We live in a world ruled largely by self-motivation. Whether you hold an office job, are the head of a company, work remotely or as a freelancer, etc., your success is highly dependent upon your ability to work hard and independently.
To do well professionally, you must be guided by intrinsic motivation and have an inner drive to get things done. For some of us, this comes easy, and for others, this is a challenge as social media, projects, entertainment, (the list goes on!) can prove to be distractions from our goals.
From my experience building blogs, working as a full-time writer, and now full-time freelancing, self-motivation, for me, is key. Here is a list of strategies I’ve implemented to help keep myself focused and on-track, regardless of what tries to get in the way.
1. Create and organize your goals.
Creating meaningful goals is probably the first and best step to staying motivated and having success in your profession. Instead of a hypothetical, a ‘maybe’ or an ‘idea,’ set a tangible, measurable goal(s) that you can look forward to, and take steps to completing every single day. Not only will this give you a push, but will keep you from becoming stagnant.
In addition to creating your goal(s), find ways to organize them. Put them in order from what’s the most present and pressing, to what can wait. Create a timeline of what small steps you need to take in order to reach the bigger steps. Write your goals in a planner (like this one, that makes goal-setting a breeze) and can help you see and prioritize the goal(s) every single day.
It’s not enough to simply create the goals, you have to organize them in a way that brings them focus and attention.
2. Be committed to your personal development.
An important point to remember with self-motivation is that every time you push yourself, you are improving yourself. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we forget the importance of this as we strive to meet deadlines and get through the rush of our typical work week. Whether you’re feeling frustrated, or just need to give yourself an extra boost, remember that keeping yourself on-track is all about committing to yourself. It’s all about going the extra mile for you to improve and grow yourself in the direction of positivity and success.
Working hard should not feel like a punishment; rather a seed you’re sewing to reap an eventual reward – a stronger, better you.
3. Set up the right amount of risk.
You will never get anywhere if you’re staying in one place. In order to be successful and self-motivated, you have to get out of your comfort zone. You have to step into challenges and be inspired by possibility, rather than afraid. You have to take risks to see who you’ll become as you experience them. If you don’t, you’ll forever be in the same place and will lack the drive to better yourself.
4. Actively seek out, and accept opportunities.
Going along with risk, you must be willing to accept opportunities as they come. Being self-motivated is about saying ‘yes’ and allowing new experiences, projects, circumstances, etc. to shape who you will become. When you’re given the chance to grow and build yourself, you’re more inclined to be and stay self-motivated in order to see that opportunity through.
5. Set up a rewards system.
A good go-to strategy for self-motivation is using a rewards system; however, make sure that you’re not just rewarding yourself extrinsically, or tangibly, but also focusing on the intrinsic (inner) aspect, too. For example, tell yourself that if you see a project through, you’ll take more time for leisure work or your side hustle (extrinsic). Or build up a sense of accomplishment and confidence that you’ll gain in finishing something (intrinsic). Using these rewards will unconsciously motivate and push you towards your goals.
6. Reach out for feedback.
A huge part of being self-motivated is remembering that this isn’t all on your shoulders. Yes, you’ll be the one in the driver’s seat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lean on others for support. Reach out to the people around you, to mentors, colleagues, bosses, other entrepreneurs, etc. Use people as a resource in terms of getting self-motivation ideas, keeping on track, or just having another person to account to as you move forward.
7. Continue in the face of adversity.
Above all, don’t give up. You’re going to have days where it’s easy to get things done and feel accomplished. Other days you’ll drag and feel stuck. This is normal. Combat against anxiety, fear, and doubt, and remind yourself that you’re only human. Every day you continue says a lot about your character, so regardless of the obstacles you face, keep going.
As you step forward, you are already proving to yourself that you can, and are self-motivated.
Featured Image Credit: Bruce Mars