A non-cheesy guide to motivation

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Motivation is more than printing quotes from Facebook and pasting them all over your house. Motivation is more than cute photos of animals with “You can do it!” written in big block letters. Motivation is a commitment to doing something you don’t want to do.

I’m sure you want to achieve your goals and dreams. I’m sure you truly want to finish writing that book, get healthier or earn that coveted promotion. But let’s face it, there’s a reason we aren’t all famous novelists working in the corner office and sipping a vegetable smoothie for breakfast.

Change is hard.

Too often motivational guides feel a bit surface-level. They focus on the fluff with inspirational quotes but don’t actually include practical steps to staying motivated. So we’re taking out the fluff with a fluff-free motivation guide.

Step 1. Stop Aiming for Your Goal

Let’s say you want to finish a book you’re writing. The more you tell yourself “I’m going to write my book” the more you’re going to find yourself staring at a blank Word doc. Try telling yourself “Every week I’m going to write a chapter” and stick to it.

Or let’s say you want to wake up earlier because you read an article about how CEOs typically wake up at 5am. Don’t aim for 5am. Aim for five minutes earlier than when you currently wake up. Adjust to that then realign your goals.

“Your only limit is you.”

A goal is just that – an end output. Chances are right now you’re still a while away from the end. And that’s okay. Stop focusing on the big picture and start focusing on the task at hand.

Step 2. Go Public

I know what you’re thinking – going public means you actually have to go through with whatever you’re aiming for. But isn’t that the goal? No one wants to look bad in front of others – that’s the beauty of going public with your goal.

You can go as public as you like. Set a Facebook status, write a blog post or tell a close friend or family member. Just make sure you have someone who you can trust to follow up with you and keep you on track.

Step 3. Break Down What Really Motivates You

Imagine you want your daughter to get good grades in school. Telling her to work hard probably won’t make a huge difference in her report card. Instead you need to make it more logical. Why would she want to work hard?

Maybe she loves to travel. Are there any travel scholarships she could work towards? Does she want to be a vet? Tell her the entry requirements for veterinary studies and help her break it down into achievable steps. Everyone has a motivator. The more you focus on yours the harder you will work.