It’s happened to you before. In the comfort of your home at night, you’ve laid out your plans for the rest of your life. You’re going to lose 50 lbs, start a successful online business, make millions, and finally find the partner of your dreams. Then the sun comes up, and all that certainty and motivation starts to waver.
You put your plan into action for a day or two and decide you’re miserable. You think that you’d rather stick with your mediocre life than pursue all of those goals.
Motivation is challenging to maintain after the initial excitement wears off. Here’s why:
- Planning is fun. You’re lying on the couch on a lazy evening and dreaming about the fantastic body you’re going to have or all the zeros you’ll be adding to your bank account. The path is as clear as the nose on your face. How can you not be motivated?
- Everything is easy in your head. It’s not much fun eating your first bowl of plain oatmeal or working your first night at your second job. Anyone can daydream and sketch out a plan. The hard part is doing the actual work.
- Distractions. Since executing your plan is less than glorious each day, distractions become quite appealing. Netflix, the internet, and playing Crossy Road on your cell phone are bit more exciting. Distractions can kill dreams if you let them.
- Too focused on results rather than processes. Results come slowly. This is especially true at the beginning. It’s not too exciting when you save $100 after a week or lose 1.7 pounds. If results are the only thing that receive your attention, you’ll have a hard time staying the course.
- Work for a victory each day. You can’t make a lot of progress each day, but you can adhere to your plan. Feel good that you followed your plan and your processes today. Get addicted to that positive feeling. The results are sure to come along.
- Too concerned with what others think. It’s important to be motivated internally. If you only want to lose weight to look good to others, or you only want to make money to impress others, your motivation won’t last.
- Reach inside and find a personal reason for chasing your goal. Doing anything to impress others results in a hollow victory, if you achieve a victory at all. But do it for yourself, and you’ll feel proud and happy.
- Too focused on the short-term. Instead of dreading how you have to spend your day, remind yourself of the reward at the end. Remind yourself of how great you’ll feel when you’re successful. Visualize your success each morning and evening.
- You are naturally driven to seek comfort. Our minds and bodies don’t like discomfort. We’re programmed to be attracted to those things we find comfortable, whether it’s a nice, warm couch, potato chips, or hanging out with friends.
- Your mind is fighting you on some level when you spend your time doing something unenjoyable. To counteract this, find something you like about your new routine and focus on that.
What are your plans for the future? Are you finally going to make them happen? Maintaining your motivation is important.
Learn to celebrate the daily victories regarding your behavior. Internal motivation will always beat external motivation over longer periods of time. That initial burst of excitement fades quickly but stay the course and success will be yours!