If you have ever picked up a new hobby or tried to quit smoking, the following scenario will look familiar. You start strong and chock-full of ambition. After a while, however, that same drive you had in the beginning starts to wane drastically. Before you know it, you have either radically reduced how much time and effort you spend on the activity or dropped it altogether. Motivation, like many states of mind, isn’t static. It’s constantly changing and requires frequent reminders and rewards to prosper. If you are interested in breaking these kinds of “start-stop” cycles and eager to learn how you can genuinely stay consistent in your endeavors, have a read below.
1. Set Realistic Goals
You have probably heard of the SMART acronym for goal attainment: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based. As cliche as it might be, the wisdom holds firm. Part of learning how to stay consistent with the things you do in life is learning how to set realistic goals.
Your goals have to be specific, meaning you know exactly what you want to achieve. Avoid vague statements like “I want to be fit” or “I want to be rich.” Next, you must ensure your goals are measurable. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to set a performance metric that will allow you to track your progress over time.
Of course, your objectives must be attainable and relevant. No amount of discipline or willpower can overcome wildly unattainable or uninteresting goals. Lastly, your goals have to be time-restricted. With a clear start and end date in mind, you will be able to outline your pathway to goal attainment and the resources you will need to achieve them.
2. Focus on the Process
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, sometimes the best way to achieve the desired outcome is to not focus on it. Instead, focus on the individual elements that help inch you closer to your goal. For example, say you want to write a book. You have given yourself until the end of the year to have an edited final copy ready for publishing. The more you continue to focus on the book as a whole, the more you concern yourself with how much more time and content is needed before you can complete the project.
It might be helpful to focus on each chapter of the book rather than the novel’s entirety. By doing so, you are narrowing the scope of your concern and injecting more of your focused time and attention into perfecting each chapter. Before you know it, you will have a solid, quality piece of literature ready for print.
This is just one example of how you can apply this principle to the goals you wish to achieve. More importantly, it’s an excellent way to stay motivated and consistent because every project component completed or process learned is a minor victory in and of itself. You are gaining valuable experience and mastering new skills while working closer to achieving the desired outcome.
3. Share Your Aspirations With Others
A solid support system around you is vital for staying motivated to continue working toward your aspirations. Your closest family and friends will be happy to relish your victories alongside you and lend you a supportive hand whenever you need it. These individuals will remind you that you do not have to shoulder your struggles alone.
More importantly, your peers often share similar interests and might have some valuable experience they can share with you. Strive to surround yourself with folks who care for your well-being and inspire you to continue achieving your goals and setting new ones.
4. Beware of Negativity
It is crucial to remember that not everyone will support you in your endeavors and cheer you on from the sidelines. Some would like nothing more than to tear you down. These individuals can drain you of your energy and productivity. While you might be confident in your ability to look past their negativity, staying in such toxic environments will eventually take a toll on you. Avoid this by staying clear of these circles and focusing on building connections with people who enrich you and motivate you to strive for success and fulfillment.
Motivation is a car engine. It is a powerful force that propels you forward toward your desired destination but is useless without the right amount of fuel to keep it alive and running. These tips above are vital for feeding the engine motivation and driving you closer to your goals and aspirations. They are practical, time-tested methods that anyone anywhere can implement to build consistency and continue smashing goals.