Staying motivated can be tough – especially over a long period of time. So how do you do it? What’s the secret sauce that will keep your motivation strong so that you can accomplish your goals, or break a bad habit, or do that job that you’ve been called to do?
It began when I lost something…
If you’ve been with me for some time, you may know that I’m a singer. And I LOVE to sing. In fact, I’ll never retire from singing. EVER.
But for some time (years in fact), I let singing take a back seat in my life.
Now you might say that it was because my kids came along and they kept me busy – which they did (and still do!).
But that wasn’t the reason.
I’ve always continued to gig even after just having a baby. I’d be back on stage 3 weeks after coming out of the hospital (yes I love singing THAT much!!).
But I realise that the reason singing took a back seat for years in my life was because I had lost my ‘why’.
I’d lost the connection of why I was singing. And it just became something I did.
I even got to a point in 2016 where I wanted to stop singing altogether.
I didn’t know why I was singing anymore. I wasn’t performing with my husband much as he became really busy on two separate tours. And without him on stage, I lost the desire to sing. I mean, he was the reason I started singing in the first place (but that’s a story for another time!).
But then one night I did a gig with my husband again and all the pieces fell into place:
I found my ‘why’!
Not only did the music sound so much better with my husband accompanying me (because he’s that dang good!). But I re-connected with the reason why I wanted AND loved to sing – it made me feel alive, it brought joy to others and I was creating Art.
For years I had let the job of singing become just that – a job. I lost touch with why I loved it and why I was doing it. And from there, everything started to look grey, dull and uninteresting.
Find your why
If you ever find that you’re starting to go through the motions – even with something you love – reconnect with your ‘why’. Identify your motivation for doing that thing, achieving that goal or creating that habit.
Connecting with your ‘why’ will help you persevere through difficult and trying times. It will give you the sticking power to hold fast because you’re deeply rooted in a powerful motivation that will keep you steady even through the storms of life.
Don’t underestimate this powerful tool! It’s what holds the faith of a martyr so firmly. It keeps soldiers standing firm in the face of imminent danger. And it will give you that inner strength, resistance and power to push forward in all circumstances.
Now, you don’t just need a ‘why’ when it comes to big dream goals – although that goes without saying. You can try to identify your ‘why’ for cleaning the house, or keeping your accounts in order. Anything where you struggle with staying motivated to do a task.
How does it help you with staying motivated?
First off, connecting with your ‘why’ helps you to focus on what is rewarding from the task or goal you’re setting out to achieve. Keeping your accounts in order has the reward of helping you gain more control of your finances so that you can put money aside for that trip to Italy or helping you to stay on top of your debt payments so that you can become debt free. In truth, we’re all just kids of different ages. And so, we all respond well to rewards. Identifying your ‘why’ puts the limelight on a rewarding aspect of your goal or task.
Secondly, it can shed light on what’s at stake. Perhaps a promotion at work is on the table with considerable benefits, but you need to pass the next exam in order to make the cut. That’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss! If we stand to lose something that is important to us, we’ll fight harder to keep it. We’ll keep going through painful or difficult times because we’re acutely aware of what’s on the line.
Don’t lose your why! I want you to press on and fight for your goals and your dreams. Envision how your life will be different when you’ve achieved that big goal and what’s at stake if you just let it fall by the wayside. The secret to staying motivated is deep inside you – it’s your ‘why’ – find it!