Running a marathon is a classic example of accomplishing a long-term goal. We’re not born to run 26.2 miles in a day; we train for that. All the events and moments that lead up to that marathon are steps in the process of training your body and your mind, because, believe it or not, our minds aren’t wired to conjure up that much motivation. There’s a plan for every long-term goal and a strategy in every goal-setter’s mind. In order to motivate yourself, try out these four tactics:
1) Make Lemonade Out of Your Lemons
Take your negative situation and flip it around to something positive. When you get stuck, see it as a learning opportunity. When you have a bad day, look forward to the good day likely right around the corner. When you can’t get any work done, make note of what derailed your motivation. You get the picture. Dwelling on the negativity won’t get you anywhere.
2) Work Hard, Play Hard
Another cliché but so true! Hard work deserves rewards because without enjoying the fun in life, you’ll get stressed and burned out quicker than you can imagine. If you want to love your work, you need to love yourself also. Take a break when you need to or turn your computer off for the weekend. Everyone goes about this idea a different way, so make it your own and stick to it!
3) Plan for the Unfinished Business
Sometimes you can’t get around to everything, and that’s perfectly okay. You’re not a superhuman, and there are only so many hours in the day. If you leave the office with a pile of work on your desk, don’t fret. Definitely don’t think about it non-stop until you get back to your desk. It’s natural to do this because you feel like you’ll forget something. So the next time you have a wheel of unfinished work spinning around in your mind, write down everything you need to get done. That way you can push it out of your mind and focus on the present moment, knowing you won’t forget to do something important when you get back to it.
4) Strike a Balance Between the Big Stuff and the Not-So-Big Stuff
Details are your friends, but so is the big picture. It seems like in most groups of people, there are the ideators and the detail-lovers. That’s a healthy balance. When it comes to your own motivation, you need to find that balance from within. If you find yourself getting hung up on the minutiae, try to take a step back and think bigger. Similarly, if you overlook the details, bring matters under your metaphorical microscope every once and a while.