How To Stay Motivated And Keep Your Goals

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Lately I’ve been going through a slump. Like I haven’t been falling behind and I haven’t been getting ahead. I used to be so motivated in college, I even graduated a year early. I graduated college in three years with top grades. It seemed like everything was going to pan out and for the most part everything did. But after college I’ve kind of been worn out.

Life gets to you after a while; with jobs and relationships that fall apart. And even though it’s not where you imagined you’d be, you finally settle someplace comfortable.

Sometimes I miss being in college and feeling like the whole world was in front of me. It made me self  motivated and kept me going. Now that my life has settled with kids, a husband and a semi career, I find it harder to keep that positive energy I once had. Yet you hear stories of people pushing themselves to the limits. You see people going to school and graduating valedictorian while raising three kids; climbing Kilimanjaro and  Everest in the same year; running an ultra marathon.  I look at those people and realize I need motivation.  How can I get the motivation to take my life to the next level? How do I maximize my potential so that I’m getting all I can out of life?

Here are my fail proof tips on finding motivation and how to make goals/dreams a reality!

1) Make A Schedule

This seems so obvious but making a schedule and sticking to it is harder than it sounds. Your schedule needs to align what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re a salesperson, you might schedule more time trying to prospect leads vs doing paperwork vs organizing your office.

Your schedule should optimize your time so that the most rewarding tasks get prioritized and the least productive ones aren’t but are still tended to.

I absolutely hate prospecting leads but it’s what will give me the biggest return for my effort, so I make sure that I do that every day, no matter what’s on my plate.

2)Break Up Goals

Nothing is more demoralizing than having what seems like an impossible goal. But unless you are trying to defy the laws of physics, like turning a flower into a rock, no goal is truly impossible. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no.

One way to manage larger than life goals is break them up into smaller goals. Reaching 400 blog posts has been one of my larger goals and sometimes it feels impossible, I’ve only written 73 posts, but my goal has been broken up into smaller “just finish one post at a time” goals. When I’ve focused on how far I am from reaching my 400th post, it’s so discouraging. When I think “I just need to do one more entry or 2 entries a week” it seems more manageable.

3)Be Consistent

This means showing up and putting in the work. Don’t put in part time hours and expect full time pay. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. If only it did.

Stick with things even when it gets hard. I took a 6 month hiatus from this blog, mainly because it was getting daunting and I wanted to pursue something else. And it’s OK to take a step back once in a while to gain perspective but for those wanting to take their lives to the next level, you’ll need to show up each and every day and get things done.

4)Work With The End Goal In Mind

Know why you’re doing it! It’s so easy to get side-tracked and start comparing yourself to other people. Or start worrying about the wrong things. So often people want to do things for themselves but halfway through they start worrying about what other people think.

For me, my job is about earning money for my family, getting benefits, and having stability. I’ve written a few posts on how hard and negative the environment is. I need to keep my motivation at work.  At the end of the day, I need to look past the petty coworkers, the rude bosses, and the unreasonable clients. The end goals is to pay off the loans and gain a bit of savings before I can move on. A lot of people lose sight of their end goal and let the small stuff run them out of their jobs before they can reap the benefits.

5.  Push Through Setbacks

No matter what you do, there will always be setbacks. Two steps forward, one step back.

It’s how you handle the setback that matters. You could be saving for months then have your car breakdown. Then have spent $1500 to repair it and have that feel devastating because it took you so long to save. On one hand, you spent months worth of savings in one shot, on the other hand, you had $1500 cash handy and didn’t have to go into debt to take care of that expense. A person lacking motivation might say, “what’s the use of saving if I can never get ahead?” A person with motivation will just pick themselves up and start the savings again.

When faced with a major obstacle, just remember that it’s expected. In some cases, setbacks can help you grow and find ways to be more efficient or help you learn a lesson to avoid repeating the same stumbling block.

6. Block out the negativity

The most well-meaning people like to give advice and sometimes that advice is unwelcomed negativity. How many times did I had friends or family tell me you can’t do this or that, mainly in regards to my self employment. Or that I need more stability at the expense of my own goals. If you hear that enough you start to believe it.

When dealing with naysayers you’ll have to either avoid them or straight up tell them where they can go. Nothing should be getting in your way when it comes to keeping your motivation. They say birds of a feather flock together, so if your friends and family are telling you that you can’t do something, you’re going to believe that.

I would also recommend keeping positive and motivational posters at your work or on your desktop/phone to keep you in the right mindset.

7. Build a Support Network

And that brings me to my last point, once you’ve removed all the negativity surrounding your goals you’ll need to find a group of people who support you.

If it’s not your friends and family then you’ll have to find people who are trying to accomplish the same thing as you and can help either coach you or give you the moral support you need. I’m a big fan of Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter and general social media to help find other people who share your same interests.

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These may sound like easy things to do but mastering all 7 and being consistent day after day, month after month, and year after year is harder than you think. The key is to take it one day at a time and implement these tips in unison.  This is essential to set up goals for yourself

If you’re able to master this, you can watch your life change and your business flourish because putting in the time and work is all you need.

 

CHECK OUT MY OTHER MOTIVATIONAL POSTS AND SUBSCRIBE!

 

Organize Your Mind: How To Be More Productive With Your Day

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The Power Of Positivity

Motivational Book Club: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Best Motivational Books: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Best Motivational Books 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

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It’s been a while since I’ve written review post on best motivational books, but “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a meaty book with lots of knowledge and information. I initially thought it would be another “how to be successful” type book but surprisingly it wasn’t. It’s more like how to be successful in all aspects of your life.

Stephen Covey is a motivational business man, life coach, relationship coach and a lot of other things. His book focuses not on his own successes but on carefully curated stories about others that tie into 7 Habits.

I will admit, it’s a very meaty book that requires your full attention. It’s highly conceptual so bear with me.

He has 7 habits that will help you take your life from mediocre, without vision and direction, to a life that has purpose, intention and success.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

This is mainly about how to build your character and also how to make choices in your life. It’s pretty solid advice considering most people are living their lives on autopilot. He basically says build your character so you know what you stand for and what your strengths are, then get ahead of yourself and make choices in your life that matter.

Here he tells us to question our paradigms: our assumptions about how the world works.

Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind

This was a bit confusing for me. All the stories and examples he gives can really make you lose focus on the message but I think I got the gist.

Covey suggests to create a personal mission statement and think hard and long about who we are and what we stand for. Through this we’ll be able to act through our principles, that we chose for ourselves, and make sound decisions. This is one of the reasons I consider this one of the best motivational books I’ve ever read. Most people make decisions based on motivations from friends, family, financial, selfish, professions and other influences. Having a set of principles that you carved for yourself and built will allow you to be consistent and make better decisions long-term.

There is also an exercise called “visualization and affirmation” that helps you to really dig into yourself, visualize the behavior in yourself you want to change, then create an affirmation you can use to remind yourself to follow the vision.

Habit 3: Put First things First

Covey makes it clear you must master Habit 1 & 2 before you can get to 3.

It’s mainly about time management. Truly efficient people know how to time manage. He recommends focusing your time on things that are important but not urgent towards your growth/business. This is the area that’s most ignored by pressing but not urgent matters. And this is the area that’s going to result in the biggest impact.

Also learning how to say no is a must. Because we all have the same hours in a day and limited time, saying no to one thing means saying yes to something else.

Covey recommends planning to do lists on a weekly basis. It forces you to prioritize and focus on your long-term vision.

He also touches on the power of delegation. True delegation, giving fundamental instructions but not micromanaging.

Part 4: Public Victory

Covey Starts off talking about dealing with people. Essentially you want to act towards others with integrity and honesty. Because with every moment that you prove your character, it’s more likely to pay off when you really need it.

He reminds you that building relationships take time. Never go for the quick fix, that doesn’t work.

The things that will help you build your relationship:

1. Understanding people

2. Small acts of kindness

3. Keeping Commitments

4. Clarifying Expectations

5. Showing Personal Integrity

Covey discusses the importance of interdependence, the idea that you can be independent but also that you need other people and they need you. A type of Win/win scenario

Habit 5: Seek to Understand, Then Seek to be Understood.

Empathy is an absolute must. You need to put yourself in the shoes of others. Often we want to be understood first, rather than take the effort to understand others.

Empathy is actually a personal strength of mine, so I found this chapter to be very obvious but I definitely would recommend this section for people who struggle with connecting or understanding people. What makes this one of the best motivational books I ever read is that it focuses on growing as an individual. Not necessarily to “do this” or “do that,” but to find who you are and live it.

“If you really seek to understand, without hypocrisy and without guile, there will be times when you will be literally stunned with the pure knowledge and understanding that will flow to you from another human being.”

Then Covey discusses “how” to be understood. You have to explain your point of view though other people’s perceptions. And you can only do that once you understand other people.

What??

“7 Habits of Highly Effective People” actually quite brilliant and efficient. So the empathy portion is vital to being persuasive and getting your point across..

Another way to build open communication is to really invest time in the people in your circle of influence, like your family, friends and coworkers. If you’re nice to them, they’ll be nice to you.

Habit 6: Synergize

This is a shorter chapter but he goes over making using habits 1-5 all together and watching the success that follows.

Covey follows the idea that using all the habits together is more powerful than the sum of each part. Is damn incredible! He says.

Using habits 1-5 require you to be courageous, authentic, and true. Which can be uncomfortable but growth never came from comfort.

Synergize isn’t about just compromising.  Compromising means that both people get part of what they want but not all.  Synergize is about coming up with solutions that please everyone, so that no one feels like they are getting the short end of the stick.

Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw

Covey starts this chapter about a man sawing down the tree.  The conversation reveals that, he had been going at the tree for 5 hours.  It’s suggested he should take a break and sharpen the saw, a sharper saw will make him more efficient.  The man replies that he doesn’t have enough time!

This chapter is about taking a break sometimes.  We all like to be efficient and productive but not giving ourselves rest is a recipe for disaster.

But specifically we need to rest so we can achieve a balanced life in the areas of spiritual, mental, social, and physical activities.

“7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is quite a hefty book, though I’m glad I read it.  It kind of confirmed a lot of things I thought about life and made it easy to understand why character and integrity, though not obviously important, are essential for any successful person.

This book is one of the best motivational books out there and is a must read for those who are still figuring their way out of life.  It kind of puts things into perspective and allows you to dig deep inside of yourself to find the answers that will change YOUR life.

If you’ve read this book, feel free to tell me more about what you think!

If you like my review of “Best Motivational Books: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” check out my other motivational book posts here:

“The Defining Decade: Why Your 20s Matter” By Meg Jay ~Book Review

Way of The Wolf By Jordan Belfort ~Full Book Review

Review: “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey

“The Defining Decade: Why Your 20s Matter” By Meg Jay ~Book Review

Defining Decade Meg Jay
Defining Decade Meg Jay

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“The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay is the best book for young grads about how to get ready for real life.  It’s the perfect self help book for those coming of age.  I gave this book to my younger sister after she graduated college. She was so fresh faced and optimistic and I kinda wanted her to experience adulthood without all the bumps and headaches I had to learn from. My older sister had read it, she was trying to understand the mistakes she had made in her 20s and why she was so unhappy in her early 30s and recommended this book as well.

I would say don’t judge a book by its cover, it kind of has a bland and doctorish look to it but I found The Defining Decade to be a refreshing bit of truth in a world that says that your 20s are just an extension of adolescence.  But we all have to grow up and some grow up later than others.  Using your 20’s as a leaping post to get a head start on life could be the best decision you ever make.

I really liked how the author is a clinical psychologist and uses her client’s stories to highlight some of the hard choices and pitfalls a lot of 20 year olds go through. I mean in her work section, she’s very candid on how your 20s are a period to grow career wise. Not to put too much pressure, but the earnings you make between 20-30 can grow exponentially. I’ve seen it in myself. The first year in real estate, I made -$6,000. Now I’m making nearly $90K, five years later.  Meg doesn’t take bullshit about how you need to find yourself in your 20s.  She basically says that by the time you’re a young adult, you have two decades of experience under your belt. Maybe you don’t know exactly what best suits you as a career but you have a general idea of what your strengths are. The key is to use those strengths and put it towards a viable career.

Her discussion on relationships was very real and informative. Meg Jay says it best, that the biggest decision you’ll ever make in life is who you’ll marry. And most people don’t think twice about who they marry! They just fall haphazardly into relationships.

She touched base on cohabitating and how it affects the success of marriage. Cohabitating is not the same as deciding to get married. And the issue is that people start cohabitating and then slide into marriage. You don’t necessarily slide into it with the idea of what it takes to have a successful marriage. The book recommended a few key steps in cohabiting successfully.

I personally loved all the short stories about her clients, though I think she gave us the simplest examples of the type of clients she saw. Her writing was that of a concerned mother who had already experienced life and knew all the pitfalls.  Her story telling was very good but I felt like there was an underlying problem with all the clients she saw:  THEY DIDN’T THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE.  And, well, anybody who doesn’t think of the future and how to accomplish far off goals is going to have problems.

Other parts that caught my interest were the discussions on fertility, friendships and family.

Her discussion on fertility actually reminded me of an old friend who planned on having children EARLY.  She knew that her menstrual cycle was wonky and decided to see a fertility doctor at 20! The doctor told her she had some issues and she needed to start really thinking about having children right away if that’s what she wanted.  It was what she wanted, and she ended up marrying young at 22 and having her first child at 25, but not without struggle and treatment.  A lot of the women that Meg Jay interviewed thought that they could easily have children at 40! They thought they had all the time in the world and felt resentment when they realized their fertility was on a timer..

I’d rate “The Defining Decade” as a thought provoking book.  I think it’s good for people who struggle with decision making and who might be waiting for life to happen to them.  The The Defining Decade reminds you that time waits for no one and that you need to make your life and future happen now!  I don’t think she came up with clear solutions to the issues that her clients brought up but she did bring up some questions that I had to stop and ask for myself.  At times Meg Jay had a kind of judgy tone towards her patients, so I’m not sure if I would be interested in her as my own psychiatrist, but her writing is definitely entertaining.

Let me know your thoughts if you’ve read this book or are interested in other book reviews like this.

Feel free to like, share and subscribe 🙂

Check out my other posts as part of this book club:

Motivational Book Club: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

My Favorite Dating Book: Why Men Love Bitches

Review: “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey