It’s a cold, dark night. You yearn for the covers of your warm bed as you sit at the desk, typing out another article on your computer. You’re writing an ebook on marketing for your business, and you hope to have it launched by tomorrow night.
Your shoulders slump as exhaustion overtakes you. You want to stop writing. You’ve been tapping away since six in the morning, only stopping to grab a cup of coffee, eat a few scattered meals, and take trips to the bathroom. You can feel motivation seeping through the pores of your body with each passing hour, leaving you groggy and frustrated.
A cool breeze drifts through the open window that you left slightly ajar just hours before, back when the sun embraced the earth in its warm glow.
There’s no sunlight now. Only mosquitoes hovering over your flesh, protesting as you slap them away.
Quietly, you get up from the chair and shut the window. Standing there in the cold of the night, it’s tempting to walk into the next room where your bed is surely waiting and just drift off into dream, forgetting about your worries and problems. Ignoring the fact that if you stopped now, you wouldn’t make enough money to pay the rent next month.
With a sigh, you walk back to your desk at the corner of the room. Without the light from the moon, the desk sits in shadows and your computer screen glows eerily white in the dark.
Dread sinks down to your gut, sprouting goose bumps like weeds onto your skin. You shiver and turn on the lamp next to you. The bright light makes the whole room come to life. You can actually see the wooden floor boards beneath your feet as you push your chair in and position your hands on the keyboard once more.
But the dread is still there, taunting you. Making you doubt.
You nervously pat your belly. Your future is kept hidden, and you fear what will happen to you and your unborn child if you fail to pay next month’s rent.
Taking a deep breath, you keep on writing.
Do You Struggle with Motivation?
Do you sometimes find each tap of the keyboard a chore, afraid of what may happen if you stop but without the willpower to keep going?
Or maybe you’re lost completely, only burdened with uncertainty and foreboding. You’re unsure of what to do, where to go, or how to make your dreams tangible.
I was there.
I’ve struggled face-to-face with procrastination. I’ve wrestled with the idea of giving up and letting my dreams go. I know how it feels to yearn sleep, want it with every fiber of my being, only to work long into the night and go without for a little bit longer.
I know how it feels to lack motivation
Without it, you wrestle the idea of working, but don’t actually get anything done. Your body cries for you to give up, laze about, and do your own thing. You lose sight of your long term goals. You’re too caught up in the present and what is happening around you. Now.
You’re mind weakens
But you can find motivation if you look hard enough and in the right places. You may not have rent or a pregnancy to motivate you, but you can stop the flow of motivation from seeping from your body. In fact, you can even bathe in it.
Here are seven tips to get you started.
7 Ways to Take Motivation to the Next Level
- Don’t overwork yourself. No one can work for hours without burning out. Take a few breaks every now and then. Go for a walk, read a book, meditate, take up a hobby, and simply enjoy yourself. It’s your life after all; enjoy it while it lasts. When you come back to work, you’ll be a lot happier for the time off, and you’ll have renewed strength to keep going.
- Keep track of your progress. Create a progress meter and keep track of your growth as you complete tasks. After you complete each goal, reward yourself with something special; go out to eat, spend time with friends, give yourself a day off, buy yourself something new, or do something meaningful. I personally use a whiteboard to keep track of my progress. If you have a blog, you can also make your goals public on the sidebar by using a WordPress plugin called Pretty Simple Progress Meter. This way, you stay committed to your goals, and you’re less likely to wander off on a wrong path.
- Take baby steps. If you try to do everything at once, you’ll crash. Try taking small steps at a time to reach bigger goals. Work to get individual steps accomplished, rather than looking at the project as a whole. When I created my first ebook not too long ago, I worked on each chapter at a time – so that every time I wrote a chapter, I marked another goal completed. If you can start small and work your way up, you’re more likely to stay motivated.
- Do what you enjoy doing. Are you passionate about a topic? Do you have a hobby? Working on something that you love doing can greatly motivate you, for you’ll be more eager to get things done.
- Make small changes. Change can be refreshing, but sometimes it’s hard to adjust if you try to change everything at once. Make small changes in your everyday routine, like showering in the morning rather than at night or taking up meditation or yoga for the first time. Is there anything you can add to your work routine? What can you take out?
- Envision the end result. You’ll be more motivated if you have an end result in mind. What will happen if you complete this particular task? Where will you wind up if the task doesn’t get completed? Will this task help you make progress? If nothing will happen once the task is completed, that’s a sure sign that you need to start working on other, more important tasks. Picture the end result and that alone can motivate you.
- Read case studies. Reading the success stories of others, especially if someone has already accomplished what you are setting out to accomplish, can be a motivation in itself. Browse inspirational books, case studies, interviews, articles, and blogs. Find motivation at your local library or even in conversations with others.