This is the time of the year when we’re all making goals and doing research on how to make them happen. Some of us are desiring to climb up the corporate ladder. My husband made goals to post more on social media. Others are working on health journeys while the rest of us are starting new businesses. Well…. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but most of us won’t get that check of completion at end of the year. Not because we don’t know how to get there, but because we never start. We spend so much time acquiring knowledge so that we’re prepared for that special “Aha” moment that we think will give us drive, but it never comes.
The only way to get to day 365 is to get through day 1. Let me break it to you sis, it does not matter how many motivational videos, sermons, or podcasts you listen to (don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for motivational stuff). If you get excited about something but don’t put any action behind it, all you’re doing is getting a fuzzy feeling down your spine.
Motivation is a SCAM. Let me say it again, it is a SCAM. The more you rely on it the more useless it becomes. You don’t need motivation to meet your goals, you just need to meet your goals. Motivation is a tool, but it’s not the reason why anyone is making stuff happen. They’re getting up and doing it. This realization was my biggest takeaway of 2020.
All the things that I wanted to do were not going to get done unless I did them. I know it sounds simple…because it is. Motivation overload makes it so easy to believe that all you need to do is to keep yourself motivated to accomplish your goals (I have to remind myself that’s a trap as I scroll through IG everyday!). What is necessary more than anything is productivity. Once you take the first step to start— the key is consistency, that’s what drives productivity.
So what happens when we don’t “feel” like doing something? Push through and do it.
What happens when we’re not inspired? Push through and do it.
If you’re terrified, more of a reason to do it.
“Big change is made with little wins over a long period of time.”Alina Puente Oby
Here are some things I do to help me stay consistent and maximize productivity even when I’m not motivated:
1. Make Realistic Goals
If you think you can do 10 things—start with 2 and master those first. Then move on to the next two. Rinse and repeat until you’ve mastered it all. You CAN do everything (don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t), just not all at once. When you set an unrealistic goal, nothing gets done – or worse – you do it at the expense of your mental health. Either way, you’ll leave yourself burnt out, frustrated, or discouraged. If your goal is surrounding a brand/business there’s a good chance it could do more damage than good. Big change is made with little wins over a long period of time.
2. Make Lists
I am the list queen. In between being a mom, wife, business owner and pastor; lists keep me sane. You’ll find a writing pad on the side of my fridge where I write down ingredients I need to get on my next grocery run. I also have sticky notes ALL over my desk to remind me of important tasks every single day. People always say I’m good at remembering things. The truth is, I don’t have a special memory… I just write stuff down. Don’t forget we are in the age of technology so if you’re not a paper person then you can do all of this on your phone!
3. Create an Environment That is Conducive For Work
Get rid of the things that could distract you (your phone, noise, social media). If you need to light a candle, do it. If you’re like me and can’t work when your house is dirty, clean your house ahead of time. If you need to drink some tea, do it. If you need some music, press play. Do whatever you need to do so that your environment allows you to work. Something that has been super helpful for me is having my husband take my son for half the day so I could get work done.
4. Get a Planner
I have been using a planner religiously since I was in middle school and I can say that it has saved my butt. Allow it to help you. I personally use a bullet journal because I like to draw my own pages based on what I need each week, but all you need is to find a planner that works for you.
5. Put the Planner to Use
Take some time at the beginning of each week or month to write what you need to get done. Sometimes I even write down my tasks for the next day right before I finish my workday or before I go to bed.
6. Organize Your Life with the Asana App
The Asana app is recommended for teams and businesses, but I think it’s incredible for anyone trying to get their life a bit more organized. (There’s a paid version, but the free one will do just fine! It can be used on your desktop or phone). I use Asana along with my physical planner to help me break down tasks in detail and set deadlines for myself. Which brings me to the last tip…
7. Set Realistic Deadlines & Make them Happen
This is the most important step. Setting a deadline and keeping yourself accountable is the best way to get to day 365. See how many tasks you can cross off your list & reward yourself for completing them later. There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing something off a list.
Let’s stop relying on motivation to keep us from going after our dreams and goals. Go after them, especially if it terrifies you.
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What are some of the goals and dreams you’re going to go for this year? Comment below, let’s keep each other accountable!