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How Do You Motivate Yourself?

How do you motivate yourself when you feel things are slipping or slowing down? What do you do when you recognise you are going to miss the target you set or you have missed your target?

How do you motivate yourself when you acknowledge that your dream is not going to happen if you continue to go at the pace you are currently going at?

This was where I was a short time ago.  I had set my goal of qualifying as a coach from last year and this was to be achieved by May this year but I could see by the end of March early April, I was falling off track and the final stages was seeming as a big ask. But I knew it had to be done, and the thought of taking 18 months or 2 years to complete, was not an option for me, it was never part of my original plan. So I needed to get myself back on track.

One thing that has constantly been in my mind recently was the Japanese word Kaizen. What is that I hear you ask? Well if you are in the manufacturing and engineering world you will be familiar with it.  It’s the important process of ‘Continual Improvement” and literally means “Improvement” or “Change for the best.”   Not change/improvement for the sake of it but small improvements that bring specific benefit.  This was the process that literally enabled Japan to rise from being a devastated country after World War 2 into becoming a world leader and player in an extremely short space of time.



In Steven Covey’s book ‘7 Habits Of High Effective People’ he calls this process ‘Sharpening The Saw.’  Reviewing your goals and your actions with a view of seeing what needs to change, what is no longer beneficial and basically how to bring self-improvement and change where necessary to yourself and what you are doing currently.

I recognise there were things I needed to change otherwise I would achieve the result I did not want and here are a few of the things I did.  I must admit, I didn’t just wake and decide to do these things all at the same time.  It was a more organic process.  One day I would have one idea maybe a week or so later something else popped up and I ran with that.  But what they all did, was they brought about a small shift in my momentum that as time went by increased my pace, focus, drive and passion in doing what I knew I needed to do.

Step 1.  Way Up My Priorities:  As with most people I realised I had a number of important plates spinning all at the same time and I now needed to re-think everything and decide what was most and important and why.  Once I did that I realised certain things would have to be parked or at least have less of my attention for a while in order to free up time and allow me more space to use my mind and concentration in getting what needed to be done, done.  One of my decisions was to blog less, not ideal but i said it wouldn’t be for long.

Step 2. Have a Clear Plan: I looked at what I needed to do to in order to successfully complete my submission and I familiarised my self with anything I was putting off.  From that I wrote out a clear checklist of what had been accomplished and what was still missing so that I could tick things off once completed. Obviously, this was for my goal but what do you need to put a clear plan in place for?  What have you done so far? What’s still missing for you? When do you need to achieve this by? Why? If you don’t do any of this what will happen? This outcome how does it make you feel?

3.  Considered What Resources I Now Needed:  I thought about what I needed in order to get me to my end goal.  I decided I needed help in order to keep myself on track but more importantly keep myself accountable.  As a trainee Coach I am aware that it is important to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are.  I am great when everything is flowing right but once I start to lose pace I know, I in myself isn’t always enough and I need to have someone in my corner that I am accountable to.  So, I got myself a Coach! Don’t be afraid to get the right kind of help or to put in place the resource you need. So What do you need? Do you need the skills of a Coach? Do you have all the materials you require? 

4. Challenge Yourself:  I have an old fashion diary which I love.  Some people put everything in their phone.  I choose a full page diary as its easy to see clashes and keep track of everything including my client appointments.  Another thing i found myself doing was first thing in the morning asking myself ‘What do you want by the end of the day.’ I would write this in my diary and list the most important things I would like to have completed by the end of the day.  This was not just to do with my coaching stuff, but other things i see as important to my life.  i.e. Workout Session for my health, Reading some of my current book, one or two agreed actions from my coach.  I wouldn’t do an exhaustive list but just 3 or 4 really important things that needed to be complete during the week.  As I achieved them I would tick them off. How can you challenge yourself into action? What can you do to keep yourself on track each day?

5.  Self Learning:  One thing I have picked up from Inspirational teachers like Jim Rohn is to read. So part of my motivational strategy was to cover off a certain amount of reading during the week too. Two books or more per week is nothing for some people who are avid readers. For me it was more about what I read rather than the quantity so I loaded a number of books onto my Kindle which I am now working my way through happily and loving what I am learning.  These include a few of Jim Rohn’s books and Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo.  To accompany the Talk Like TED book  I also decided to watch the TED Video’s and it was a very wise decision for me.  So find what works for you and build it into your day.

All of these things varied in intensity and by them self seemed like a small thing really, but I have found together they have brought me to a place where I am more than on track with my goal and by the end of June my studying will be over, YES!!  However, my mind is already onto the next level about perfecting my love of Coaching and understanding ‘What makes people tick and enabling them to get there!”

I say all this to encourage you in finding your way to getting to YOUR ‘there’ where ever that is.  It’s not about quitting, just rethink and adjust what needs to be adjusted. I think step one in my short list is the hardest, but once you have done that it’s just about making it work.  I find the reading and watching of the video’s bring about new information for me, and great questions which then trigger me to find new answers for my life.  Having a Coach helps me to be clear and to formulate specific, measurable and realistic steps in making what I want – happen. But you may choose a good friend who you know will keep you on track.

Do what you need to do to keep yourself progressing and moving forward.

Be the change you want to be, until next time.


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