Motivation: the reason someone is acting or behaving in a particular way. Motivation is the crucial element in setting and attaining goals.
In my fulltime job I'm a customer service manager. To be successful in this position, I have to know how to properly motivate my team members. Motivation is my secret superpower. So in preparing for the busyness of November and NaNoWriMo, I thought I would share some of my secrets to keeping myself in the game.
1. Make a public commitment - Not wanting to fail in front of your friends and family can be great motivation. We are blessed with living in the times of social media. Use it to motivate yourself. You will be surprised on how well you commitment will be admired and followed. So be brave and announce your goal to the world, or just your friends list.
2. Plan ahead - I don't know how to emphasize the importance of this for motivation enough. What is your plan of action when your brain tries to talk you into slacking for a night? Do you call a friend? Planning ahead also means having all the tools you need to succeed in one spot. There is no greater motivation killer then wasting time tracking down your tools. BE PREPARED!
3. Get support - Surrounding yourself with people who want to be a part of your journey will help push you to the finish line. Share your success and failures with those who are following the same path. You might be able to learn from someone else's mistakes, so your journey goes smoother.
4. Make your goals visible - I'm preparing to participate in NaNoWriMo in November. I'm dividing up my 50,000 word count commitment onto a chart so I can visibly see my progress and how much more is left to my goal. I also fill my area with inspiring pictures to draw motivation from in my time of need. Whatever it takes to make your goal visible.
5. Break your goal into smaller goals - This goes hand in hand with tip number 7. Smaller goals are easier to tackle then an overwhelming larger goal. Schedule yourself time to complete these smaller goals. In the end, the large goal did not stand a chance.
6. Chart your progress - Remember how we made a public commitment before and surrounded ourselves with our support group? Well here's where you give them an updated on your progress. Don't worry, it's your adoring fans. They want to hear of your strengths and weakness. Getting a thumbs up from Aunt Martha once you announced you're half way there is success in it's own right.
7. Reward yourself - Remember those smaller goals we set? Well here is where they really come in to play. Hang the carrot in front of your nose. Set rewards to keep you on track. I love being pampered by getting a pedicure. So guess what the reward is for my first small goal? That's right I will have some cute tootsies before you know it.
8. Hold yourself accountable - If you're not accountable for your own goals, no one else will be. Failure just means that you haven't found what motivates you yet. Look back on why you didn't accomplish your goal, then come up with solutions to set you up for success going forward. Just like the reward system, you could commit to doing a chore you hate if you do not reach your goals. Let me tell you NOTHING will motivate me faster in writing 10,000 words in a week if I knew I would have to empty the litter box everyday in the month of December if I fail.
9. Realize you can do it - There is nothing more devastating to motivation then self doubt. Those negative words you use to scold yourself, you just don't have time for it. The time you waste in your head arguing if you can do it, is time you can spend actually accomplishing your goals. So if self doubt seems to find you in a vulnerable state, look up at your visible goal on the wall or text Aunt Martha. You are responsible for your own success.
Time management is just not a written subject on your yearly review at work. Juggling all the wonderful things life has to offer hasn't always been easy. No one is ever born with a organizing or time management chromosome; even though some people make it look that easy. The truth is getting your life together is a life style choice. It's not easy either, but it does get easier with practice and discovery of things that work for you.
I am often asked how I keep me and my family so organized. The honest truth, it is a lot of hard work. But in the end my family appreciates all the time and effort I put in. Currently I'm juggling: a salaried position with 50+ hours a week, social media platforms to understand the marketing part of self publishing, planning weekly family activities and adventures to post on our very small YouTube channel, small patio garden, getting our new house in order, a weight loss competition, working out with a trainer, and last but never least writing a novel.
Holy smokes! That's a lot. Here are some of my tips and tricks to make sure I have time for everything.
Tip#1: Meal Planning
Kind of sounds like a no brainer, but it took me awhile to figure this one out. With my husband and I working so much, we would find ourselves home at night exhausted from working 10-12 hours. The desire to figure out something to eat and the motivation to cook it was lost. Going out to eat was always the solution and an expensive one at that. So taking the guess work out of what's for dinner has saved a lot of time and money. We post our menu plan for the following week on Sunday. My stepson loves this practice. He is big into daily routines. So he keeps us accountable for what's posted on the menu.
Tip#2: Use your Crockpot
If you like home cooked meals with fresh ingredients then become friends with your crockpot. This is the easiest way I can suggest any busy person to eat healthy. You have so much control of what you eat. There are thousands of free crockpot recipes online so no need to eat boring pot roast all the time.
Tip#3 Meal Prep
This is an absolute must for a busy person who is watching what they eat. It really goes back to Tip#1 with Meal Planning. Knowing what you are eating for the week, make sure it's easy to stick to. Nothing will set you up for failure faster then a hard to follow plan. Take the guess work out and grill all your chicken you need for your salads or chop all your veggies and store them in individual size portions. Make this a grab and go type of lifestyle. You'll thank yourself for giving up a few hours on the weekend. I love having our crockpot dinners all together in a bag ready to grab in the morning and dump right in.
Tip#4 Schedule Schedule Schedule
A schedule keeps us accountable for our daily tasks. It literally takes me 10 minutes to plan my weekly schedule of when I'm writing, when I'm hitting the gym, when am I visiting my trainer, and what activities we are doing as a family. Once I figure out what I want to accomplish and how much time I would like to devote to it, I throw it in my calendar. I'm pretty demanding of myself to stay on task. So I never waste time trying to figure out what I want to work on that day. My biggest suggestion is to realize you have to schedule yourself some downtime too. All work and no play....well you know the rest.
Tip#5 Cleaning Routine
Assign a room every night. Assign daily chores. Whatever it takes to keep up on the housework. We tried different routines until we found one that worked for our family. Sharing is caring, get your family involved with the upkeep of housework.
Tip#6 Reward System
Getting organized and staying on track is hard work. Hard work should never go unnoticed. So set your goals and rewards like a boss. You will find yourself getting more things done if there is a new shirt or a mid day nap dangling in front of you. Recognize your worth all the hard work your putting in.
Sorry this was a longer blog post. Thanks for sticking around to the end. If you have any questions or more tips, please share with all of us below.
NaNoWriMo 2016 is officially just one month away. (Woot!) My excitement for this reminds me of Christmas morning when I was a kid. I am looking forward to the challenge and the late night caffeinated writing binges.
Wait, what? You don't know what NaNoWriMo is? Silly me, let me explain myself. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a 50,000 word first draft of that story you've had floating around in your head. In the month of November, use the support of other writers with the same goal. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Today I start prepping for the craziness of this month. I want to have a solid foundation when the clock strikes midnight on November 1, 2016. To be able to meet and surpass my first time goals, I know outlining, plotting, and character developing is the answer. I have my pad of paper and my idea ready. Now let's bring on the magic.
If you're a first timer like me, let me know what you're doing to prepare. If your a NaNoWriMo vet, what are some tricks you can give us newbies to make sure your successful?
I raise my tea cup to all the participants this year. I look forward to meeting new friends in this process.