Motivation is the desire to do stuff and is a critical element in making and reaching your goals. In an ideal world, you know what you want, you set your goal to achieve it, you do the work and get where you want to be. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and indeed, we are not perfect. Sometimes we may not even know what the heck we want, let alone be motivated to achieve it. But, like most things in life, motivation can be learned. It can become a habit. So, lets explore what enables people to be motivated and stay consistent enough to achieve their goals.
Motivation first of all requires getting to know yourself. With self knowledge, you can determine what you really want and more importantly, what God really wants for you. Once you understand your needs, setting goals makes more sense and the goals take on more meaning. When you have goals that have real purpose, they are easier to follow. When you follow your goals on a regular basis, you form a habit that leads to success. You have the basic necessities for motivation.
Here are some helpful ways to get and stay motivated.
1. Get to know yourself. To do this, I recommend daily meditation and prayer. This centers you and quiets your mind. You will never truly know yourself until you quietly listen to yourself and silence that speaks to your heart.
2. Improve your relationship with God, who knows you better than you will ever know yourself. Again, prayer and meditation are great ways to get closer to God.
3. Set goals based on your new found knowledge of yourself and God as you understand Him. These goals should be in line with what you believe God wants for you and can be written down. Make a short list of short term and long term goals.
4. Determine to work toward your goals. Only focus on one day at a time and stay consistent. Even if you fall short, always go forward.
5. Be gentle on yourself and reward your hard efforts and successes. Be a good friend to yourself and accentuate the positive.
6. Never give up. If you were successful in gaining knowledge of yourself and God’s will for you, then you are on the right track and should never give up. You may have some days that are better than others, but you resolve never to give up.
7. Regularly reevaluate your relationship of yourself and God, your goals, and the actions you are taking to achieve them. Being gentle with yourself, you may need to make adjustments as situations evolve. Be honest and flexible, but always go forward.
8. Recognize that life, including your goals is a journey, not a destination. You will always be in a state of learning who you are and what God’s will is for you. You must always take the necessary steps to make motivation a habit in your life.
Motivation is the difference between success and laziness in most people. But it is a habit that can be formed with a bit of self knowledge, goal setting, and consistent effort.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.