How to stay Motivated : 8 Highly Effective ways to Succeed
In the modern age we are constantly reminded of our fast paced lifestyles, and the images of success plaster our everyday live’s no matter where we are or what we are doing. At turtlequote.com we have been regularly collecting and posting famous quotes with the vision of keeping our readers motivated and to evoke a sense of inspiration. However, you may be wondering how to actually stay motivated and focused with so many things going on in your life. We would therefore like to share with you our top tips on how we keep motivated everyday:
1. Figure out exactly what you want to do
There are so many things going on in today’s society and so much pressure to look the best, be the best and achieve greatness that we can be hit with decision paralysis. This is when there is so much information and so many things going on in our heads we do not even know where to start. So, our first step to keeping motivated is to write down exactly what areas you want to develop in.
Simple specific ideas at this point are enough to get us started, for example you may want to learn the guitar, learn a new language or run a marathon. We suggest that you write down everything you are interested in pursuing (or currently pursuing) and then number them in order of preference.
2. Set specific, measurable and attainable goals
Once you have decided on which topics you wish to focus on you must then break these areas down into sub areas. It is not enough just to say you want to build up to running a marathon – the goal seems so far away it is easy to give up or become unmotivated. You must break this down to more specific, measurable and attainable goals such as, ‘This week I will run 3km twice’.
Now we have a goal that is specific (run 3km), measurable (3km and how long it will take you) and attainable (It is only a fraction of the ultimate goal of running a marathon). We can plan this out over the coming weeks and months to slowly build up the distance over time – in week two maybe you would try to run 3.5km.
The key here is to set an achievable plan and stick to it – as a wise man once said ‘Failure to plan is planning to fail’! If you are new to the subject area you may also have to do some research online to see if your goals are in line with what is being achieved by others. Google searching a term such as ‘How to build up to running a marathon’ should bring up results that give you an idea on what is achievable for most people.
3. Plan your time effectively and meticulously
We only have so many hours in the day to dedicate to personal development and the majority of this time is already taken up with work, rest and family time.
Assuming the work day of an average American is 9 am to 5 pm and allowing for a 30 minute commute each way we already have lost 9 hours of the day. Add on to that a healthy sleep allowance of 8 hours we bump this up to 17 hours and then allowing additional time for dinner and an hour of family time we are likely to have already used up 19 hours of our day before we even think about our additional goals!
As you can see above, realistically, we only have 4 to 6 hours a day of free time each working day. Because of this, we recommend focusing on only 2 to 3 areas at a time. Your time plan may then look something like this:
- 7:00 to 8:30 > Wake up and get ready for work
- 8:30 to 9:00 > Travel to work
- 9:00 to 17:00 > Day job
- 17:00 to 17:30 > Travel home
- 17:30 to 19:00 > Dinner and family time
- 19:00 to 20:00 > Goal 1 > Prepare and run 3 km
- 20:00 to 20:30 > Rest and recover
- 20:30 to 22:30 > Goals 2 & 3
- 22:30 to 23:00 > Wind down for bed
- 23:00 to 07:00 > Sleep
Alternatively you can instead work on your second or third goal on Saturday and / or Sunday as you will likely be off work on these days. The main point here is to meticulously plan out your days and stick to the routine as close as possible.
To make this easier, I recommend the use of goal sheets. I personally use the ones over at onplanners.com.
4. Get enough sleep!
Although discussed above already, this point deserves it’s own section. We all know the sluggish feeling we get when we have had a bad night of sleep or have not slept enough throughout the night. When we feel like this we often want to relax when we get home from work and not have to further drain or physical or mental capacity. It is therefore imperative that we build in 8 hours of sleep to our routine in order to stay motivated on a daily basis.
Studies have shown that anything less than 8 hours can significantly reduce our capacity to retain information that we gathered during the day. Matthew Walker, the author of ‘Why we sleep’ explains in detail the studies and science behind this and i recommend that if you are interested in further reading about this topic that you consult his book. In any case, to sum it up many people believe that skipping sleep to cram in more information is helping them learn more but in most cases the opposite is true – so make sure you get your sleep hours hard built into your schedule!
5. Wake up early
I have often found in my research of high achievers that one thing in common that they have is that they wake up early. The likes of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk all rise early each morning. Personally, I find that the calming atmosphere of getting up earlier than the rest of the world really helps me focus, stay motivated and get ahead of the curve and gives me a motivational boost knowing that I am achieving things even before the real day starts.
One important caveat to this is that it should not be done at the expense of sleep itself. Get up early, but only if it is not detrimental to your overall routine.
6. Stick to the plan
It can be demotivating at times when we are unable to see progress or only see it in small increments (which is why we want to break our goals down into small parts) but with some things, progress is going to be slow. Take for example learning a new language, people often spend years trying to master this! However, as long as they trust the process, stay motivated and keep to their plans, every day they get a little bit better.
This isn’t to say that if you find something really isn’t for you or that you do not have the passion you thought you had for something then do not be afraid to drop it and focus on something else or even double down on another goal.
7. Reward yourself
What is life without some guilt free pleasures ? At times we can get so focused on our goals that we forget to enjoy the simple things in life like having that scoop of ice cream or taking a few days off to do whatever you like. The best way I have found to do this whilst keeping on top of my goals and motivated is to also schedule in ‘off days’. These are free days or time slots that you have scheduled in your plan that you can do whatever you like – watch a movie, play a video game – anything!
As long as you are achieving the goals you have set out then you should be able to reward yourself without feeling guilty about it. Making these part of the overall plan means that you also create a good balance in your plan.
8. Remove distractions and time wasting activities
With today’s technology and ‘always online’ mentalities and capability we are forever distracted with shiny buttons and new toys that are designed to grab our attention and lead us to constantly consume content rather than create it. I like to call these ‘easy hitters’. One of the best things I ever done to permanently increase my motivation was to remove social media and toxic people from my life.
If you are using an iphone, have a look at your screen time section. If you are spending anything more than 2 hours a day on your phone I guarantee that you have some ‘easy hitters’ in here. Delete Facebook, remove Instagram and stop engaging in mindless conversations about other people’s lives – it really isn’t helping you. Instead use this time to work on your personal development. Before long you really wont care about what that crazy celebrity is up to.
Wrapping things up
We must accept that in life if we want to achieve great things, temporary discomfort is unavoidable and that nothing worth doing is ever easy. Do you really think that Elon Musk was able to commission a spacecraft to the moon without overcoming discomfort and working extremely hard on his goals ? Why should you think any differently ? You shouldn’t.
It isn’t easy and there will be times you feel like giving up but trust the process and in the end, forever reap the benefits of the seeds you sow.