Motivation, motivation, motivation!

Motivation, where fore art thou?

Motivation is a fickle beast and like the movement of the tides it can wither and wane with alarming speed. Without the careful nurturing much akin to the gentle caress of an attentive mother, motivation can become a fleeting memory leaving you bereft of drive and fervour.

So what I can do about this I hear you cry? What secrets can you bestow to help me lift above the squalid fortifications that are the post New Year bed and pillow?

Well …. come a little closer and I’ll begin.

Know your goals!

To know your goal is to understand it, to love it and eventually live it. It is not good enough to merely set goals and I’ll bet that most of us; even the least motivated have set a goal or two. The key (and here is the difficult bit) is to really understand your goal and to visualise it in all its glory. What does success look like? How will it make you feel when you achieve it?

One of the secrets of the ultra-successful, whether they are athletes or entrepreneurs is to visualise their success and the level of performance that it will take to get them there. This can lead to a change in mind-set and belief enabling you to remain motivated and driven.

Work out who can help?

Every great individual stands on the shoulders of others and there is no reason why you should be any different. The people that surround us have a crucial part to play in keeping our spirits lifted. Knowing that you are not alone and that you have the support of others can be a vital step in remaining motivated.

Make a list of the people that can help you towards your goal. Whether they have experience of the role that you want to excel in, have a skill that you need to improve on or just have a positive demeanour that can give your motivation a boost, make sure you remember to ask for their help if you need it.

Reward yourself along the way

The road to success can be a long and arduous journey with many a set-back along the way. Without littering the road with the odd reward it can feel like thankless task and before long your motivation will be gone with the wind.

Break your goal down and set markers where you can reward yourself for the hard work that you have done. For example if you have a dissertation to write you could reward yourself after the initial research has been done, Once you have written your abstract or once you’ve written your first draft. Similarly, if your goal is to change career or get into a new job, you could reward yourself once you have completed a particular training course or applied for a certain number of jobs. Whatever it is, that sweet reward can help you to keep your motivation levels topped up, ensuring that you don’t give up at the smallest hurdle!

What do you do to help you stay motivated? Share your tactics below!

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About Leo Woodhead

Leo Woodhead is an experienced careers adviser with a passion for empowering clients to manage their own careers. Since graduating with a degree in sociology, he has put his analytical skills to use trying to understand the changing face of the labour market. When he’s not writing or climbing mountains, he can be found spreading resources and engaging in lively debate on Twitter @thecareersblog

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