5 Failproof Strategies for Increasing and Maintaining Self-Motivation

Updated: Feb 10

As a new business owner, have you ever experienced this? One day, you're full of energy and ready to conquer the world! On the following morning, you're tired and just want to lay on your bedroom floor and let the world roll over you. I know I have. In fact, I have used it as a justification for not getting anything done.

The ebbs and flows of motivation are normal. You don't have to give up just yet because they're surmountable.

Read on for 5 strategies to help keep yourself motivated, which is a necessary part of goal achievement.

1. Set Goals for Yourself

I often find that when I set a goal, I accomplish it or get further down the road toward it. When I don’t set a goal there’s this feeling of lethargy that slowly creeps in and her pal “excuse” walks alongside her. With no destination, I also have a feeling of floundering. Even if I have no idea what or where I am headed, I am slowly moving in that direction. I believe we are always moving toward something, whether it’s a conscious choice or not.

Goals make it easier to know where you are headed; it's hard to know if you'll get to your destination if you don't know where you're going. I know it sounds complicated, but it's not. Additionally, by setting goals for yourself, you are committing yourself and taking on some degree of accountability. Making progress towards your goal motivates you to stay on track.

2. Keep the Landscape in Mind

When you focus, you zoom in on the task at hand. Focus is essential. Let’s face it, as a business owner, the task you have before you might not be ideal sometimes. After spending hours on a boring assignment, you may feel demotivated, so stop it the moment you notice it. Get a bird's-eye view of the situation.

Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” and remind yourself why you started this task in the first place. Connecting the little boring step to the bigger landscape will help you accomplish your goal.

3. Take Charge of Your Schedule

Every hour of the day, you are not expected to perform at your maximum capacity. We are not wired that way. Throughout the day, keep track of when you're feeling the most energetic and motivated. When you're communicating clearly and often, feeling creative, and seeing clear results, you're probably most motivated and working with purpose.

Find out what timeframe works best for you and take on more work during those hours. Don't overload yourself. If necessary, you can break the task down over several days, but make sure you take advantage of this powerful power block.

By failing to figure out and utilize your time in this way, you run the risk of those around you filling your schedule with things that are urgent to them. Once you finally get to the tasks that are important to you, your energy is depleted. Take charge of your schedule.

I remember when I worked a traditional job as a teacher. Emails from colleagues or co-teachers would take up a great deal of my time, and this occurred for much longer than I'd like to admit. It wasn't a problem for me at first since I almost always got my tasks done on time. However, I started feeling depleted more and more. I realized one day, with help from some dear friends, that I own my schedule, and I have to act like it. I started saying things like "let me get back to you" or "Not this time, maybe next time" or "I can help you with this but not that". Then I started saying "No".

Ultimately, you are in charge of your time. Your schedule serves as a reminder of what you plan to do with your time (and energy).

4. Your Support Circle Matters

Yep! Though self-motivation is about you, you will either be empowered to stay on top of things or distracted by your support circle.

You may think, for example, their asks or suggestions are innocuous when it comes to you achieving your goal. However, ten asks later or taking heed to their 15 suggestions, you may notice that you are 25 steps away from your goal.

Most of the time, when you keep focused on your goal, this isn’t an issue. However, it is still important to spend time with people who will encourage you to stay focused and committed to your goals.

5. Keep Your Brain Working

You get sucked into an assignment that seems menial or mundane, and all you want to do is quit. This might be a sign that your brain is getting bored because it does not feel as though it is being stimulated. Now and then, engage your brain in exciting, challenging activities to prevent this. The act of engaging your brain, whether it is work-related, such as taking a break for a creative brainstorm, or leisurely, such as completing a crossword puzzle, leads to self-motivation; it gets you closer to your goal by giving your brain a rest from the task that is boring you while keeping it stimulated.

Let’s recap.

Goal-setting is an essential component of self-motivation. By not setting goals, you'll spend most of your time and energy helping others achieve theirs. Remember to keep the big picture in mind when you are working toward your goals; this will keep you from procrastinating to avoid mundane tasks that are necessary to your goal achievement. Establish a schedule that works for you; do not prioritize the urgent tasks of others. You can draw inspiration and encouragement from your support circle, but sometimes you can be distracted by them. Lastly, keep your mind active. Your brain is an asset you can’t afford to lose.

Above all, know that your goals are worth your prioritization because the source of them has immeasurable value.

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