Staying Motivated When Everything in You Wants to Quit

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How do you stay motivated when everything in you is telling you to quit? It's a real problem and I think most people have faced it at one time or another. If you don't have a really good reason for pushing yourself outside your comfort zone it's easy to quit.

This last year has been a very successful one as far as my business is concerned but it's not been without its trials. I've been doing a lot of things that were new to me and it has definitely been a time of getting outside my comfort zone.

But that's what a comfort zone is – it's comfortable. It's familiar and it's easy to stay there. If you want to break out of the box and do things that you've only dreamed about doing you've got to leave the comfort zone and make yourself go places that you, thus far, haven't been willing to go.

Sometimes the sense of adventure of doing new things will be enough to sustain you, but in my experience it's only temporary. Living up to the daily commitment that's required to reach new horizons is tough. Really tough. 

Staying motivated isn't easy when the work gets hard. You have to have good reasons for keeping on the same path toward your goal or else you will question why you're even doing it to begin with.

So where do those reasons come from? You've got to look outside yourself and remind yourself of what's most valuable and why you're doing the things you're doing.

Visualize Outcomes

Create a vision for each of your goals. This is the biggest thing for me. Getting outside your comfort zone isn't easy, but when you have a good reason and you've attached a mental image persevering through tough times is not quite as bad. 

You've probably heard before how pro athletes visualize making the shot on the golf course, or running the perfect route, or throwing the perfect strike. Do the same thing with your goals. Envision what they look like in their completed form.

Get yourself fired up

In addition to visualizing the outcome getting yourself psyched to achieve your goals with powerful emotions helps too. If you're psyched about what you're trying to achieve you'll be better prepared to persevere.

Attaching emotion is a huge deal. This is something I do all the time when I think about our financial goals. What will it really feel like to be completely debt-free? I'm sure it will be a lot of different things, but I have no doubt that it will feel awesome.

Gather reminders

I've got a goal list where I've got pictures of different things I want to see happen in my life. One great example is for our dream house. I've got all kinds of pictures of this house inside and out and getting fired up and motivated about getting things done is always easier after I've gone through these pictures.

Finding cues to remind you why you're doing what you're doing is crucial.

Evernote & Wunderlist for tracking goals

I've actually got a couple different notes in Evernote that contain my goals. They're broken down quarterly, yearly and beyond. I've got a running task list for my quarterly goals that I keep in front of me all the time in Wunderlist and try to do something to move toward these goals every day.

There is nothing magical about goals but you have to know what they are. Visualizing them, getting fired up about them, gathering reminders and keeping track of them by measuring progress will help you. Goals are where your dreams meet reality. You have to stay motivated and keep working hard.

image by the Library of Congress