I’m pretty certain there are three things you need to do when you’ve lost motivation and you’re ready to get it back.
I’m also pretty sure, you need to continue doing those same three things in order to ensure you stay motivated, and lessen your chances of losing motivation again.
- Have Written Goals
- “Mainly” consume only the information that will move you closer to your goal as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Begin executing.
Have Written Goals
Since you’re on this website reading this, I think it’s safe to assume that you most likely have written goals.
Once you’ve lost motivation, you need to go and rewrite out your goals.
You need to review your goals and make sure they haven’t changed.
You could also try writing out your goals in a different format.
Example, if you had your goals written out on paper, write them electronically, or in the new notebook.
If you had them written out electronically, try paper.
We tend to screen out things as we become used to them.
Have you ever noticed how more aware of your surroundings you become after you change your furniture around.
Next, you want to write out any projects, tasks or habits attached to each goal, so you know what actually has to be done in order to move you in the right direction.
This will help you in step three, execution, where you will need to know what to execute.
Remember that you don’t need to know every step from here to your goal, but you do need to have current steps to take to move in what you currently think is the right direction.
Mainly Consume Media That Moves You Towards Your Goal
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You are the average of your ten closest friends”.
Example, if the five of your closest friends all have six packs, chances are your gonna have one too, or you’re on your way to getting them.
Chances are much less likely that you would fall off your diet and exercise habits.
Your friends’ habits and activities will make it much harder to lose motivation and if you did, it wouldn’t be comfortable hanging out with those friends, causing you to get back at it.
However, in most cases, our family and friends are not at the level of achievement we are trying to attain.
This means you need to find ways to spend large amounts of time throughout your day with people who are at the level of achievement you’re trying to attain or higher.
How is that possible? audiobooks and podcasts.
Example, if you’re looking to clean up your diet, cut out processed food and only eat real food, spend your day with Jimmy Moore through his podcast Living La Vida Low Carb.
You will have a constant reminder through scientific studies, personal examples, and life stories of how bad processed foods are for you.
Start listen to a podcast on finances and taken care of your financial future and I guarantee you’ll be thinking more about ways to build your net worth.
Be careful in the process of selecting a book or podcast, there is this phenomenon that occurs and you probably experienced it before, but might not have been aware that this was what was happening.
When we are feeling down about our lack of progress in any area of life, any action makes us feel better.
What that means is if I want to lose weight, making the decision to buy a workout program now, makes me feel as if I’m moving forward towards my goal.
This is why we tend to have a bunch of exercise devices we never use.
Because the act of buying something provided us with a sense of accomplishment in moving towards our goals.
We often then do nothing else until we decided this time it’s for real, and we buy something else.
We get a sense of accomplishment and the cycle continues. Don’t be fooled again!
I can’t count the number of times, when I have fallen off the wagon, I’ve gone to my app for my local library, my audiobooks or my podcast app, I’ve looked at the podcasts or books I have and instead of listening to anyone of those, I get the bright shiny object syndrome, thinking that there might be something out there that’s better.
Something that will inspire me more than the ones I currently have, something that will provide better advice and move me to my goals quicker.
I then download a handful of books from the library, 5 to 10 new podcasts and my brain gets some sort of relief.
Yet I haven’t listened to a single thing. I have not hung out with these new friends, whose topic of conversation and advice will move me in the right direction.
Don’t do this! Just start listening to something.
Or give yourself permission to spend a designated amount of time searching for content, but then commit to turning something on for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
What To Listen To And When
Choose what to listen to you based on context and current issues.
Example, for motivation to Spark Joy in my house, tidy up, keep things clean and organized, I will often listen to organizational and minimalist type podcasts.
When I’m doing mundane, copy and paste type work at my computer, I often listen to health and nutrition podcast such as Jimmy Moore, Abel James The Fat Burning Man, Robb Wolf and Shawn Stevenson from The Model Health Show.
I do this because when I am trying to do computer work and I get interrupted by one of my kids, which is like every five minutes, I inevitably get discouraged and wind up in the kitchen, where I have a tendency to eat the most processed food in there.
This is very depressing for my five-year-old when she realizes there are no granola bars left for her lunch.
If I’m listening to a medical doctor on Jimmy Moore’s podcast telling me that a high sugar diet is shown to cause cancer, I’m going for the carrots and celery in my fridge, if I snack at all.
After hanging out with these hard core health focused friends, I’m more likely to enjoy some fruit infused water, a nice warm tea or a little black coffee.
The real trick is to be your own counselor. You’re not necessarily listening to what you want to listen to, you may really just want to listen to music, but what you really need right now are to listen to some new friends, who move you to a higher standard.
When I’m eating like crap for two or three weeks, I am very resistant to turning on a nutritional podcast.
It’s not logical because I know my goal is to be fit and healthy, however a part of me wants that processed food in the cupboard and is trying to make sure I don’t do anything to jeopardize that.
Still picturing listening to these books and podcasts as if it were hanging out with your friends, it’s the same thing that happens when someone starts to gain weight, when all their friends are fit.
That person tends to pull away from the group. They resist hanging out with their old friends because they are becoming someone else.
In an attempt to trick myself, I often need to say there is no need to change anything just listen for a little bit.
You can still have that cookie if you really want it.
Another caution as you start to listen to podcasts and books, especially the good ones, you will inevitably hear new things that you think you should be doing.
One of the reasons we often fall off the wagon is the bright shiny object syndrome, we go from one thing to the next never making much progress and getting discouraged.
Taking in new information is awesome for potentially improving your life, but we have to be careful of the bright shiny object syndrome.
We want to use these mediums to create the effect of hanging out with people that tend to be at a higher level of success than you currently are.
Not to have you running off in 100 different directions trying new things.
The best way to handle this is as you’re here amazing podcasts, create an Evernote document and write down the episode or a link to the episode to go back and listen to it in the future.
The great thing is you can go back and listen to podcasts and books over and over again, still getting the same benefit of having these people rub off on you.
If it is advice or something that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine, then go for it, but if it takes you even slightly in a different direction it’s best to hold off for now.
Example, I’m currently working on testing affiliate stores, but yesterday I heard a great YouTube video with regards to selling products on Amazon.
I love the idea of sourcing my own product to sell on Amazon, and I could easily be distracted right now to go and focus on that.
However, I would regret not following through and testing out these affiliate stores.
And after a little while I’m sure I would read or hear something else I’d love to try.
So in my Evernote document I will create a link to the content to view in the future when I’m ready.
Your job is just to listen, it’s just to hang out with your friends who are going to rub off on you, raising your standards and your results.
How Often Should You Listen
Remember these are your new friends, your friends that are going to raise your standards.
If you only hang out with them a couple times a week how much are they going to rub off on you?
If you live with them, if they’re in your face constantly, they’re going to rub off a lot faster, they are going to be in your face keeping you focused.
I say listen whenever you can, when you’re driving, when you’re cleaning your house when you’re exercising, when you’re doing stuff on the computer where you don’t need complete focus like copying and pasting.
Of course you can’t listen all the time and I would recommend not listening at times when your children constantly interrupt you.
It can get very discouraging and make you frustrated. 🙂
So turn it on, listen up and hang out with your friends who will pull you in the right direction.
The hope is that once you have your goals clearly define and you are listening to people who move you in the right direction, your job of taking action should be easier.
The only way progress is ever made is through execution.
How many things are you actually executing every day? Increase your execution and you increase your results.
Again, your execution is coming from your predetermined tasks, and habits that will help you move toward your goals.
It’s funny, I don’t feel I have too much to say about execution, it really is the simplest part.
Yet it’s the one that we have the hardest time doing. If we didn’t have a hard time doing it, we wouldn’t have fallen off the wagon in the first place.
The previous two steps are all about getting us to execute. I believe it was Emerson who said, “Do the thing and you will have power.”
Now what you need to do is write out your goals every single day. I know! I can hear you moaning. But it’s true!
Have you written out your goals every single day and not been working on them. No!
The days when you are not writing out your goals are the days when you don’t want to admit that you were not working on them, they are the days when you stop listening to your most successful friends, you’re hiding out on the couch, eating your crappy food, not exercising and not working on your goals.
Otherwise, you’re gung ho to write out your goals, you’re motivated, you’re kicking ass, you’re writing them down and you’re staying focused. So which came first?
It doesn’t matter which came first. It is a continuous cycle, you need all the pieces.
Do the thing and you will have power.
Write out your goals every day.
Hang out with your friends through video, podcasts and audiobooks as much as possible who are at or higher than where you want to go and let them move you to execution.
That’s it. That’s as simple and as hard as it gets.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
If you are not where you want to be, you need to hang out with five different people.
I’d love to hear who you are hanging out with. Recommend a book, podcast or YouTube channel in the comments below.