5 Things to Remember for Staying Motivated
Most of us are always looking for different ways of staying motivated.
With work and school and all other things that inundate our lives on a daily basis, it’s no wonder we give up on side projects and hobbies for Netflix.
I am guilty of this.
When we first moved to Oregon, I found staying motivated difficult. What was I supposed to do each day? I was overwhelmed.
There I was, finally able to work on my business and my mind was blank.
I had no idea where to start.
It wasn’t until a couple weeks into working with a loose version of a schedule that it hit me: what motivates me doesn’t have to look like what motivates everyone else.
I spent so much time trying to figure out where, when, and how I was motivated based on everyone else’s ideas.
Now, that seems silly, but at the time it seemed normal.
This week we’re talking about motivation. I’m here to tell you that staying motivated doesn’t and shouldn’t look the same for everyone. Here’s what I’ve learned.
1. Figure out your current priorities
Again, this sounds simple, but I want to encourage you to literally sit down and right a list of your priorities.
Mine looks like this at the moment:
NOTE: This list is flexible and ever evolving. You may notice I have “family” pretty far down the list. This has nothing to do with how I feel or care about them; it simply means that at this moment there are other things that take more of my time and energy than others.
2. Have a project you’re passionate about
If this is your full-time business idea, Pinterest board, dog walking service, or office job, whatever your project may be making sure it is something you love.
The worst thing we can do with our time is waste it on things that have no meaning to us.
A project we are passionate about will inherently give us motivation however long we work on it.
3. Make it a habit
Whatever motivates you, make it a habit.
Every day do one thing focused on your project. That may be to send out a cold email to the publication you want to work for, or drawing up a new logo.
No task is too small if it draws you closer to your goal.
4. Take time off
This is by far the hardest part for me.
When I think of staying motivated, I think go, go, go.
The quickest way to be sure you give up on your new idea is to burn out.
Mine Space began this way.
When I first started Mine Space, I had so many new ideas.
I reached out to my neighborhood forum and booked pro bono clients, made client paperwork and consent forms, bought a new desk, purchased my website domain and filed my DBA.
For all practical purposes, I was ready to go.
Well, after my last pro bono client, I was done. I realized I did not enjoy the services I was providing.
Whomp, whomp. Now what?
I gave up.
Truly, I gave up for almost a year. It wasn’t until early this year I started to get enough motivation and courage to try again.
It is something COMPLETELY new, but it is also something exciting.
Beyond that, I enjoy writing and creating content via the blog and podcast far much more than I did organizing other people’s things.
However, it was taking the time my brain and body needed to wrap my head around what it is I really want to do, what I wanted my content to look like, etc.
This takes a lot more time than I initially thought.
It took me a good six months to get all my ducks in a row, but I re-registered my domain, gave my website a new look, created a podcast, and I’m currently working on educational materials for something else later this year.
A new fire has been lit and this would not have been possible with the mindset I was living at this time last year.
5. Understand that your goal is ever-evolving
Motivation doesn’t look the same for everyone and the journey to completing a project or task is ever-evolving.
There will be minor and major changes along the way, and if you ever find yourself in a creative dead zone, don’t worry.
At some point, you’ll come upon what it is you’re meant to do. How will you know? It will resonate with you. You just kind of know.
Your project may not always make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Creativity and passion are two needy ladies, and they will make you work for their affections.
In the end, you’ll be grateful you knew your priorities, worked for your passion, made it a habit, took time off as needed and gave yourself room when motivation ebbed and flowed.
And it will. Don’t be surprised when it does.
What are you currently working on? How has motivation made itself known or are you in a dry spot?
Stay tuned next week for Mine Space Over Coffee’s episode about Motivation.