take a break. Allow yourself a day off to re-up your motivation. “Rest is part of the program.” I have a problem with resting when I’ve been on a good workout streak. If I take a day off it’s really easy for me to completely lose my motivation and continue taking days off, so I have to start the motivation process all over. But with working out rest days are even more important because they not only prevent burning out, but injury! So take a break when you feel like you want to, don’t wait until you feel like you have to because you might never come back.
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