Connect, Lead, Equip: 4 Ways to Stay Motivated for Projects
Do you have ideas you want to implement or projects you want to do, but never seem to get them done? Are you involved in a big social impact or community outreach project that sometimes seems too big to tackle? How hard do you push yourself to follow through? Your answers to these questions reveal something about your self-motivation. Self-motivation is your internal drive to keep moving forward. It presses on in the face of obstacles and opposition. It doesn’t give in to the fear of possible failure or get paralyzed by thinking your efforts may not be good enough. Below are some ideas for maintaining motivation.
4 Ways to Stay Motivated:
1) Be confident –
Don’t be prideful or arrogant, but be realistic about the abilities God has given you. It’s not humble to sell yourself short or put yourself down. Rather, that’s just defeating self-talk. Know your strengths and build on them. What have you done well and do you enjoy doing? Make a list. Your confidence increases as you see a track record of what you’ve already achieved.
2) Set goals –
Research indicates that challenging goals lead to increased effort and a greater level of commitment toward achievement. Goals provide a clear sense of direction and act as promises you make to yourself (ones you’ll want to keep). The SMART process of setting goals is a helpful approach. Write out each goal using the following formula.
SMART Process of Setting Goals:
- Specific: What exactly will you accomplish?
- Measurable: How will you know when you have reached this goal?
- Achievable: Is achieving this goal realistic with effort and commitment? Do you have the resources to achieve this goal? If not, how will you get them?
- Relevant: Why is this goal significant to you or your organization? Is it in line with your priorities?
- Time-Bound: When will this goal be achieved? Set a date.
Break big, long-term goals into smaller pieces (sub-goals). Winning at these smaller, easier to reach sub-goals provides encouragement and a feeling of success as you move toward completion of the end goal.
3) Monitor progress –
Give yourself regular feedback. Ask, “How am I doing? What is going well? What do I like best about how I am progressing toward my goal? What do I need to do so I stay on target or get back on target?” Establish regular “check-in” dates and congratulate yourself for progress made.
4) Reward yourself –
Recognition and reward are critical when you want to increase your self-motivation. Don’t wait until the end goal has been reached. Reward yourself as you accomplish steps on the journey to completion. You need to decide what rewards are meaningful.
Examples of Meaningful Rewards:
- Reading a good book at your favorite coffee spot
- Buying something small for yourself
- Watching a good movie
- Getting away for a half-day
- Paying someone to clean your house or do the yard work
- Playing golf or going fishing
Reward yourself for your progress. The suggestions above are useful for us all as we strive to stay motivated. Are you feeling motivated? If not, how will you utilize the information above to improve?