Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Many people around the world did. They vowed to lose weight, exercise more frequently, be more charitable, curse less, eat a healthier diet, reunite with family and friends, work harder, pay more attention to their children, develop better work/life balance, etc., etc., etc. If you made a New Year’s Resolution, have you lived- up to it so far in 2011? Most people “break” their resolutions within the first week of the New Year. Why is that? Could it be because we lack motivation?
Most of us lose interest and motivation to meet our goals within a very short time. We seem to forget that motivation requires a balance of communication, structure and incentives. People use motivation to get results and when we lose that motivation we tend to not reach our goals.
Why do we lose motivation? First we tend to lack the confidence that we can do something. We say to ourselves, I don’t believe that I can succeed, so what is the point in trying? Secondly, we lack focus. If we don’t know what we want, do we really want anything? And lastly, we lack direction. If we don’t know what to do, how can we be motivated to do it?
So why do we lack confidence? Often times, we focus too much on what we want and we neglect what we already have, which creates negative thoughts. We concentrate on our past failures, bad breaks and personal weaknesses, which dominate our minds. We make excuses for why we can’t succeed. And, when we tend to make a bad impression, we assume the worst and lose self confidence.
To boost that self confidence, we need to try and focus on gratitude and everything that is positive in our life. We should make a mental list of our strengths, past successes and current advantages and repeat things that we already know to improve our mindset. Lastly, we should bring success to our lives by genuinely creating value for the rest of the world. Remember to pay it forward!
We lack focus because we tend to focus on what we don’t want, rather than concentrate on a goal. We think in terms of fear (I’m afraid of not being successful, afraid that no one will respect me, etc.), and that fear feeds on itself and drains motivation.
To develop tangible focus, focus on a well defined goal. You will automatically define a set of actions. Move from an intangible desire to concrete, measurable steps. Devise a plan for success, because when you know what you want you are motivated to take action.
A lack of direction kills motivation because without a next action we succumb to procrastination.
So, identify activities that lead to success. Make a list of your activities and arrange them based on results. Make an action plan that focuses on the activities that lead to big returns. Keeping track of your most important tasks will direct your energy towards success. Keep a constant reminder so as not to waste time on useless activities. Create a plan that includes two positive actions: 1.) small tasks which help to create positive momentum and 2.) your long-term goal.
So remember that in order to meet your goals, whether it is a New Year’s resolution or something different, you need to have short-term motivation and a long-term vision. Focus your acquisition of knowledge to help you organize your time and your resources so that you can make the most of your life. Setting sharp and defined goals allows you to measure and take pride in the achievement of them. Reward yourself when appropriate and see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long and pointless grind. Raise your self-confidence and level of motivation as you recognize your ability and competence in achieving the goals you have set. And, remember to pay it forward. Best of luck with giving your motivation a boost and achieving your goals in 2011!
Written By: Kristen Shingleton, M.B.A., CCP
President, New Focus HR LLC