I started thinking about this article with the intention to explore ways to maintain motivation levels to achieve goals, even when life got in the way.
You know the classic excuses: not having enough time or money; waiting to be ready or more stable; relationships and job commitments putting up barriers to us following our dreams.
We can all let our minds wander into a realm of our goals and desires, but it’s these things that stop us from going out and achieving them, right?
Or, is it?
I was geared up to take on these obstacles and come up with solutions. My aim was to formulate a step-by-step guide to show that life can’t keep us from our goals.
Whatever limitations we think life puts on us, there are ways around the "lack of resources" if we want to find them.
Motivation is the desire or willingness to do something; it’s what will take us from dreaming to doing.
When our motivations start to wane, it can be easy to blame life, circumstances and obstacles. But, it’s not life’s fault our motivations have become fragile.
As much as I’d love to blame all the "shoulds" and "have tos" in my life for keeping me from my dreams, they’re not responsible.
They might not always be helping, but ultimately, you have to be honest with yourself and take responsibility for your life; your dreams are yours for the taking and your motivation is yours to maintain.
We have to have our own journeys on the way to conquering our goals; otherwise, we’re not in the driver's seat.
After removing life’s obstacles, here is what I’ve found keeps us from maximizing motivation for our big goals and what we can do about them:
We all have unique day-to-days, routines and habits that take us from Monday to Friday and back again. Pursuing something outside of that nice, little comfort zone can be incredibly daunting.
Delving into unknown territory, even though it’ll lead to what we want, can still be scary.
We have to feel vulnerable and we might have to accept being beginners again. These fears can hold hands with "doubt" and stack up against us. But, success will come when we knock fear back down.
When you think about what you really want, fear might pipe up to keep you small and settling for less. That’s where you have to see how worth it it’ll be to overcome that fear.
This is your dream, your passion, your big achievement; fear doesn't have a say in keeping you from that if you keep your mind focused.
The benefits, progress and overall pride in accomplishment are so much stronger than anything your mind tells you could go wrong.
There are seven days in the week and "someday" isn’t one of them. When we think of our goals and dreams, quite often, they’re put in that vague and distant area of our minds labeled "future."
I’m in my 20s, but I’ll still think about what I want to be when I "grow up." It doesn’t feel real yet, it’s hard to connect with the fact that I actually am an adult, taking direction in her life. But I kind of am, and it’s time to realize that if I don’t get sh*t done now, when will I?
Keeping dreams in the future has been one of the biggest obstacles I have had to overcome. I’m here, they’re there. I’m ambitious and I get pretty passionate, so when I have my goals out in the intangible future, I quickly get impatient.
What I’ve learned is, if your overall goal isn’t possible to do right now for whatever reason, you must find elements of it that you can bring into daily life.
If travel is your goal, start saving and thinking about where you want to go, what attractions there are and really makes it more of a plan than vague objective.
If it’s a promotion or educational goal, work hard, study and use your time to bring your goal closer to you. You must make it a part of your life, even if it’s just in small ways. You can consistently add fuel to your motivation.
If you were in a position to pursue your goal but continually put it off, ask yourself why. What’s stopping you? When will be the right time? Maybe right now is perfect, but you just have to tie up your shoes and take that step. There’s no time like the present.
Motivation needs fuel to stay fired up. Our thinking is the source of all actions, so if we are thinking enthusiastically about our goals, it’s quite likely we’ll be taking action to achieve them.
But, if the road to accomplishment becomes too bumpy, our thinking about the likelihood of getting to the finish line can be pretty negative.
Doubts, disappointment and defeat are fairly effective at extinguishing motivation. But, just as we can create doubt, we can also create belief.
Thoughts become beliefs when we put enough energy into them. Believing in yourself is crucial to staying motivated. If you believe you can do it, as they say, you’re halfway there.
Think about what you want often, visualize yourself getting it and quiet any thoughts that don't support your goal. Think clearly about how you will get what you want and what you need to do to make it attainable.
What thoughts might be putting you off from pursuing it? The reliable three always stood in my way: "I can’t, I’m not ready, I’m not good enough." So, those thoughts are no longer welcome in my mind.
It’ll take time and, yep, it’ll be hard work, but it will always be worth chasing that passion and bringing it into fruition.
Along the way, motivation will probably make a habit of coming and going, so it’s up to us to grab it back every single time and hold on tighter.
Forget the fears, make time for what you want and think about how damn good it’ll be when you get it.