So many people say the same things over and over again.
“Yeah, I know I need to be more organised.” “I know I need to go to bed earlier but I just sit and look on my phone.” “I know I need to be healthier, but I’m just so tempted all the time.”
Our generation is the type that is used to having everything at our fingertips. There’s an abundance of information. We want the answer to something and we get it quickly. Children at school don’t look through books now to find the answer to a question - they turn to Google. You want to know anything, you Google it, whether it’s a simple hack on InDesign, or a bigger lifestyle change.
Everything we could possibly want to know is right there waiting for us within a matter of seconds.
So you’d think that more and more people would be able to put this information into action, right? Think about it - there are SO many articles out there about getting more blog traffic, that you’d think we’d all have millions of readers on our blogs. And you’d think that with all the weight loss articles out there, there’d be more of us shedding the extra pounds we don’t want and loving our bodies more than ever. Right?
Wrong. Because the problem isn’t with the actual tips we’re reading - it’s our motivation and outlook at our ability to put them into action.
I wanted to break through this barrier today, so read on to see why it can be so hard to stay motivated and what you can do to push through these challenges.
Challenge #1 - You’re choosing from TOO much information
Guilty. There have been times when I’ve read so much information on a subject, that I’ve just felt completely overwhelmed and given up. The fact that there’s more information than we actually need about most subjects can make things really confusing for us.
I bet most of you read articles about blogging tips. And I bet sometimes, you come away wondering what you’ve actually learnt. We’re all guilty of absorbing information 24/7 and then being so caught up in it all that we don’t know where to start with taking action - so we don’t start at all.
It’s really important to remember that there’s no perfect answer. There’s not even a right answer. Spending most of your time discovering answers isn’t going to get you any further. The reason articles like this were written in the first place was because the writer went out there and tried something. Then they shared it, so you could benefit from trying it too.
Your action: Pick less than five authorities on the subject you’re focusing on. If you need blog tips, career advice and help staying motivated, pick 2-3 authorities for each of those subjects that you’re going to listen to; rather than ploughing through a wealth of information that isn’t going to get you anywhere. Listening to everyone is a waste of time, believe me. I don’t like thinking about the amount of time I’ve wasted reading too much information. Finding key people who you can relate to and who help you is what you need to do.
Plus, everyone does things differently. The way Blogger A got her first 1000 Instagram followers will be completely different to the way Blogger B got hers. Keep your mind open and do what works for you.
Challenge #2 - You’re trying to change more than you can in a certain amount of time
If you try to change everything all at once, you’ll end up changing nothing at all. I get it - you want to be more awesome. You want to be more intentional. You want to be better. So do I. That makes us want to become all of those things at the same time, so we take all the information that we possibly can to make that happen. We want to be all of those things now!
It’s hard not to think like this, because that’s what our generation is like. We always want more. But we can’t focus on “more”.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been sharing revision tips on my work’s Twitter profile with our students. One of them (which is also how I revised), is that working for no more than fifty minutes with a ten minute break, is the best possible way to retain information.
Relate that to trying to change everything at once. Surely, if we focus on one thing at a time, we’ll make a much bigger difference?
Of course, you can work on things at the same time. You can work on toning up your body, work on learning some new recipes and work on growing your blog. But you’ve got to make one of them your main focus. You’ve got to focus on mastering just one of them, and then move onto the next one. Thinking positively about the challenge and dedicate your focus to one thing at a time - it's the best way to get the results you want.
Your action: You can have different goals in your life, but make sure you focus on just one at a time. Set everything else aside for now and when you get to a certain point with your first goal, put it to one side and move onto the next.
Challenge #3 - You don’t identify with the change you actually want to make
Do you SEE yourself as a blogger who publishes regular content and interacts with the community in one way or another? You’re making changes because you want something to be different. When you can identify with being a hard-working, confident, creative, successful blogger, you are much more likely to make decisions and choices that stay aligned with this identity.
Whereas if you don’t believe you can keep up with a publishing schedule, you’re on social media as and when you please and you don’t think you’ll be successful, that’s what you’ll identify with and the changes you want to make will never happen.
Your action: Identify who you want to be and the changes you’ll have to make to get there. If you want to be a successful blogger, what does that look like to you? Because it’s really important to remember that this looks different to everyone. Visualise that changes you want to make the new person you want to be. Taking action towards being able to identify with this will make it so much more likely for you to make a positive change.
Challenge #4 - You focus on ‘finding’, not ‘doing
I’ve seen people say things like, “I really need some motivation to get this blog post written” or “Someone come and drag me out of best and to the gym”, or “I’m always losing focus, what’s wrong with me?”
If you depend on your motivation for everything, you’ll stay stuck in the place you’re in. Sure, you can train your willpower to be more powerful, but there’s only so long it can last. The truth is, everyone’s motivation runs out from time to time and it’s wrong to depend purely on these things if you want to see success.
Instead, you want to focus on these but in small doses. Concentrate on creating small routines and small habits. For instance, instead of focusing on changing your entire morning routine, focus on a little part of it at a time. That way you won’t lose motivation, because you’ll be seeing success along the way.
Your action: Break your big goals down into little ones and find a way to work them into your life. If you want to grow your Twitter community by a certain amount, stat creating new habits that will help you achieve that. Join in with a couple of Twitter chats once a week. Make sure you schedule more tweets every day. Reach out to one new person every few days. Clean up your bio. These small habits are what you need to create in order to reach your goals and make big changes - and to stop depending on your motivation too. You’ll find your goals are much more reachable this way, which will only add to your success.
A Final Note
Show up consistently, work hard and change will happen. Motivation isn't the only thing that gets you to where you want to be. It’s belief and hard work. Create more than you consume. I really encourage you to walk away from this and take one small baby step to get towards one of your goals.
Go on. I believe in you.
Let's chat in the comments - where you do get stuck when it comes to making positive changes? How do you make change so easy that you think positively about it every time?