Are you struggling to get and stay motivated? Do you know that you need to change your life, but just haven’t been able to find the get-up-and-do-it yet? If so, I want to share 3 ways you can gain life-changing motivation right now, so that your life will look different next week, next month, and next year.
First, a little encouragement:
People always overestimate how much they can get done in one day, but they UNDERestimate how much they can get done in a week, a month, or a year. This is a problem because, by overestimating our daily capacity and missing it, we tend to get discouraged and stop trying.
But all that can change.
I want you to take the pressure off yourself.
The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and JOY in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). JOY is key. If you want to live in the Kingdom, you should be filled with joy and enjoying your life.
But putting a lot of pressure on yourself all the time can rob you of your joy. Oh, there are times when pressure actually helps. When you’ve procrastinated and procrastinated and the deadline is near, pressure can help you get the job done. No doubt about it.
Also, pressure can actually be an inspiration if the pressure is on to do something you ENJOY, or to GET something you enjoy. For example, if you set a radical goal for yourself–something you really want to complete–and then you tie an awesome reward to it–a reward you really want–then you have a good kind of pressure.
That kind of pressure is a pressure that energizes and excites you. It’s pressure that taps into your God-given instinct to kill something and drag it home. It’s a pressure that makes you want to beat your own goal, do your best, and do a radically-awesome job (and, of course, get a radically-awesome reward).
That is a good kind of pressure.
But the bad kind of pressure results from procrastination, and other people’s expectations, and yucky things like that.
But wouldn’t it be better if you just enjoyed your life and didn’t have any negative pressure at all? If you just enjoyed your life?
Yes, YOU can enjoy your life! You can enjoy every moment. You can enjoy both the fun times and the work. You can enjoy the easy things and the hard things. How? It’s all about staying motivated and keeping a positive attitude.
The positive attitude part is another discussion for another day. (It’s actually a Billionaire By-Law!) But the motivation part is for today. 🙂 If you need help getting and staying motivated, so you can actually ENJOY getting things done in your life, here are 3 tips that will help you.
The three ways to gain life-changing motivation are:
(In no particular order …)
1. Read about it.
Whatever your situation is, read about that subject. For example:
- If you want to come up higher financially, become a connoisseur of inspiring, happy, positive books about personal finance.
- If you want to be healthier, read magazines and blogs about exercise, health, and nutrition.
- If you want to keep a prettier, cleaner house, subscribe to a magazine about the decorating style you love. Also, read books and blogs about getting organized. (By the way, I love what Lisa at Organize 365 is doing; it’s worth your time to check her out!)
When you read books, blogs, and magazines about your target subject, you’ll get filled with inspiration. Other people’s stories, struggles, and solutions will encourage you. You’ll see light at the end of the tunnel. And last but certainly not least, the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. When someone shares what God has done for them, and how He has helped them, and you read it, their testimony actually prophesies that thing into existence in your life.
Boom. ‘Nuff said. 🙂
2. Think about who you’re doing the thing for.
For example, I was recently and suddenly inspired to start paying down on our home mortgage to benefit a special person in my life. That special person is my two-month-old son, who is snuggled up to me in his Moby wrap while I write this!
When my son was born, I suddenly got inspired to do a lot of other things for him, too. I discovered that doing things for him felt just as fun as doing things for me. So I started using my personal allowance out of our budget to buy HIM things, even though we have a budget category for baby items! His budget category wasn’t as big as my heart is!
So, I’ve been buying him cloth diapers galore and investing in his college fund with my little personal allowance. It isn’t a lot of money, but it’s what I can do right now. My son is amazing, and I really care about his future. I want him to have a financial legacy from us (as well as many other good kinds of legacies, of course). My desire to leave him a legacy inspires me!
Who is your inspiration?
Are you doing something for your family? For God? For yourself? All are legitimate inspirations; yes, even yourself! Remember that the Bible commands us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31). How can you love anyone else well if you do not first love yourself well?
So go ahead and do something for yourself. Shine on, my friend, shine on! And of course, do something for God. Do anything He has commanded you to do! Fulfill His call on your life, so that not even a single drop of Jesus’ blood is wasted on your behalf!
Your family can be a powerful motivator too. Go ahead and stop smoking so you’ll be around to see your kids get married and have grandbabies. Get fit so you won’t drop dead of a heart attack tomorrow. Get off drugs so you won’t miss your children’s growing-up years. Dress yourself up so you can add a little sizzle to your marriage.
To get life-changing motivation, just figure out who you’re doing something for–no matter who that person is.
3. Reward yourself with incremental rewards.
Rewards are one of my biggest motivators, and they can be yours too if you learn how to work them.
The key is that rewards don’t have to be big, but they do have to be frequent.
For example, when I was learning to play viola, I bought a pack of star stickers. Every time I practiced, I gave myself a star sticker on my to-do list for the week. I realize it may sound silly, but I looooooved getting a sticker! #WillWorkForStickers
Also, when I was paying off my student loan AND beginning to exercise, I decided I would pay “myself” a $5 extra principal payment on my student loan every time I worked out. That $5 paid “to myself” was a powerful motivator because I wanted to pay off my student loan badly. So I worked out maybe more than I ever have, all because I loved watching that debt balance go down!
Without that reward, we wouldn’t have been making those extra payments at all; we didn’t feel like we had the money. But somehow, using it as a reward, we found the money $5 at a time.
Here are some keys to motivating yourself using rewards:
- Rewards can be small.
- Make the reward something you can realistically do. It stinks to reach a goal and then not be able to afford the reward you worked for all that time.
- Make the rewards frequent. Set tiny goals that are all part of a bigger project, and give yourself plenty of small rewards as you fulfill the tiny goals.
- Sometimes you can space the rewards out every 2-3 steps or so. For example, if I were going to write a book, I could give myself a reward for every chapter completed. However, I personally would be more motivated if I had to reach a little harder to get a reward–say, every three chapters.
- Write down your plan for goals and rewards before you start your project.
- Look at that written plan daily!
Also, be creative with your rewards.
Use any type of reward that will motivate you. For example, you could reward yourself with:
- Money with which you can do anything you like–even $5!;
- An evening with a book and a bubble bath;
- A spa treatment of some sort (yes, I even know guys who like these!);
- A dinner out;
- Hiring a babysitter for a couple of hours so you can do something by yourself after you reach a certain goal;
- A new piece of clothing;
- A quiet walk around the neighborhood;
- An evening of playing with your art supplies instead of cleaning the house;
- A gallon of paint for that ugly wall in your bedroom;
- A Saturday morning of basketball with the guys;
- A long phone call with a friend in another town that you really miss; or,
- If your spouse is on board, an evening when your spouse does all the work and you kick your feet up. 🙂
Think of all the things you love, both large and small, and tap into your reservoir of fun to figure up a reward for yourself.
Here’s one final key to gaining life-changing motivation:
When one thing loses its appeal, switch it up.
If one type of reward inspires you for a few weeks, but then doesn’t challenge you anymore, figure out a new type of reward. You can always use the first type of reward again if you feel like it later, but trying to keep it now (just because it was your original plan) doesn’t work if it’s not inspiring you to work toward it anymore.
Also, if you get burned out on one kind of work, do something different. If you’re tired of writing blog posts, design a ton of images in advance for future blog posts. Hey, it’s still progress! If you’re tired of cleaning the house, give it a rest for a week or two and work on your fitness and fun goals. Whatever.
Just do what you need to do to keep it new, keep it fresh, keep it fun, and keep it inspiring. After all, God anoints the new.
New and fresh is good. Keep it new. 🙂
Motivation can change your life–and it will, if you will keep it up.
Tiny steps over a long period of time change everything. And it’s not too late for you. Even if you’ve never been motivated before, look at the three ways to gain life-changing motivation above and work them into your routine. Take an hour right now and set yourself up with some books, blogs, magazines, and rewards. Figure out what you want to do and why/for whom you want to do it, and then write all of the above down.
If you will do that, your life can start changing right now.
It doesn’t matter if it takes awhile. Nothing good comes instantly.
It doesn’t matter if it’s hard. Nothing worthwhile is easy.
And it doesn’t matter if anyone else is succeeding or not. YOU can enjoy your life. Right now, starting today, and forevermore.
Jesus died for you to have total victory in every area. Enjoying your life is a big part of that. Are you willing to do what it takes?
Have you been struggling with finding motivation? If so, will you do these things? Leave a comment below and share one way you will adopt these tips and give yourself the gift of motivation today!