It’s remarkably easy to get distracted these days. You can spend hours scrolling through Facebook posts, watching the latest viral video, or binging Netflix shows. With so much content competing for our attention it’s hard to stay focused. It’s even tougher when we’ve lost that new year motivation. What’s so bad about reading a few posts on Facebook, or watching a video, and watching just one more episode? Well, when you finally look up from your glowing computer screen you’ll realize it’s 2 AM, and you’ve accomplished nothing. As DJ Khaled would say, “Congratulations, you played yourself.”
We all have 24 hours to do something great. There’s nothing wrong with taking an occasional small break, but when that break becomes a lifestyle you’ve crossed the line into mediocrity. You can wave goodbye to all your goals! Sometimes, we get this way when the work seems daunting. Other times we shy away because we’ve worked so hard already and haven’t seen results. Then, there are the moments when we can’t even remember why we started working.
Motivation is the key to accomplishing anything. It’s what gets you up in the morning and keeps you going. So, how do you stay motivated and focused on your goals in a world full of distractions? I thought you’d never ask. Here are 4 tips to help you stay motivated.
1) Draft a brag letter
This isn’t my personal idea, rather I came across it from the YouTuber Thomas Frank. Simply put, create a letter to yourself outlining your greatest achievements. Be sure to list accomplishments that mean something to you. Maybe you used to be deathly afraid of public speaking but now you’re a local stand-up comedian. Perhaps you used to be terrible at starting conversations, but now you’re a sensational pick-up artist. If it’s a meaningful accomplishment put it in the letter!
Make sure that this letter is easily accessible to you. Then, whenever you’re doubting yourself go back to this letter. Read about all the things you were once so afraid of, then realize you can conquer anything with your willpower!
2) Break it down.
No, I’m not telling you to start break dancing in the middle of a club…unless that helps you. This is about managing colossal, Godzilla-sized goals. Let’s say you’re aiming to save up $10,000 by the end of the year for a vacation. That’s a lot of money when you’re paying your mortgage, student loans, utility bills, and everything else.
It’s such a large chunk of money that it’s easy to get discouraged. So, break it down into a more manageable figure. Instead of $10,000 by the end of the year, why not $200/week? That’s a little bit more manageable. The number isn’t so monstrous that it crushes your hopes. The key to successfully attaining your goal is by constructing small, every day steps that will lead you to it.
3) Make it part of your routine
Once you’ve broken your goal into smaller pieces, incorporate each piece into your daily routine. This way you make progress every day. When it becomes a habit you’ve basically automated your process. One step every day accumulates quickly.
4) Remind yourself why you’ve taken on the task
Remember why you decided to work towards your goal. Imagine you’ve decided to lose 20 lbs. After a few weeks of heavy lifting, fat blasting cardio, and consuming raw vegetables you’re disappointed at “only” losing 8 lbs. Before you start crying and devouring a gallon of ice cream with a side of cake, ask yourself what made you want to lose weight. Maybe it’s because your son wanted to throw the football with you, and you were winded just from the idea! It could be that your spouse poked your belly fat and called you flabby.
There was one point in your life in which you thought the goal was worth working towards, do not allow yourself to forget it. Take some time, write the reasons down, and read them whenever your mind gets foggy.
Crushing your goals is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time and be deliberate in your actions. Of course, there are millions of distractions out there. Don’t allow the magnitude of your goal to bully you into helplessness. Whip out your brag letter and remind yourself that you’ve done spectacular things in the past, and you’ll continue to do spectacular things. If the feat is too big to knock out in a few days construct basic steps that will guide you in the right direction. After you’ve done that, be certain to take a little action each day—building a daily habit of progress. Finally, remind yourself why you started in the first place. Don’t quit at the half-way point, go the distance!