Have you been putting off a certain goal or just feeling “blah” about moving forward with a business idea, workout regimen, or just generally procrastinating at life? Yes, we’ve all been there. Getting motivated to get started can be tough and each day that goes by stuck in a rut is another day that you aren’t going after your dreams. It’s important to understand that there is never a “right time” to start achieving your goals. You can start today. Right now! Just get the momentum going; no matter how small.
As a lifelong entrepreneur and self-starter, I’ve learned a lot about setting goals, achieving them, and most of all being kind to myself in the face of adversity. Nothing has been handed to me in life. There was no trust fund, college savings, or privilege ever provided to me and in retrospect I’m actually grateful for that.
I moved to NYC in mid-2010 with two suitcases (one filled with solely shoes) and I knew one person. Within 48 hours of arriving I had booked an on-camera spokesperson job for a major company. Within 5 months I was writing for a top magazine and 3 months thereafter I was an editor-in-chief, managing nearly 100 writers and editors across the country. By all means this should have been an “impossible” feat. Except it’s not -because I never believed it to be. I’ve never believed in barriers, whether it be educational, socio-economic, racial, religious or otherwise – and neither should you. I’ve only ever believed in the power of tenacity, hard work, breaking through fear and rejecting the status quo.
I come from a hardworking middle class family with parents who taught me the meaning of work ethic. If I had been handed everything in life I would have never developed the gratitude, tenacity, character, and sheer ambition that I now possess. I hope that my story will inspire you to be thankful for the adversity in your life and to believe there are NO barriers to achieving your goals. Everything that has happened in your life has made you who you are. The reality is nothing can stop you from going after what you want except for you. You and you alone control your outcomes. Trust and believe in your ability to create the life you want. My personal goal is to optimize and maximize my life. That can mean something different to everyone. To me, that’s healthy living, having a successful business, writing, awareness, working toward my goals, being kind to myself and others. I create my day to day life to meet those goals. Be deliberate. Think of everyday as a blank canvas in which you paint to your desires.
So let’s get on with it! My goal here is to provide you with techniques I personally use to stay motivated.
Get Up and Get Moving Every Morning
Even if you’re in between jobs or work from home, get up early, shower, do your hair/makeup and get dressed in an outfit you love every morning. Get in the habit of motion. Find a local co-working space or work from the library. Whatever you do, don’t slop around the house all day in your sweatpants -there’s nothing less motivating.
Make Two Sets of Goals
In one column add a set of goals that can be achieved short term -goals that can be completed today or within the next couple days. (i.e start working out, or followup on a job application etc.) In another column create long term goals. (i.e complete my website, launch business by Jan 1. etc.) It’s important to get moving on the short term goals as soon as possible. You’ll find what really causes stress isn’t too much action but lack of action! Trust me, you’ll be much more stressed in life not moving toward your goals rather than setting too many.
Even it’s 20 minutes a day, stay active. You don’t have to be a natural “gym” person, but understand you will feel so much better when you workout. Remember the theme here: motion! “A body in motion stays in motion,” and that applies to not just your physical well-being, but your mental well-being. Make it a priority to stay active.
What you put in your body is so important. The occasional glass or two of wine is fine, but heavy drinking and drug use will stop your efforts in their tracks. Drugs are an obvious dream killer. But let’s be clear here -alcohol, even in small amounts is literally poison too. Yes, even though drinking is a popular past time, you are poisoning your body. Always be aware of that and moderate your intake. People who are hungover all the time are probably not launching and running companies. They’re aging their bodies and brains rapidly. That’s the sad fact. Stay one step ahead of the crowd by living clean -it’s a huge advantage!
Make a calendar of deadlines. This is essential to your progress. Without deadlines you can find yourself swirling around in procrastination. Get used to completing tasks on time. Most of all, if you miss a deadline, don’t be hard on yourself. The important idea here is that you stay on track and progress.
Set Motivational Calendar Reminders
Use your cellphone calendar reminder function to wakeup to motivational quotes every morning. There’s nothing better than getting a burst of positivity first thing in the morning! One of my favorites is by Ralph Marston, “Your attitude is your choice, so you might as well choose the attitude that serves you the very best.”
Turn Adversity into Strength and Opportunity
Everything that has happened in your life makes you the unique, strong person that you are. Adversity embeds tenacity and character in you that can not be taught in any classroom. Never use the bad things that have happened in your life as a reason you can’t have everything you want. It’s simply not true. Steve Jobs was an orphan. Oprah was terribly abused and poor. There are no barriers to achieving your goals -except your own mind.
Reduce/Eliminate Time Spent with Pessimists/Add Optimists
Sometimes there are people in our lives we have to step away from. They may be a friend, family member, romantic partner, co-worker etc. When we are trying to make positive changes in our lives, some people may not understand. Worse, they may be threatened. The saying, “Misery loves company” holds a lot of weight for a reason. Sometimes reaching for more and improving ourselves can make people feel worse about their own lives. Please be aware of this when a pessimist tries to drag you down. They may criticize your business idea, try to get you drunk or call you “boring” or “selfish,” anything to keep you from progressing. If you have someone unhealthy in your life who is impeding you, you may need to step away. It doesn’t necessarily have to be permanent, but it is important to surround yourself with people who lift you up, not drag you down. Next, add optimists! You know those people who just feel amazing to be around? Find those people! Go to Meetup.com and search for support groups or check out a local motivational or yoga group. Whatever you do, get away from the Negative Neds and Nancys!
Take One Day At a Time
It’s easy to clutter our minds with all sorts of worries about the future. While planning is necessary for some things, overloading your brain with what you can’t control today will hamper your ability to get things done. You have to trust that things will happen exactly when they’re supposed to. Stay confident in your abilities. Love and respect yourself and enjoy the journey one day at a time!
Stubborn. Hellbent. Unrelenting. Whatever you want to call it, stand strong. Whenever adversity knocks on my door, I simply tell myself, “Nothing takes me down. No problem. No relationship. No setback. I move forward. I win. Always.” Be an unstoppable beast! Feel free to add that to your cellphone reminders.
Lastly, remember and repeat frequently: “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” – Tony Robbins
I hope this guide has inspired you to go after everything you want in life with confidence and courage! xoxo