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.