If you are like I was, you see your motivation come and go. You get a new idea or have some success with something new, get excited and put everything into it. But then over time, your motivation begins to wane and suddenly your new found idea or adventure is placed on the back burner. Looking back, you might get frustrated seeing so many things left undone. How can you stay motivated for the long term?
A few months ago, I got fed up with this cycle. I was tired of getting excited, working hard at something, and then slowly have it shift to the back as I did other things. I went on a journey to find out how I could not only get motivated, but also stay motivated for the long term. (And if you are like me, the second part of this is the place where you need the most help.)
So here are 6 keys I’ve found to help with both aspects of motivation. They have worked great for me so far and I believe they will continue to work for me over time as well.
6 Keys To Become And Stay Motivated Long Term
#1. Get Real
If you find yourself stuck in the cycle I outlined above, you have to get real. You need to reach the breaking point and be at the point where you want things to change. If you don’t, chances are you will just stay stuck in the cycle until you do get fed up.
If you are ready to get real, take some time and journal. Write down why you want to stay motivated. What are your goals? What do you want to achieve? You be surprised that the things you think you want aren’t really what interests you at all. But you never know this without taking the time to get real with yourself.
#2. Love Yourself
Once you get real with yourself, it is time to love yourself. You have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you are the best; that you can do everything. You have to believe this too. It can’t just come out of your mouth. There has to be a feeling of belief in the words you are speaking deep down inside of you.
If you don’t love yourself and believe in yourself, you are going to have a tough time staying motivated. Your negative thoughts, words and images you have of yourself will beat you down and tear you apart, slowly but surely.
When building yourself up, take it slowly. You can completely change overnight. Find small things every day that you love about yourself and then find more and more as the days go by.
The next step in staying motivated forever, you have to start visualizing. You can learn all about how to get started with it and just how powerful it is in this post. Take 5 or 10 minutes every single day and visualize yourself as the best, and having achieved success. Focus on what success looks and feels like. Get detailed with your visualizations.
The more you can see your goals and dreams coming true, the more it will resonate with you deep down and this will help you to stay motivated.
#4. Take Care Of Yourself
In order to be your best and achieve everything you want in life, you have to be running at your best. Think about it: no car that is running poorly will win a NASCAR race. It’s only the ones that are running optimally that win.
So you need to take care of yourself. You need to get a good night sleep. You need to eat healthy and exercise. The more you can take care of yourself, the more productive you will be and that will lead you to keeping your motivation high.
For example, there have been times when I eat poorly. I drink a lot of soda and eat high carbohydrate, high fat foods. When they become a staple in my diet, I am always tired because I don’t sleep well and I don’t want to work. This quickly would spiral out of control as I get less and less done.
But when I eat right and exercise, my life is a complete 180 degree change. I sleep great. I am never tired during the day and I get a ton of stuff done. This excites and motivates me to keep doing what I am doing.
In fact, I would argue I get more done in one day when I eat right than I do in a week when I eat poorly. Trust me, it makes a huge difference.
#5. Act Now!
When you get a new idea or urge to start something, do it now. Don’t wait. The longer you wait, the more the spark fades and the less likely you are to follow through. When you act right away, you feed that motivation inside you. You get things done. This excites you to keep doing more, which leads to more success and more ideas.
You suddenly find yourself in a new cycle, but this is a good one to be in because you are motivated and are getting tons of things done.
#6. Find The Right People
I talk about surrounding yourself with the right people in my 30 Days To Positive Thinking course. In order to stay motivated, being around the right people is important. If you hang out with people that are going nowhere with their lives, who are only interested in being lazy, it will rub off on you.
Think about your life for a minute. Think about your friends and the people you hang out with most. What do you do when you are together? If they are a bad influence on you, odds are you don’t do much or get much motivation to improve your life when you hang out with them.
If this is the case, you need to find new people to hang out with. It won’t be easy to find a new group, but when you do, your life will take a monumental shift. Instead of not being motivated to do anything, you will see and hear how these people are making huge strides with their lives. You will want this for yourself and will start to take action.
There are the 6 keys to get and stay motivated forever. In order to stay motivated for the long term, you are going to need to incorporate all of these into your daily life. When you do, they will all compound upon each other and you will see great things start happening in your life, things happening for the better.
So what are you waiting for? Start taking action now and see the change you want in your life!
[Photo Credit: Lindsay Henwood]