Motivation does not last. It's a short chemical release of adrenaline in our bodies, which makes us strive for more. However, as many of us know, waking up the next day seems to land you back at the beginning.
Motivation can be compared to a balloon that is forever leaking air. It needs to be ‘boosted' periodically to maintain a solid shape.
Boosting motivation periodically is the most effective way of maintaining a consistent level. Entrepreneurs often struggle with motivation and find themselves procrastinating. This is due to the fact that they are their own bosses and don't answer to a superior.
To begin to boost motivation, you need to establish what motivates you. The easiest way to determine your style of motivation is to think back to a time you were motivated or feeling proactive. Was it because you watched something on TV? Did your friend score a high-paying job? Or maybe you hit rock bottom and you were driven by raw determination.
All motivation is aimed towards an objective; it may be to get off the couch and get a job, be a better partner, or to get your body into shape.
Knowing the things you want from this life is the first key to boosting and maintaining motivation.
If you don't know what you want, then put it in the following perspective. What are you not doing at this point in your life that you probably should be doing?
The following steps are good ways to begin and maintain a good motivational cycle.
Write down goals: Short term goals (1 month) and long term goals (1 year) and long term goals (5 years). Be creative with you goals, but also be realistic. The goals will often be evolutions of each other. E.g. Short term: start saving money/save X amount of dollars. Mid term: start a business. Long term: become a millionaire.
Keep your goals in a visible place, next to your computer, as your desktop wallpaper, or on your bathroom mirror.
Find motivational quotes relevant to your goals and write them on post-it notes and stick them all over your house. On your fridge, on your computer, on the bathroom mirror. Or if circumstances do not allow this, stick them in your personal area. I've tried this and it works like a charm.
Seek out relevant resources. Go to the library, or buy a book or DVD relevant to what you want to achieve. Making an investment into a resource often increases the chances you will utilize it properly to get your money's worth. On Amazon.com you can find books from as low as $2.
Find likeminded individuals. This may be through social networking sites, joining a club, or surrounding yourself with friends who have accomplished what you're trying to achieve.
Doing this will help you to stay focused on priorities and may create a competitive environment which will prove to be a great motivator. Competition is known to bring out the best in human potential, so try to seek it out where it is relevant to your goals.
Try to keep busy -- doing so will help maintain momentum and avoid procrastination. The best way to keep busy is to keep a schedule of your day and week. Every morning write down what you need to do in order of priority. Do as many things as you can that are relevant to achieving your goals. It’s important to cross each task off as you complete it. Avoid skipping tasks unless it’s unavoidable. After your daily tasks are complete you will find great satisfaction in relaxing in front of the TV without feeling guilty.
Eliminate stress. Excess stress exhausts your mind and body, which subsequently affects motivation levels. Try to change behaviors that cause excessive stress; if your job is stressing you out and you could just as easily be somewhere else, then go! Make a goal of it. Or perhaps you have a relationship that is nothing but trouble? Move on and focus on your own life, unless of course the success of that relationship is a goal to you. A good way to relieve stress is to exercise.
These steps are a few of many techniques available to increase and maintain motivation. They may be enough for you, or you may need more. If one of the steps is not available to you at this point, then focus on the ones that are. Put them to the test, go write down your goals, take control of your life and make something of your existence.