2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. We had let to go of what we considered normal, to discover a new way of life. But as challenging as the year has been so far, I’m grateful for this year. 2020 has reinforced the idea that nothing is guaranteed in life. This year reaffirmed the importance of finding joy in the simple things.
As much as I enjoyed this family bonding time, it came with challenges. Like most people, there were times when I struggled juggling being a wife, a mother of three young children, and continuing to be productive when working towards my professional goals and aspirations.
Though I try my best to be positive and stay motivated, I’m a work in progress. Staying motivated is a common struggle, especially when working towards unconventional goals.
Here are a few tips that help me stay motivated.
Knowing Your “Why”
Knowing “Why” you are on the path that you have chosen is essential to staying motivated.
Knowing the reason “Why” you decided to make sacrifices to reach your goals will help weather the storms. I have been working on my first book for the past eight months. It’s been a difficult process; at times, I have wondered if it made sense for me to spend countless hours writing, not knowing how the book would be received.
When I struggled to find the motivation to write at 6 AM on a Sunday, I reminded myself of why I decided to embark on this journey in the first place. I decided to write a book because I was deeply concerned about the increasing racial wealth gap. I could not find literature that addressed the financial aspect as well as the mental mindset necessary to bridge the gap. That’s why I decided to write my first book.
When those moments of self-doubt came about regarding how much time I spent writing, I reminded myself why I decided to go on this journey, and I stuck with it. That’s how I was able to complete my manuscript.
(Photo: Mikechie Esparagoza)
Visualizing What You Want
Visualization has done wonders in my life. I believe in writing your goals down, creating vision boards, and other visual tools to keep you motivated.
At the beginning of the year, I write down ten long-term professional and personal goals that I have for myself. Every Saturday, I also write down my goals for the week ahead.
To help me stay on track, I review my short-term and long-term goals in the morning as part of my daily routine.
This practice has helped me stay on track over the years. I also believe that for visual people, creating a vision board is a fantastic tool. When motivation starts to decrease, seeing what you are working towards can help you stay focus on your objectives.
A great tool to help achieve a goal is education. With the internet, it is easy to research a topic that interests you. There are also unlimited resources via books and podcasts that can help develop a strategy and find people who have accomplished the goals that you set for yourself. When you make it a habit to educate yourself on a topic, you keep your objectives within your sight. If you find that you are losing your motivation, you can listen to a podcast, read a book to help you get back into the right mindset.
I have benefited from online resources and networking opportunities, as I have been working on different projects. It has helped me stay focused on the big picture.
Celebrating Small Victories
As you work on achieving your goals, you should take time to celebrate the victories along the way. Whether it is a small victory or a milestone in the right direction, taking some time to acknowledge the moment is crucial.
To complete my manuscript, I had set specific monthly writing objectives. Every time I reached my goal, I enjoyed a weekend of relaxation. Every ten thousand words, my family and I also took a few minutes to celebrate the moment.
Celebrating victories along the way helps you stay in the moment and find joy in the journey, it also helps fill up your energy tank.
Having a Support System
I believe that there’s no such thing as a Self-Made person. Most successful people had at least one person who believed in them and encouraged them to keep working towards their goals. I am blessed to have a strong tribe. Having people who understand what you are trying to accomplish, who are willing to listen, and encourage you when you need it the most makes a massive difference.
Over the past few months, I have also learned to use members of my tribe as accountability partners. We keep each other accountable for the goals that we set for ourselves and help each other stay on track.
With the Covid-19 pandemic and the extremely high unemployment rate, there were moments of doubts regarding my timing to take a break from the Corporate world. Being afraid of the unknown is a normal reaction. But, we can’t let fear paralyze us. We have to work through the fear and doubts and keep going.
These are tools that have helped me stay motivated and continue to push myself outside of my comfort zone.
How do you stay motivated?
“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.” Oprah Winfrey