8 Tips to Get You Motivated in Anything

Going after your hopes, dreams and ambitions creates a sense of the “airy-fairy”, of goals that you don’t know how to start, and so you ultimately give up.

After talking with many different people from all walks of life, they’ve revealed very interesting methods they use to define goals that they can action to achieve.

So, I’d like to share some with you that you can begin today.

1) I Have No Idea or I’m Not Sure What To Do

If you know the answer to this — move onto number 2.

This is one of the biggest issues that prevents people doing anything.

They have no idea what their purpose is or whether they can find something meaningful to do.

Do not panic. You’re not alone.

The World Economic Forum revealed “In a 2013 survey of 12,000 professionals by the Harvard Business Review, half said they felt their job had no “meaning and significance,” while another poll across the world showed that only 13% of workers actually like their job.
A recent poll among Brits revealed that as many as 37% think they have a job that is utterly useless.”

First — take a deep breathe.

Second, ask yourself when you’re dead what would you have loved to contribute towards?

Sound morbid?

Well, after studying thousands of obituaries, Lux Narayan, found the top way to describe people who had done the most amazing and positive things in the world was that they helped.

2) Start with the Why and Work your Way Down

It’s easy to say you want to be an astronaut, or you want to be a musician or you want to be an engineer.

But ask yourself why do you want to be any of these things?

This leads on from the 1st point, but starting with the ‘Why’ you want to do something will help you realise what the true motivation is for starting.

If you want to be an astronaut, it might be because you have an insatiable drive to seek the ultimate adventure of planetary exploration or because you believe in the vastness of the universe and the limitless possibilities of life.

Creating an ideology around the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’ (astronaut) can become an immensely powerful motivation.

*Cue Inception

An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow.

Write it down.

It will keep you motivated but it will also give you the mental ability to pivot on your journey if you discover another ‘what’ that may be more appropriate to your ‘why.’

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that it didn’t work.” — Thomas Edison on his pursuit to harness light (not to make a light bulb).

Perhaps managing a team of astronauts or teaching young minds in astrophysics helps you explore the vastness of the universe more than actually being an astronaut?

3) The Carrot is Way Better than the Stick

Punishing yourself when you don’t achieve is counter-productive. It only reinforces fear, or anger about trying again; the key to true success.

The first step is to identify rewards that you know will motivate you and that you actually want.

Identify 4 or 5 things that you know you will work hard for:

  • Spa breaks
  • A golf getaway with the lads
  • A meal at your favourite restaurant
  • Or even give your friend £50 and then when you complete the task you can get it back, if not you lose it! 👀
Science shows we procrastinate when we’re in a bad mood. Finding ways to increase your happiness will increase productivity and success.

Tie those rewards into a plan of action that you can only redeem upon successfully achieving.

Put visuals of these rewards in plain sight: as wallpapers on your laptop or smartphone, hang them up against the mirror or on your wardrobe, get a totem or item that signifies your goal and add it as a keyring or in your bag.

When you achieve certain milestones, reward yourself, replenish it, then repeat.

4) Break down the tasks

When you consider pursuing being an astronaut, a musician, a teacher, a designer or an engineer (and who says you have to choose only one?), the first step is to understand where-on-earth to start.

Also, goals may not be career led, they could be your ambition to travel for 2 months in South America, or how you want to learn to keep bees.

Some people get potential-paralysis because they visualise the end result and feel it’s too BIG-a-thing to achieve, and so give up.

Instead — break it down into small tasks.

You’ll find every topic has fundamental elements to understand.

  • Search for insights to arouse your curiosity. 
    Visit bloggers, Youtubers or subscribe to publications relating to these industries
  • Find 3 or 5 sub-topics that you need to understand about your chosen interest to get going or to enhance your understanding
    (In Design MIT reveal 10 design fundamentals that you need: such as Tools, Emotional Appeal, Function, Sustainability etc)
  • Identify 5 people in the industry you can reach out to and talk with about these topics. Prepare questions and engage with people passionate about these topics. 
    (Use Twitter, Reddit or Facebook groups to get involved in discussion)
  • Bookmark key resources that you can keep revisiting for inspiration and guidance
  • Create small daily tasks, weekly outputs and monthly goals. Then work backwards:

What’s the objective? (monthly)
What outputs would help achieve the objective? (weekly) 
What tasks can you do right now to get the ball rolling and start working towards that output? (daily)

5) Remember the Carrot — Celebrate Weekly

We are so quick to put ourselves down, be too self-critical and tell ourselves that we’re not good enough or can’t achieve it.

Celebrate every achievement.

Different to Step 3 and your bigger rewards, here, look back over the week and make sure you give yourself a pat on the back for the things you achieved.

Success is 1000 small steps. Make sure you thank yourself for taking each and every one of them!

If you’ve been slacking for a few weeks, you need to reevaluate those 4 or 5 rewards that you said you wanted. Do you really want them enough?

6) Run into The Spike

It’s easy to start with the easy stuff… obviously!

Instead, start with the most difficult task and if you can, schedule to do it as early as possible.

We’ve all been there. There’s a piece of work that we don’t want to start, a client we don’t want to call or a colleague we don’t want to confront.

If you put it off, put it off, put it off, you’ll become more and more stressed and that anxiety will transfer into your other tasks, however simple they are. Ultimately stifling your effectiveness across the whole project.

Instead, run into the spike and get it out of the way. You’ll feel a ton better for it and you’ll be able to take that into your other tasks.

7) Prepare to Fail

We’re not trying to be defeatist here. We’re being pragmatists.

You will fail.

There we said it. 😮

However, good news.

“Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
— Japanese Proverb

It’s only natural for us to feel disheartened when something doesn’t go to plan. So make sure you pre-determine this inevitability and, while you’re still feeling positive, collect all the inspiring and motivational you can find. Chances are you’ll need it.

Surround yourself with sources that help you feel grateful for where you are, the opportunity you still have and examples of people overcoming adversity to inspire you.

Here’s a bit to get you started

8) Have Some Bloody Fun

Make sure whatever you’re doing, that you have fun and enjoy the journey.

Stop thinking you live twice and chase your dreams! 
(couldn’t resist a bit of “airy-fairy”!)