How to Keep Yourself Inspired and Motivated

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Staying consistently motivated might seem like an impossible task. Whether you love or hate your job, some days you may just want to stay in bed all day.  It's easy to feel stuck and go through the day with the same routine, and the excitement you once had is gone.

When you read through the list of your New Year's resolutions, you will most likely find one that you consider most important. It might also be the most difficult to achieve on your list. It is not easy to keep yourself motivated through it, and oftentimes people stagger or even quit in the middle. More often than not, however, the hardest to upkeep is usually the most valuable one. 

There are only a few steps to remember in keeping yourself motivated. Though it requires great dedication, it will be worthwhile to achieve something that is most valuable to you. 

1. The Why

Many people think about what goals matter to them and how to achieve them, but the most important question is the why. Why is this important to you? Your answer to that question should give you the strength to stay on course and a clear purpose to achieve that goal. 

2. Plan Your Goals

Simply "doing your best" with that one goal in mind may seem too difficult to achieve. Planning smaller steps toward that long-term goal will make that seemingly unobtainable possible. Make sure the steps are realistic. Making realistic short-term goals have several benefits. Here are two examples where creating shorter goals may help you.

a. The shorter "middle slump". It's easy to fall static when changing something difficult. Studies show that people start something new with excitement but are often short-lived. They hit that "middle slump" and stagger through, sometimes never seeing through to the end. However, when people near the end of something, they feel that initial perseverance they once had in the beginning, and perform well again. To prevent this middle ground from being the end, set shorter steps so that the times you feel stagnant can be shorter, thus moving things along to keep going. 

b. Shorter goals mean faster outcomes. Smaller and more frequent goals generate more opportunities to feel victorious rather than one painstakingly obtained sense of accomplishment. For instance, a paycheck on a biweekly basis brings you the excitement of a payday twice over compared to the once for a monthly salary. 

3. Tell Someone About It

When you tell someone you trust, such as your family or a close friend, it makes that goal real. They can become your biggest support, encouragement, as well as keep you accountable. In other words, you are creating an environment to prevent yourself from backing down and to push yourself to the finish line. 

4. Get Organized

Having a clean space can help you declutter your mind. Rid of the things that you don't need in your space, whether that is your home, office, or just the general area you spend a lot of time in. Make sure that all the things that are necessary have their proper place, so to not waste time looking for them when you do need them. A calm environment provides space for efficiency and productivity.

5. Keep It Going

Like the thrill of a car race, or a roller coaster ride, the thrill and the excitement you had initially may fizzle out fairly quickly, leaving you discouraged from pursuing that valuable and important goal. If you can find a way to make it fun again, you're already half way there. Make it into a game if you must to start enjoying that process of achieving your goal. A change in perspective could become an accelerant for your success. 

6. Take a Break

There are multiple meanings of taking a break. First, the literal taking rest. Rest your eyes with a nap or your mind by doing something easy and enjoyable. Taking a break can also mean looking back to assess you've accomplished so far. You've come such a long way, tired and weary of this journey, you need to give yourself a little time to pause and some breathing space. Another way to take a break is to keep that last accomplishment leveled. Keep it the same so you have some time to get accustomed to the hard-earned change you've created for yourself. The key is not to make it temporary, but to make it last. 

As important as taking a break is, knowing when to start running toward that goal is just as important. Just as you get too comfortable, you might lose sight of your ultimate goal and slip back to the time before you started on this journey.

The order of the process is interchangeable to however it fits to your time, to your own steps, to guide yourself into success. Also, don't punish yourself for failure, as even Thomas Edison didn't successfully make his light bulb in his first attempt. Something worthwhile usually needs trial and error. If you failed the first time, that's okay. Don't be discouraged. Start again. Every step, every attempt is a learning curve, and you might just do it better and get there faster the next time.