There is a myth that motivation is easily accessible. That it can flow easily from a tap if you can simply force yourself to turn it on.
When we first start a project, it feels so easy...so simple to make a plan to achieve our goal but than so hard to actually do the work.
I like to call it procrastiplanning... I'll spend HOURS strategizing, researching and coming up with ideas, when all I really need to be doing is the execution part.
Motivation gets stifled for all sorts of reasons. Maybe it's that feeling of resistance to showing up, feeling afraid and vulnerable.
By #doingthework, you're opening yourself up to self doubt, criticism, that good 'ol imposter syndrome takes hold. It's so much easier for us to hide behind daydreams and outlines.
Maybe it's not FEAR getting in the way, but TIME!
Between your commute, work projects, walking your dog, going for a yoga class... by the time you sit down to work on your passion project, you're EXHAUSTED.
And that's not counting kids! I've hit that age in my life where it feels like babies are sprouting up left and right and I'm left amazed that my friends are able to juggle everything they've got going on plus take care of a tiny human.
I probably don't have to keep listing the ways it's hard to get motivated, we know it's hard to come by. So how do we solve it?
My friend, you need some systems!
I know, I know it's not the most ~exciting~ of solutions, so let's dive into a metaphor. I know comparing business to running can be cliche "it's a marathon, not a sprint!"
But running is basically the only other hobby I have besides being on the internet, so bear with me 😉
Want to get to the guts of setting up a system? Scroll down to skip the anecdote!
Recently I've been setting up bigger running goals for myself. I want to run further than I have before and eventually faster.
When I got started it was super fun to setup a training plan and that first week I ran as soon as I woke up and was oh so excited to hit my end of summer milage goals.
Several weeks in, I'm happy to report that I haven't missed my weekly milage goals! Does that mean each subsequent week I've been bouncing out of bed for my run? Hell no!
Nearly all of my runs I procrastinate, I feel to tired to get going, I want to end early, I feel dehydrated or that I drank too much coffee beforehand. It's too hot, I'm not wearing the right shirt, I put too much peanut butter in my oatmeal and so on...
(I swear, running is great, lmao)
The point is, how do I do it on most of the days? Well, I've put together a system of three critical elements to achieving any goal:
- Proper Tools
- Analysis & Reflection
- Public accountability
With the combo of these three elements, it's nearly impossible for me not to simply get it done.
Let's take a closer look.
- Proper Tools - The great thing about running, is you really don't need that much to get started. But to keep it going, you need shoes that fit well (I like to go to a local running store and they watch me hop around in my shoes to make sure they fit me right). You need clothes that work with the weather and a decent running watch. Throw in a foam roller for when you stretch.
- Analysis & Reflection - By keeping an eye on what's working (or not) you can tweak the plan accordingly. I keep a spreadsheet of my training plan and update it after each run. I add notes about the weather, recognize when I was possibly dehydrated or didn't have enough to eats or sleeps. It's also a great way to see how far you've come during just a few weeks!
- Public Accountability - I use an app with some of my friends and family and they can see my runs and cheer me on. I've shared with a few of them what my goals are for the summer and it's ALWAYS the kick in the butt that they will see whether or not I've shown up to do it.
"Okay great for you Becky, but how can I actually apply this to setting goals for my business?"
Let's say you want to be more active on Instagram so you can grow your audience. Your SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based) might be to post every day for 30 days.
- Proper Tools - When it comes to posting regularly on Instagram, you'll need an editorial calendar to plan out your posts (you can use Google Docs, Trello, a printed calendar or whatever works best for you). Then you'll want to sign up for Later (it's free) so you can schedule your posts in advance. You'll also want to decide the kinds of content that you'll be sharing and how you'll put it together (I'll be sharing content creation strategies in an upcoming post).
- Analysis & Reflection - There are loads of apps out there that you can analyze post engagement, likes, comments, follows... I know some of these analytics are "vanity metrics" - but it can help you keep track of your progress! If it helps you, you might want to put together a document or spreadsheet to get a "bird's eye view" of your total progress. Make note of what kinds of content you like best, or feel best connects with your audience (you're getting real, engaging comments instead of bots).
- Public Accountability - You know what works best for you here. Maybe it's telling a coach, your mastermind group or even your partner what you're trying to achieve this month. You could even put it in the description of your Instagram profile to REALLY push yourself! (For example: "I share top branding advice, click follow for a new tip everyday in June!)
I hope this helps you when you're setting up your next goal, so that you know you'll be able to carry on when you're lacking "motivation". If you're into systems and #gettingthingsdone - don't forget to sign up for my newsletter because I'll be releasing some of my best online biz systems for you to use! 😃