The Self-Motivation Booster – Getting to Achieve Better Goals
by Erika Slater
Do you have difficulty in getting motivated to get projects started, get your goals achieved, or even get yourself organized to create goals in the first place?
Perhaps you’ve always “flown by the seat of your pants” (nothing wrong with that if you get results), but tend to get side-tracked, distracted and lose focus.
If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then this article pertains to you and you need to make changes in the way you go about motivating yourself to get your goals achieved.
I’m also going to argue in order to meet your goals you’re going to need to make some drastic changes to remove distractions in your life and learn to motivate yourself and not rely on others to motivate you.
These are simple concepts but can be hard to implement so I’ll provide you some resources to help.
Grab a beverage and let’s get going…
WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET MOTIVATED?
In order to set goals, you have to be clear about what they are. The best way to start ‘getting clear’ is to set intentions. Intentions are the attitude of achieving something you have your mind set on. Many scholars separate intentions from goals as they view goals as future specific and intentions as your daily attitude.
For sake of this article and to keep things simple I’ll use the two interchangeably. You can send the “intention” cops after me later.
Everyone has goals or intentions no matter how small or how large they are. The problem with most intentions people set, and create for themselves, is often times they’re generated from a weakened position of negativity, in that they focus on what they don’t want in their lives, rather than what they want to accomplish and change.
Therefore, the words you choose to document your intentions need to be carefully chosen to focus on the positive and what you want the end positive result for the goal to achieve.
Unfortunately, the mind locks in on the negative because it has been there for a long time and it hinders one from moving forward, or even getting started.
Moreover, if you’ve lived with the negative for too long then its become common for those thoughts to prevail, and this has most likely given rise to procrastination.
It’s the act of deliberately avoiding something, or looking for a distraction to get out of anything that seems unpleasant. Procrastination renders people from achieving their goals, dreams and living to higher standards because they’re content with remaining in status quo holding patterns or mindsets that reach stalemates.
The subsequent problem is procrastination becomes habitual (habit forming) and eventually even addictive to the point where it becomes a lifestyle.
For some people, they actually become habituated or addicted to procrastination and it keeps them in a perpetual holding pattern. They procrastinate to avoid anything that requires their vested energies, or that could result in failure.
The eventual problem when operating from a mindset of procrastination is your mind reverts back to its old ways based on the past. You get ‘stuck’ in your default behavior, and aren’t able to move forward with the changes you’d like to see in your life.
Therefore, to overcome the problem of procrastinating and setting positive intentions, you have to clear your mind of negativity based on irrational past perceptions.
This brings me onto another issue blocking many from focusing on their intentions and goals. This one is insidious and while we may recognize procrastination for what it is, this one slips in “under the radar.”
Our smartphones and social media are phenomenal time waster and distraction mechanisms. The Internet is a distraction. These all impact our ability to focus so we can meet our goals. It’s hard enough to keep on task but if we’re constantly worried about what and where are friends are, and up to, then is it any wonder why we never get anything done.
Even as I write this post on my laptop I’m receiving emails begging to be read and acted upon.
I know I could break from this task and do a quick check and be back here in a few moments. Satisfied everything is up to date and clear so my mind can focus.
But then I get a text… ping!
It could be from one of my kids or my spouse urgently needing my help or thoughts. In all these situations if I break down and check then my goals are put on back-burner for somebody else’s.
I’ll not labor this point but do believe for most of us the time we spend on the Internet and social media is time that needs to be managed so it doesn’t compete for time you should be spending on goals.
Let’s move on to better habits and getting to motivation as I call it.
GETTING TO MOTIVATION:
Sure, you can get motivation from others, for example a personal trainer, or weight loss coach, or even your boss – being threatened with being fired can be a sort of external motivation I guess. But what happens when they’re not there to ensure you go to the gym, or when that tempting pastry is staring you in the face, or your mind wanders back to clock-watching and thinking about the fun stuff you’ll do tonight?
We touched on goals and mindset earlier. We also discussed barriers to be able to focus include procrastination and distraction. These are all inter-connected so let’s begin to piece them together.
Let’s start with goals and mindset. Your goals need to have the right language describing it. By the right language, I mean stated in a way to include only “what you want to achieve and not contaminated by what you DON’T want.” This is harder than it would seem. As alluded to previously, most of us can quite clearly convey “what we don’t want”, but struggle to describe “what we do want.”
Focusing on the negative – what we don’t want – becomes a habit and so you need to break this habit. I’ve provided a resource below to help you in changing this habit.
Stating your intentions in positive language, and making this a habit, a remarkable thing will happen. You WILL change your mindset. And this simple change in mindset will have a ripple effect thought all the things in your life. Now it’s not going to happen overnight – you can’t lose 30 pounds of weight overnight – but if you exercise your positive mindset muscle every day then amazing things WILL start to happen.
Mindset therefore is the first step to self-motivation.
Now the other barriers of procrastination and distraction have to be tackled to ensure your intentions and mindset are not poisoned by lack of effort.
The common example used for procrastination is getting fit.
I don’t need to convince you of all the benefits of exercising. You know this already. The problem is consistency. Procrastination creeps into exercising – like many other examples we can identify – because it may not be something we love to do even when we know we should be doing it, we find ways or excuses to avoid it.
Be reasonable on your goals. When we set goals, we’re usually wildly over optimistic on what we can achieve. So, in our exercise goal we’ll go from no exercise in the last year to going to the gym 5-days a week. Not good as you may do this for a few weeks but then life gets in the way, and procrastination creeps in eventually as you miss a few sessions, think you’re a failure and drop this whole exercise thing altogether.
So, start low with small incremental steps and like plant seeds water regularly. Get early wins and then push yourself a little when you feel ready. This will keep the self-motivation going, but if you skip a session that’s okay, but don’t consider it a failure.
Just “get back on the wagon” and keep rolling along – you didn’t lose all the wheels at once!
5-4-3-2-1 is my second suggestion.
5-4-3-2-1 is a technique I’ve learnt to use when there’s some hesitation in doing the next step. I “stole it” from somebody else but love it, and I’ve used it on myself a number of times when I’m procrastinating about something.
As an example, let’s say you need to pick up the phone to make a call to somebody you’re not sure of their reaction to your proposal, and so you keep delaying the call. Count 5-4-3-2-1 and pick up the phone and call. Nike’s famous ad says “just do it!” The concept is the same except this gives you a little boost before the action.
It’s simple, yet effective.
And here’s the thing the outcome is rarely as bad as the movie that runs through your mind as you think of the outcomes that never happen but which make you procrastinate.
Now onto the final element of “distraction.” I may lose a few friends over this one.
I’m not anti-Internet or Social Media. I do use them for both business and personal reasons. For many of my clients this is their preferred way of interacting with me outside the actual sessions. However, as mentioned previously it has to be managed if you really want to achieve your goals through your own self-motivation.
Staying on task and having focus on what you want to do is a consistent element in successful people and self-motivation. You have to able to devote large amounts of focused time to get anything of value done.
The Internet and Social Media interferes with this focus and allocating time to meet your own goals.
Receiving and responding to email in real-time has become the expectations of almost everybody out there. I even had a client accuse me of ignoring them because I didn’t respond to an email they sent within their imposed 12-hour window.
Social media can be even worse as its more demanding. But I also feel this one is easier to ignore as Social Media is as Cal Newton calls it in his book “Deep Work” is really “shallow work” and in essence a time sucker.
Some of you will not like me for saying this but if you’re honest with yourself, and you want to achieve things, then social media maybe a tool for some of you for doing this but nothing terrible has happened to folks who don’t have a Facebook account or send tweets, etc.
What I’m suggesting here isn’t as drastic as Cal Newton suggests and get rid of all your social media accounts, but certainly allocate specific times each day to go in and check emails and social media but outside those managed hours ignore these distractions and get to work achieving your goals.
Use your common sense here, especially if your job or career depends on using social media – good luck by the way with that – or responding to emails at work, where protocol can dictate you’re at the “beck and call” of your bosses and customers.
I realize I’ve stepped over the boundary of hypnosis and therapy discussions into technology arguments, but in a way it’s all connected as its about making time for true therapy for your mind and to do more important things.
But let me round out this section by getting backing to a therapeutic approach to getting motivation.
One of the best methods for establishing and keeping focus is through hypnosis.
Part of the problem with bad habits of procrastination and being easily distracted is they become fixated in the unconscious mind for way too long. The way to create change is to replace those ‘fixated’, negative thought patterns with new positive, energized thoughts which will lead to the level of self-motivation that’ll make a difference in your life.
The use of hypnosis to change habits and help with focus is a common use such as in smoking cessation and weight loss. Professional hypnotists are usually available in your local area and most should be able to help you. If you want to consider working directly with me on changing habits through my online or in-office sessions, then check out my Hypnosis Services or if you’ve a specific need then contact me here.
Alternatively, if you want to take a “Self” direction approach then there are self-hypnosis programs available and you can find one to help increase your level of self-motivation here >>>
We’ve talked a lot about barriers and breaking them down to get more self-motivation in this article and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Please let me have any feedback in the comments below.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Now enough words, let’s get motivated.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO SELF-MOTIVATION:
Erika Slater CH
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