Do this to capitalize on your motivation!
Motivation comes and goes and the worst part about motivation is that if you don’t create action from it, it really does you no good in the long term. Something I have found to work for me and I believe will work for you is to weigh the consequences of your inaction to get you to complete tasks and stay motivated!
It is so easy to be lazy, and being lazy is a trap. It creates a momentum against being productive. In the past and sometimes still I’ve told myself that I’ll get to so and so task later in the evening or the next day. Well when the time comes to do that task, lets say it’s cleaning the dishes for example. I will often think to myself the dishes aren’t bothering me that much. I won’t feel any better doing them today as opposed to tomorrow. This is a giant mistake because I end up borrowing time from the future to do something (in most cases) less important in the present. I have just delayed all my other tasks in the future because I didn’t clean my dishes when I said I would. I just lost that valuable time for no good reason but to be lazy and comfortable. The problem is that I never thought that I was losing time, and time is something I value greatly. I thought I was completing a chore that would create less stress for me later.
The thing about losing something is that it often hurts more than it feels good to gain something. I remember 5–6 years ago my friend Ali and I would go to the casino after our work shifts and play roulette to win some money. And surprisingly we were good at it, for about two weeks. We won anywhere from $10 to $50 each day during a two week period we played, but at the very end, everything I had gained over that two weeks I lost in one sitting. The feeling stung so hard, that I haven’t been back to gamble since! Essentially I broke even and got a little entertainment to go with it but losing that money hurt worse than winning it.
So here’s my psychological trick that I was subconsciously doing but never correlated the success until recently. When you want to achieve something, you have to think of what it will cost you if you do not act on that motivation. Don’t talk yourself into what good will come of it because the thing is that you will most likely not attach a date for when you will ultimately achieve that goal. But if you tell yourself what you will never become if you don’t act, that seems more decisive.
About 18 months ago I started working at a startup that ate up about 10–11 hours of my day including commuting to and from work. I knew that I wasn’t going to go to the gym after work. Working out is something I enjoyed and did consistently for years before I started that job. But I still had fitness goals I wanted to achieve and they were going to get derailed. So every morning for about two weeks I would set my alarm for 4:30AM and put it 5 feet away from my bed so I would physically have to get up and turn it off. Even then I would get back into bed and debate if it was worth it. I would think about the impact of not going knowing that if I didn’t change my lifestyle I wouldn’t be able to work on my fitness at all. Eventually I would crawl out of bed and go to the gym after considering that I would be happier two hours after with less sleep over those extra hours of rest and never creating the habit of getting up early enough to workout. I was going to lose what I wanted to achieve and that drove me to change.
I get a good amount of grief from friends for switching jobs every few months or years. Maybe they see it as me looking to avoid putting effort into one thing? But what I do know is that I need to constantly reinvent myself to become what I desire. The process is hard and the lessons learned take time.The fear of not achieving that is far greater than being comfortable in the present and having the time to go out and have fun constantly. It has taken me awhile to harness this idea that losing out on something is far more compelling a reason to change and create action rather than to look at it from the aspect of what I would benefit from by doing the action.
I encourage you to try this for any small or large goals in your life. What will you sacrifice by not acting on your motivation, right now, right away?