Happy Monday, and I hope everyone’s week is getting off to a
good great start! I keep reflecting on last Monday’s post about putting in your maximum effort in areas you want to improve on, and since it can be difficult to embrace this mentality when it feels like the world is against you and your goals at times, wanted to share a few things that continue to inspire me after my initial motivation has worn thin. None of these tricks or tips are a magical cure-all for frustration, but in my experience they have helped!
First off, find a quote that you can adopt as a mantra, be it temporary or more permanently. There are countless quotes about motivation and achieving your goals and, if you haven’t already, take the time to find one (or two) that resonates with you. That negative voice in your mind might say “you’re silly, stop thinking you can do_________” but who can argue with the likes of Nelson Mandela or Uta Hagen? There are plenty of quotations we agree with, but a few will seem particularly poignant for whatever position you’re in at the time. Of course, since our lives are constantly changing, these mantras may also change-and that’s okay! It can be fun, in a strange way, to pore over combinations of words hoping you’ll find one or two sentences that you really like. Even if you don’t find something you agree perfectly with, taking the time to look through different sayings may help you piece together your own unique mantra.
I encourage you to take twenty minutes this week looking for a phrase or saying you can adopt for those moments of doubt. Already have a go-to quote? Revisit it and see how it applies to the areas you’re looking to improve on; increasing your awareness of it will help you fully embrace its meaning rather than going through the motions of repeating it to yourself.
Another trick I use, in moments of self-doubt or when I want a particularly motivational boost, is to look back on a time when I achieved or surpassed my goals. How did I set that goal? What steps did I take to get there? What challenges did I face and how did I overcome them? How can that experience compare to whatever I’m facing now? On the surface it may not seem like running a marathon or bagging a Munro compares much to seeking a pay rise or auditioning for your dream role in the Christmas pantomime, but if you look a bit more closely you can almost always find some similarities-even if they’re at the most basic level. What’s more, looking back on one of your successes serves as a little pat on the back-you’ve achieved something you’ve set out to do before, so there’s no reason you can’t meet your next goal!
If you’re a more social person or have been feeling isolated, reach out to your support network. This might be family, friends, or a mentor. Ask if they would be willing to have a chat about your current goals, and clarify whether you want advice or if you’re looking for them to be a sounding board (I always do this, especially with my parents, because they are always keen to help but sometimes you just want to think aloud to somebody!). Then, determine what you want to get out of the conversation. Maybe it’s just letting your frustrations and insecurities out, as vocalising these can help put them into perspective. Or maybe you know they have experience in a certain area and you have questions for them (again shoutout to my parents who have helped me revise my CV countless times). Whatever you’re looking for, set measurable standards for the talk. You might not get everything you’re looking for, but knowing what you hope to get out of the conversation helps keep things constructive rather than devolving into an emotional mess. Not that there’s anything wrong with those conversations! I’ve just found that if I know I’m asking for specific advice, it’s helpful to remind myself what I need to learn to keep myself on track.
Finally, if all else fails, make a feel-good playlist and take a solid 20 minutes to dance and sing along to it (not recommended late at night if you live in a flat or apartment, as neighbours might not appreciate your amazing vocals). Sure it might not be a “step” to meeting your goal but it’ll help get you back into a positive mindset-which is equally important to keeping your motivation up. Some of my go-to songs include American Pie by Don McLean (no idea why); Carry You Home by Ward Thomas; Helluva Life by Frankie Ballard; and, of course, Wannabe by the Spice Girls (is any fun playlist complete without this?!)
There you have it! If you’re feeling stuck on the road to accomplishing something, or lost in trying to find a bit of inspiration, try any one of these and see if they help. Or, if you have a tried-and-true method, share it below! And don’t forget: you did not wake up this morning to be mediocre. So get out there and get working on your goals!