The first point on the success compass is motivation. I have written about motivation before but not in terms of how to maintain it.
Staying motivated is crucial to success
If you do not have the motivation to keep on with your strategy (or with anything in life for that matter) you will ultimately fail. Even if you start off with the best intentions in the world it will not be long before your enthusiasm for the project will fade, you’ll slow down, lose heart and then give up.
Motivation gives you a strong reason to act or accomplish something and without it you’ll never reach your goal. Staying motivated requires a shift in mindset towards always thinking of your goal.
To use a simple analogy – think about it in terms of trying to lose weight. You’ve got on the scales or noticed your waistband is rather tight and decided that you want to get back down to a weight you feel happier at.
You start off with good intentions – salads for meals, cut out the crisps, chocolate and desert, increase your exercise and resist the glasses of wine. You feel good – you feel on track – you want to succeed.
You get on the scales the following week expecting to have at least lost a few pounds and, horror, you’re still the same weight or may have even put on a couple of pounds! You are crest fallen and your motivation begins to decrease. If this pattern continues over the coming weeks and months your motivation will disappear altogether and you’ll probably stop trying to lose weight and go out to buy bigger clothes.
Staying motivated in the face of setbacks
This is exactly the way that ordinary, every-day life works on our motivation when we set out to achieve our big shiny goal.
Now, we can’t stop life. There are things, work, family, responsibilities, and commitments that cannot be avoided and as these continue they sap away at anything new we are trying to achieve and will supplant any good intentions or motivation that we may have started off with.
So how do we maintain motivation to give our Big Shiny Goal strategy the best chance?
The simplest, quickest and most effective way I have found to do it is to have a vision board. It is an idea that has been around for a very, very long time yet very few of us bother with it. Yet the reason it has survived the test of time is…because it works! It is an important tool in staying motivated- reminding you of why you are aiming for your big shiny goal.
Find pictures, sayings, items, material, anything really that you can pin to a board that captures the elements of your Big Shiny Goal. It can literally be anything, but it has to be a facet or part of your ultimate target.
Pin these to a board and then hang this board in a prominent place where you must look at it every morning. Then, every morning, walk up to it, stare at it, take in each item in turn and concentrate on what that will feel like to you – then state to yourself that you are already there and have all those things. It doesn’t matter that you don’t – this easy action will encourage your motivation and help to strengthen it as you carry that image and feeling around for the rest of the day. If you ever feel your motivation wavering, then go back and concentrate on your board again.
I have used vision boards ever since my recovery. They change over time but mainly because I’ve achieved what was on them and am ready to move on to the next stage of my life. And in case you don’t believe me – here’s my current board that hangs within eyeshot of my desk:
You can stay motivated, but it has to be something you aim to do, each and every day on your journey towards your big shiny goal.
NB: if you haven’t read the first part of this Success Compass series- go HERE