The Simple Secret To Staying Motivated
Like, really hard.
And when those hard times come, we have two choices — we can either throw in the towel and give up, or we can push through and find the motivation to go further.
When things are tough, it can be tempting to quit! I totally get it (and I’ve definitely been there myself a time or two!). But one difference I see in the people who stick it out (and build super successful blogs as a result) is that they don’t expect it to be easy.
The people who tend to persevere are the ones who have have big goals, and who also know that the kind of business they want to build is worth fighting for — so they make the decision to fight for it, even when they’re faced with challenges that seem big, scary, and insurmountable. They know that the challenges are where the growth happens, so they welcome it with open arms. They also refuse to quit!
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Another thing those successful bloggers and online business owners have in common, the ones who find their motivation to go further and push through the hard stuff, is that they look at what other people are doing as inspiration, not comparison. They see other people in their space who are super successful and think, “Well, if they can do it, I can do it too!” instead of “Well, they’ve already done it, so I guess it’s pointless for me to keep trying.” They know there’s plenty of success to go around, so when they see someone else with the success they want, they use it as motivation to keep pushing — even (or especially) if things are super tough for them at the moment.
Obviously, we all want to be the kind of person who pushes through when the going gets tough and emerges on the other side better, happier, and more successful than before. But how, exactly, do we do that? How do we find our motivation to go further when things are really, really hard?
DIG DEEPER TO FIND YOUR WHY
The key to finding the motivation to keep going with our blogs in those moments when things feel so hard we want to crawl under the covers and hide for a solid year? It’s finding our why.
We all have a reason we started blogging and we all have a reason we want to build a business and be successful. But understanding the why behind what we’re doing can give us the extra boost of motivation we need to keep moving forward when we want to give up.
For many of us, this means doing a little digging and going deeper to find our true motivation — not just the first thing that pops in our heads.
For example, maybe we say, “I want to make more money.”
“Because I want to travel.”
“Because I want to see Paris.”
“Because it’s been my dream since I was 10 years old, and if I make it to Paris, I’ll finally fulfill that dream.”
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Ah, there it is! Our motivation in this scenario isn’t “I want to make more money,” like we originally thought. It’s “I want to fulfill my childhood dream and prove to myself that I can make any dream into a reality.”
Now THAT’S the kind of motivation that will keep us going when times get tough!
When we first start to define our why, we might find that our why is shallow. And when that happens, it’s time to dig a little deeper and find what really drives us — because it’s that deeper motivation that will help set us up on the right path — and keep us moving forward when that path gets tricky to navigate.
EMBRACE THE FACT THAT HARD TIMES ARE COMING (And Make a Plan to Deal With Them)
The next step to finding the motivation to move forward when times get tough is acknowledging and accepting the fact that times are, in fact, going to get tough.
No matter who we are and how hard we work, we will run into hard times on our blogging journeys. There will be rough days, rough weeks, rough months, … even rough years! It’s just par for the course.
So the goal isn’t to avoid the hard times altogether — that’s impossible. The goal is to embrace the fact that those hard times are coming — and get a plan in place so we know how to deal with them when they do.
In other words, how will we handle it when things completely and totally suck?
In our business, when things get tough and we have a goal that feels completely out of reach, we use the CRUSH IT method:
C: CLAIM YOUR TARGET
This is where you determine your big picture goal and what you’re aiming for. This is the big dream, even if you aren’t quite sure how you are going to get there.
R: REFINE YOUR OBJECTIVE
This is where you refine that target and get specific–where you really hone in on what you are trying to accomplish next, and what that actually looks like.
U: UNDERSTAND YOUR MOTIVATION
This is where you identify your WHY, which is essential! Why does this goal matter to you? What is going to make it worth going, even when things get hard?
S: STEP IT OUT
This is where you create an action plan that details exactly how you’re going to hit that goal, and what things will need to happen to make that goal a reality.
H: HANDLE OBSTACLES
Obstacles are inevitable — no matter how much we plan. This is where you anticipate the roadblocks and sticking points you might face on the way to hitting your goal — and develop plans on how to handle them.
I: IMPLEMENT YOUR PLAN
A goal without action is just a wish. This is where the rubber meets the road, and where you put your plan into action, the part where you actually block out time in your schedule, and then DO THE WORK.
T: TREAT YOURSELF
Once you hit your goal, it’s time to celebrate your win! This is a step so many people skip, but if you really want to stay motivated and keep moving forward, it’s super important to celebrate when you hit your goals — no matter how big or small!
Having a concrete method for setting and following through on our goals has made it SO much easier for my team and me to move forward. Now, when we come across something in our business that feels really challenging, we just say, “Okay then… Guess it’s time to CRUSH IT!”
There’s no way to avoid challenges, obstacles, and tough times. Like the saying goes, “The only way over is through.” If we want to get to the other side and find the success we’re looking for, we have to go through the obstacles. But knowing those obstacles are coming — and having a plan for how we’re going to handle them — makes the entire process a whole lot easier.
MOTIVATION IS A CHOICE- AND YOU HAVE TO MAKE EVERY SINGLE DAY
Now that we know the key to finding the motivation to go further is a) defining our why, and b) knowing that tough times are coming and having a plan of action to deal with them, let’s talk about putting that motivation into action.
Unfortunately, finding motivation isn’t something we do once. It’s something we have to do every day. Every morning when we wake up, we need to remind ourselves of our why and use that to propel us through any obstacles, challenges, or curve balls life decides to throw our way — and then the next day, we need to wake up and do it all over again.
This year, I have a lot of business goals, but my big personal goal was to be in the best shape of my life by my 40th birthday. And I tackled this goal just like I would tackle a goal in my business.
First, I defined my why. Why do I want to be in the best shape of my life? Because I want to continue to have the energy and vitality I need to support myself, my family, and my business for years to come! Once I knew my why, it was time to get a plan in place. I filled out the CRUSH IT formula, and put operation “Get Ruth in Tip-Top Shape” is in full swing. I hired a trainer to kick my butt three times a week, and began ordering healthy meals from a service called BistroMD. I also started training to run a 10K, which running every other day.
And I’ll be honest — it has sucked. I hate dieting. Every time I work out with my trainer, I literally want to die. More than once, she’s worked me until I’ve puked. Finding the time to run every other day was a real challenge, but an even bigger obstacle came up when I was diagnosed with a stress fracture and was forced to stop running for six weeks (and to cancel my 10K.)
There have definitely been many times when I want to say, “You know what? Forget it.”
But so far, I haven’t. Even with a stress fracture, I’ve kept working out, and kept eating right, even if it takes me a little longer than I had originally anticipated. My motivation to be healthy and get in the best shape of my life is stronger than my desire to quit. Every day when I wake up, I accept that things will be hard, but I make the commitment to myself to keep moving forward anyway. And even though it kind of sucks right now, I know it’ll be worth it when I reach my goal.
Just because we find our motivation doesn’t mean things will always be easy or fun. If we want to hit our goals (in business or in life), we need to wake up every morning and make the choice to keep moving forward — even (and especially) when things are hard.
FINAL TIPS FOR FINDING YOUR MOTIVATION TO GO FURTHER
The key to moving through tough times is finding our motivation and using that motivation to propel us forward. Keep that motivation front of mind every single day. Reread your goals and remind yourself of why they mean so much to you. Share your goals with others and ask them to help keep you accountable. When you feel yourself wavering, dig deeper on your why and find the real driving force behind who you are and what you do.
We all have to deal with hard times, obstacles, and challenges in our businesses. But all of us (and I mean ALL of us) can keep moving forward — as long as we find the right motivation.