We’ve all been there: You have big goals that you want to accomplish, but somehow you keep putting things off. Maybe you get fired up to work on your big project, but you run out of steam after just a few days. Or maybe you’re a compulsive planner who can’t actually get past the planning stage and start putting your plan into action.
Whether your goal is to declutter your house or fulfil your dream of starting your own business, it can often be difficult to stay motivated for the long term. Try these five tips for staying motivated and overcoming procrastination for any project you take on.
1. Clarify Your Purpose
Your goals are different from your purpose, but they can fuel each other. Goals that lack purpose are easy to shrug off when you’re tired or busy or just want to sit on the couch and binge a show on Netflix. But if you have a clear sense of how your goals relate to your broader life’s purpose, it will help you stay on track.
This may take a little bit of reflection if you’ve never sat down to figure out your life’s purpose. Maybe your goal is to start your own business, but your broader life’s purpose is to help empower women from disadvantaged backgrounds. How does your goal of starting a business relate to this? Maybe it will allow you to partner with organizations who are already working in this area, or hire women who are underemployed, or create a work environment that offers free childcare. Staying focused on the purpose behind your goals can help motivate you when things get tough.
2. Write It Down
Writing your goals down solidifies them in your brain — especially if you make it a daily practice. The act of writing your goals programs them into your subconscious brain, which can help make your goals a reality.
If you’re writing your goals down every day, but you aren’t actually doing anything to make them happen, your subconscious brain is going to sense that something is off. You’re going to have to change something: Either re-evaluate your goals or start getting serious about them.
The flip side is that once you start making progress toward your goals, it will provide even further motivation when you look back at what you’ve accomplished and how your goals have evolved over the months and years.
3. Set Aside 15 Minutes
Schedule just 15 minutes to work on your project or your goal. You can do anything for 15 minutes, right? Block out the time on your calendar and don’t let anything interfere. Close the door, turn off the Wi-Fi, and tell the family you can’t be disturbed.
Chances are, once you get going, you will spend far more than 15 minutes working on your project. In fact, some days, you may get into a rhythm and accomplish far more than you thought you would! But even if those 15 minutes are all you get done, you’re still building momentum that will help carry your project through to completion.
4. Break Your Goals Down
If you’re someone (like me!) who loves crossing things off your to-do list, breaking your goals down into smaller steps can be incredibly rewarding. Maybe your goal is to write a book, but it feels overwhelming, so you don’t even start.
Set a goal to write just one page a day. One page is easy, and you’ll have the satisfaction of crossing your daily task off your list. And with one page a day, you can have a finished manuscript in less than a year!
5. Visualize the Outcome
Visualization can be a powerful tool for helping you stay motivated. With as much specificity as possible, visualize what your life will look like after your goal is accomplished. How will you feel? Allow yourself to feel the experience as if it has already happened. Those feelings can be yours all the time if you just stick with it!
Ready to take your plan to the next level? Learn more about making your goals a reality with my FREE guide The Art of Goal Setting. It’s full of concrete actions to help you transform your life for the better and live the life you deserve!