FORBES 6 Hours Ago
by Caroline Jalango
Photo by lululemon athletica
By Caroline Jalango
Motivation is fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly. —Stephen R. Covey
It happens to everyone. Your happiest moments dissipate, and you have little or no energy to work creatively and enthusiastically. You feel mentally and emotionally drained. All your excitement about accomplishing your dreams, working on a project, pursuing a new career, committing to an important relationship, achieving your financial goal, starting the business in which you have invested time, energy and finances is suddenly gone. You can’t understand it or explain it. But there is one thing you are certain of: you feel miserable and you want your enthusiasm back!
While it’s easy to embark on the pursuit of a worthwhile goal, the ability to maintain the momentum to ensure its accomplishment is another issue altogether. When your motivation is low, your commitment, determination and passion are tested. You become aware that your worthwhile goal will remain just that, unless you get motivated and stay motivated to achieve it.
Despite having lost the motivation to work on your most important goal, chances are you remain actively engaged in accomplishing other unrelated goals. However, despite these accomplishments, you continue to feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled, because your most worthy goal remains untouched, unattended to and unattained.
Motivation is the energy that drives you to accomplish goals, and it’s necessary for all types of success. You need motivation in huge doses and you need it daily. Parents have to stay motivated to raise their kids, students have to stay motivated to graduate from college, employees have to stay motivated to get promoted (and to stay employed). Writers have to stay motivated to complete books, and business owners must stay motivated to make profits. Often, after the initial euphoria of achieving one goal has waned, you need motivation to begin working on the next goal. Motivation is the energy that keeps you trying one more time, when everything around you says give up.
Motivation Is Power
Even when you are totally psyched up about achieving a goal, your motivation can be affected by a number of factors, including disappointment in others, the loss of a loved one, hitting a plateau after a huge accomplishment, becoming overwhelmed, and failure to reap immediate rewards for your hard work. Further, the condition of your personal surroundings, fear, personal insecurities, unhealthy relationships that sap your positive energy, current projects, and even fatigue can drain valuable motivation.
The first thing to do when you’ve lost your motivation is to face the situation, confront it and then correct it. When a car you rely on to get to work every day won’t start, you do everything within your power to have the problem fixed. You do this because the reward of having your car in good condition is worth the effort it takes to repair it. In the same way, when the motivation you rely on to accomplish a goal is gone, you must do everything within your power to rekindle the fire. You must remain focused on the desired end result, whether it’s the pain you will avoid or the reward you will gain as a result of achieving your goal.
It’s both possible and necessary to regain lost motivation, and it’s easier than you think! You can take simple steps to stay enthusiastic and committed every step of the way until you achieve your worthwhile goal.
How to Recapture Your Motivation
1. Readjust your focus.
Imagine this scenario: ?There’s a lot going on in your mind, but despite that, you decide to watch this really great movie and become completely absorbed in it. As you are watching the movie your anxieties about your job or business dissipate. Depending on the storyline, you find yourself laughing, crying, excited, inspired—even agitated. That which you are focusing on is influencing your mood. Your personal circumstances haven’t changed, but your new focus is now determining your feelings. When you readjust your focus, you can recapture your motivation.
What are you currently focusing on that’s determining how you feel and affecting your motivation?
How can you readjust your focus this week?
2. Identify your greatest sources of inspiration and motivation.
Grab a pen and notepad and write down the names of three people in whose presence you come alive—whose words inspire your faith and confidence?
What was the last thing each of these people said to you that meant so much, and how can those words motivate you today?
Get in touch with these three people this week. Call, email or visit each one and let them know that you appreciate them and the value they have brought to your life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help becoming motivated to achieve your goal.
3. Identify environments and activities that unlock energy and creativity.
Maybe you feel inspired while browsing the bookstore, touring a museum, playing at the beach, visiting the mall, or attending a concert. Or perhaps an activity such as mentoring, dancing, exercising, hiking or volunteering gets you excited. When you are in an environment that awakens your enthusiasm, you feel motivated because of what you see and experience. Spend at least two hours this week in a motivating environment or engaged in an inspiring activity. Then use that energy to work on your worthwhile goal.
Caroline Jalango is a life coach, motivational speaker and the author of You Deserve to Feel Good. She is affiliated with The Coaches Training Institute, the New York City Midtown Coaching Center, the International Coaches Federation, and Toastmasters International. Visit Caroline’s website, The Motivation Zone, and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org