Keeping Yourself on Track

It’s so easy to look at other people and feel like they’re way more motivated than I am. Other people seem to get so much done while I can often feel like it takes me ages. Ever feel like that?

Over the years, my self-motivation has definitely ebbed and flowed. There’ve been times when I’ve been really unmotivated. Mostly during those times I was an avoider- checking out and not wanting to deal with my life- with the stress and with pushing through.

Nowadays I really work on finishing what I’ve started. Why? Because I had the realization that it isn’t until I actually finish something that I have a breakthrough. So if I say yes, I do my best to accomplish it.

In thinking about staying on track, I realized there are a few strategies I use that might help you! Here are some of the ways I keep myself motivated – even when I don’t want to!

Shakti’s Top 5 Strategies for Staying Motivated

1.     Schedule Yourself & Make Sure to Take Breaks

These days I schedule my whole week and what I plan to do each day. Some mornings I look at my list and think, “ugh, I don’t really want to work on my website today.” But then, because I’ve scheduled it, I start doing it and soon my resistance clears and I find I’m enjoying myself! I can’t work for too many hours in a row without taking a break though. Not only do my legs need a re-adjustment but so does my brain. Breaks help keep the creative juices flowing.

2.     Be Realistic About What You Can Get Done

When I first started scheduling myself, it was a little like lesson planning. I always overdid it. Fortunately I knew ahead of time that I might not get everything done so I wasn’t upset- more like –“oh, so this is how much I can reasonably get done in 4 hours.” Now I schedule more realistically.

3.     Go the Distance

Think marathon, not sprint. Many people start strong only to peter out and then drop out. When I want to quit, I often think about Aesop’s fable, The Tortoise and the Hare. The tortoise was so slow and plodding but won the race. My inclination is to be more like the hare and run and leap and fly and then crash. Knowing this about myself, I recognize when I have creative bursts and take advantage of them just as I give myself down time when I need it but I’m always on the look out for that finish line. It helps me get back up- knowing that’s the goal- and I’m gonna get there.

4.     Ask for Help

When you feel like you’re flagging or down, discouraged or wanting to quit- reach out. There are sooo many people around you all the time who love and support you and truly want you to succeed. So don’t be afraid to reach out. Friends can lend moral support, help with chores or provide ideas. Colleagues can provide guidance and assistance. We often forget that we are not alone- all we have to do is ask and it is given.

5.     Celebrate the Small Victories

A successful strategy I used while going through social work school, was to focus ONLY on what was right in front of me – my current 2 or 3 classes- and their work load. This helped me avoid the pitfall of overwhelm if I looked at everything I would have to do. Chunking it down to 12 weeks made the workload doable and felt manageable. When a semester was over, I celebrated! And before I knew it, I was done!

Alright, so there’s my 5 tips. Let me know if they help YOU!

Leave me a comment BELOW. Tell me what helps you stay motivated.

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