How do you help your clients to motivate themselves?
You ask questions, encourage them, call them out on avoidant or excuse-based behavior, praise them for steps forward. All of this you can apply to yourself – become your own client.
That’s one useful tip… and here are five more ideas to win back your motivation and fall in love with your work all over again.
1. Recognize that Goals and Paths are Two Different Things
You’ve been focusing on your goal but not really getting closer. Your business is much too busy, and you feel like you’re expending all your energy on clients.
If this is happening to you, you’ve likely wandered off the path towards your goal. Re-evaluate your path: Is it moving you forward? Are you letting yourself get caught on tangents?
Lack of progress can diffuse motivation. Rethink your path and set it up to really move you forward.
2. Create Checkpoints
Milestones or checkpoints – these are markers along the way that prove your progress. They can be tremendously heartening, so be sure to build them in. And be sure to reward yourself for arriving at each one in some small but significant way.
As you reach each milestone or checkpoint, be aware of your feelings. If you reach one and don’t feel satisfaction or positive emotions, stop and re-evaluate till you identify what is wrong. (A lack of reaction or negative feelings often means you are veering away from your goal.)
3. Don’t Let Other People Invade Your Head
Another reason you might find yourself feeling flat when you reach a checkpoint or milestone: The mini-goal you’ve achieved is not really yours. It’s something you’ve been told to do, or expected to do, by someone else.
Listen to your own voice. Learn to be aware when yours isn’t the one setting the pace.
What’s right for ninety per cent of your peers might not be right for you.
4. Work in Your Area of Genius
If you really want to feel happy and fulfilled (and win back your motivation) work in your area of genius. This is an aspect of organizational physics long talked about and acknowledged as a universal truth.
Your area of genius can be found where what you love to do meets what you have mastered – the things you do without even counting them as “work” and the things people always ask you for help with. Look for what you’ve always ended up doing in every job you’ve ever had – the sort of thing you did back in primary school. For example, have people always asked you to organize things? Or facilitate? Solve conflicts? Draw? (Something you were great at doing or being, but usually never charged for.)
That’s where you’ll find your area of genius, so make sure you are working within that zone for maximum life satisfaction.
5. Work on Your Goals with Others
If you really want to feel motivated, surround yourself with positive and focused people who share a similar mindset and drive. Join an accountability group. Find a mentor. Hire a coach.
Sometimes the whole problem is just that you’re going it alone and you’re too close to see the wood for those pesky trees. Others round out our square corners. They point out blind spots and hazards and encourage us when the going gets tough.