Motivation: 6 Tips to Create and Maintain Momentum (pt. 2 of 3)
Have you ever had a goal you wanted to get going with, but weren’t sure where to start?
Have you ever started something excitedly but the motivation was short lived and just seemed to FIZZLE OUT?
I want to show you six simple ways to create and maintain momentum that, depending on where you, might be helpful.
Motivation is function of many things: your personality, the context you’re in and how you’re feeling today.
However, there are some 6 tricks or secrets which can be very effective at helping you to gain momentum. They are easy to remember and once you know them, you’ll never forget them.
One reason that’s the case is because of the work of William James. He talked about the need to take action as the way to change the way you feel and think. Most personal development approaches and books tend to try to do things the other way round (by changing your thoughts and feelings in the hope that either you act differently or the results magically appear – the so-called “Secret”).
Bottom line is this: to change and get better results, you need to do something different to what you’ve done in the past, irrespective of how ill-prepared, anxious or fearful you feel!
You need to TAKE ACTION, knowing that it’s fine to move towards any goal you want as long as you take 3 sensible PRECAUTIONS and PREPARATIONS upfront. I don’t advocate the kind of cautiousness that prevents action, but it is important to be prudent in the way you make the transition (e.g. to a new job, partner, body, financial goal) to make sure you maintain all the positives of your present situation:
1) Make sure your GOAL BENEFITS BOTH YOU AND THOSE PEOPLE CLOSE TO YOU.
If it is going to really upset others, then stop to take stock. Do you need to talk through some of the changes to your schedule with your partner or significant other? How can you speak to them to get them on board? Chances are they know you need to do something to feel better. Invite them to support you. If you are out there on your own, then just make sure you keep both feet on the ground …until you are ready to fly!
2) Make sure your GOAL IS FOR YOUR PERSONAL HIGHEST GOOD.
For instance, if you want to get another job or work for yourself, that’s great. And you should actively investigate that, whilst you also keep your existing job that pays the bills! (Yes, it’s a fine line between moving forward and keeping all your ducks lined up). You don’t want to make the same mistake I did when I was in my twenties of abandoning a career in the City overnight, simply to follow your dream. It will make life unduly hard on yourself.
You can pursue your dream, and gently stretch yourself each day. You are where you are. You are going to have to develop skills and competencies and gain experience as you go. That’s OK. If you do something, however small, each day, after a year you will have made at least 365 small steps in that direction. It WILL make a difference. Look after yourself properly (and obviously if you are doing nay goals related to your physical body or losing weight, then go get some proper medical help. Go see your doctor, get checked out)
3) CONSULT WITH A TRUSTED ADVISOR, MENTOR, COACH or supportive friend who you know is open to change and who can give you some perspective.
You are not looking for validation here, so much as a second perspective that allows you to gauge that essentially what you are aiming for fits in with your personality and skill set. And to make sure that you don’t miss anything that could help or hinder – and approach this in the way that fits with you. You might be surprised at how helpful having someone on side who believes in you is.
Right, safety checks complete. Time to turn the engine on, and get some gas. Time to hear the engine ROAR….
The Best-Laid Plans
So, if you are looking to make a massive change, then you are going to need to plan for it, you need to have a plan, act on it, and be prepared that it will take some time.
Have you felt stuck in the same job for years, but want to move on? Are you approaching one of those memorable birthdays? Are you in a state of transition in your life?
You want to move forward, but you need to take one foot off the brake.
So, how do create momentum from where you are?
Here are 6 simple motivation strategies that you can start using today:
1) JUST GET GOING
Aim to commit to a specific action you need to do for just 2 minutes. Psychologists have observed a curious phenomenon that once you start an activity, you often just can’t stop after a certain point (it takes a much shorter time than you might think to gain some momentum. Sounds like the Pringles advert…”Once you start…”) Just get going. If you have an action that you KNOW you need to take, then schedule a time to do it, and just get going. Even if you feel bored, antsy, annoyed or even “Why bother?” what you will find is that after a short period of time the motivation to finish it grows quite strong. Your thoughts and feelings naturally adjust as a result of your deciding to take that action. 2 minutes…well, one thing leads to another all of a sudden you find you’ve settled down with a delicious outcome.
2) DO IT FIRST
I wouldn’t tell you to set aside the same time every day at least 5 days a week to work on your most important goal or goals. But I can tell you this: you might want to DO YOUR ACTION related to your most important goal before you sit down to watch television or go out in the evening, or before you start the day.
Have you ever noticed that time seem to runs out if you just let life happen? You start the day, don’t make progress towards what you’ve always wanted, but you have been “busy being busy”.
You cannot and will not make progress until you make taking action a habit. The only way that you can ensure that happens is to DO IT FIRST. Go and do it before you take the kids to school or get stuck dealing with e-mails and trivial mundane details. Your life deserves to be played at the level that you want.
3) ACT UNTIL COMPLETION
The reality is that your most important goals will take time and effort, and be subject to delays, many of which are out of your hands (e.g. people letting you down). That’s fine. That’s the way it is and as long as you commit to sticking with it until you succeed, everything will fall into place. It’s just you won’t know when or how exactly the final manifestation of your sustained efforts will transpire.
When I think about sticking with my most important goals in the face of adversity, delays and disappointment, I ask myself, “Won’t my son pick up on how much happier you are when you succeed?”
You know kids are going to pick up on your habits including whether to stick with getting things done or believing in or giving up on themselves. And that always makes me motivated to carry on.
Acting until completion sets up free. You want to escape being a slave to past failures. The only way to stay independent and be free to do what you want is to stick with it until you have completed making your intention a reality. This will take a shift in your mindset that says, “Each step I take gives me a result. And failing is nothing to fear. Mistakes are a natural part of the process of learning, just like they are in film making, mis-“takes”.
Tell yourself, “I will continue until I get my desired results. I will keep on. I will PERSIST and I will DO what I need to before I go do anything else.”
4) DRILLS AND DISCIPLINE
To succeed in any area, you need two things working in your favour:
These 2 success components are always on a continuum: you need to develop enough skill in communication to be able to do a presentation. But unless you turn up and get the direct experience, you won’t have any feedback to add back into the next level of skill development.
In order to come up with a workable consistent plan to develop skills and have the necessary experiences that give you valuable feedback, then you need to establish rituals that will allow you practice the drills and “hone the saw” each day. This becomes your discipline much like the guitar player who religiously does his scales and exercises each day. Might not be sexy, but is necessary for success over the long haul.
Establish what drills will enhance your skills. And create a plan to establish the discipline of doing this at a regular time each day.
5) WRITTEN GAME PLAN AND DETAILED SCENARIO RESPONSES
One thing you can guarantee as you gain momentum is that there will be things that come up that stop you: Obstacles, Hurdles, Problems, Unexpected Delays, Fatigue, Interruptions, Bills, Housework…
Illness, tiredness, fear, practical problems: Lots of things will happen that could derail you temporarily or worse stop you in your tracks. One of the best strategies for maintaining momentum is to decide ahead of time what has stopped you from achieving your goals before, what is most likely to get in the way and think through how you will act under those conditions.
Now that might not sound fun or sexy, but what’s the alternative? You already know that wishful thinking, daydreaming or feeling sorry for yourself (and you probably have every right to feel that way). But if you can just look inside, and find that spark that says “You know, I can do this. I deserve to succeed. I will start now, one step at a time”, then everything changes.
Sometimes, you will have to take a step back and wait.
Sometimes, like with illness, you just need to take time to rest.
But you need to know how to respond under different situations.
Why is that some people see the value in preparation?
Would you like to maintain momentum in the face of setbacks? Some people are very successful and it seems unfair because you know you could get similar results. And you could in many cases, if you did the same PREPARATION they did. Momentum is a function of the drills and preparation you put in, being disciplined to do what you need to do at regular times before you get busy, even if you don’t feel like it – and anticipating problems and how you respond to them.
DO THIS LIFE-CHANGING EXERCISE NOW
Take some time to think through 5 typical scenarios that could derail you.
STOP and go right them down now, even if it’s just bullet points first. Then, take time to write out in detail what happened and why you have responded the way you have in past.
Now, what could you do differently? Even if you couldn’t solve it there and then, how could you have responded differently? Not taken it so personally? Accepting that you may need to wait and go do something else until the right time. Or just immediately responding in a resourceful way, instead of giving up?
This will require a bit of effort and imagination to do now. But if you don’t then you will be caught short. The danger of not doing this exercise is that you will almost certainly suffer and lose all momentum. And like a lorry going up a hill, it is VERY hard to get back momentum you’ve lost. You want to prepare for this and avoid grinding to a halt.
6) ALWAYS BE READY TO TAKE THE NEXT SMALLEST STEP
So you need to take some action, but where do you begin?
And what is the next smallest step?
You have 100 things you could do, and you’re not sure where to start or what is the most important action to take.
Well, you know the truth is that no one really knows, especially successful people. All they know is that need to go and do things and try things out and notice what happens. They know that a lot of what they do won’t succeed – at least in the beginning. But that’s OK. My son is learning to talk now. Before that he had to learn to walk. He failed and got up, time after time.
So you can bet that you need to take one action.
And I’ve found that momentum is most easily created and sustained if you pick ONE CONCRETE SPECIFIC ACTION to take (this will be your best guess from the list of possible actions and ideas you might have) and ensure it is something you can actually do within 5 minutes.
If you do these things, then you will sustain momentum. No one is telling you it’s going to be easy. That’s why coaching can be incredibly helpful. You want the best. You know you deserve to succeed, so treating yourself is the way forward.
I tell my coaching clients to imagine going for a celebratory meal with someone special when they finish their coaching or hypnotherapy with me. Imagine being in a favourite restaurant or some other place that is special to you, having achieved your outcome in the face of adversity. As you feel like royalty, notice the confidence you feel, and look back on having made a great decision to commit to yourself.Google+