Have you ever “lost steam” in the process of achieving a goal?
Maybe you wanted to lose 10 pounds within two weeks, but after a week of jogging for 30 minutes a day, you realized that you still haven’t lost a single pound.
Or maybe you worked so hard to build goodwill with your co-workers, only to ruin all that with one angry outburst at someone’s casual, offhand remark over lunch.
Perhaps your “special project” on the side is only 25 percent finished, and it’s already been three weeks since you promised yourself that you’ll get it done within the month.
Somehow, you need to get that motivation back—which, fortunately, isn’t as hard as it looks.
All you have to do is this: Talk to as many people as you can about your goal.
It’s that simple.
Of course, you have to choose those people carefully. Ideally, they meet most or all of the following criteria:
– Close to you
– Communicate with you frequently
– Care about you enough to call you out when you’re doing something wrong
– Have opinions which are important to you
– Are willing to give helpful advice when you ask for it
This works for one simple reason: It’s harder to flake out on others than yourself.
For example, I’m a freelance writer who aims to crank out at least one post a day. If I kept that goal to myself, it’s pretty likely I won’t be able to stick to it consistently or for long, since I only have my flaky self to answer to. I can always say: “Who cares if you don’t write anything today, Issa? It’s just you. You can always put off your work tomorrow, and the day after that.”
Which isn’t a good habit to have, if you know how freelancing works.
On the other hand, if I share my goals with supportive and understanding people like my family, friends, fellow freelance writers, and mentors, I’m more likely to commit to what I need to do. I certainly don’t want these people to use adjectives like “irresponsible”, “flaky”, and “scatterbrained” to refer to me.
By the way, this was exactly how I got over my one-month writing slump. Although I did manage to write a few posts during that month, it wasn’t until I told a veteran freelance writer-slash-mentor about my goals that I fully recovered the drive to write every day for the next month.
Of course, the motivation from within is still the best type of motivation. Relying on fickle others to boost your confidence 100% of the time is a bad idea, and it helps to keep an inner fire that no one can take away from you. But, if all else fails, there’s nothing wrong in asking for help once in a while.
|Written on 2/4/2014 by Issa Mirandilla.|
Photo Credit: Chris Florence