It’s easy to be fired up and excited when you set a new goal. The challenge is in maintaining that momentum throughout the journey.
If it’s a big goal that’s going to take some time to achieve and is likely to have ups and downs along the way, it’s natural for your motivation to wane and to find it difficult to stay inspired long to see it through to the end.
While every goal will have its challenges, there are some key things you can do to keep your mindset in the right place so you don’t burn out before you get there. Try these three tips to stay inspired and grounded when pursuing goals (especially the big ones)!
Other posts you may like:
- How to Win at the Mental Game of Writing
- 5 Ways to Avoid Losing Motivation When Writing a Novel
- Review: Mindvalley’s Silva Ultramind System for Creativity and Intuition
How to Stay Inspired and Grounded When Pursuing Goals
Get clear on what *you* want out of it
When approaching goals, it’s common to default to the external validation of that goal (such as praise and accolades) and how other people feel about it (what’s perceived as valuable, like money and status) to motivate you. The problem is, that’s rarely going to be enough to keep you motivated long-term because it doesn’t go deep enough.
Your motivation has to come from something personal and positive in nature for it to be truly effective and long-lasting.
NEGATIVE VS POSITIVE INTENTIONS
If you are writing a novel or participating in NaNoWriMo because you think it will validate you in some way and make you worthy of praise, then your intentions are rooted in self-doubt and external perception. These are negatively-charged intentions.
Negative motivation can give you a boost in the short-term, but it’s hard to sustain it long-term because negative thoughts and emotions are very draining.
It’s far more effective to focus on positively-charged intentions because they naturally energize you. With the NaNoWriMo example, maybe your intention is to devote time to your love of writing and a particular project that’s been on your heart, or it could be to help you establish a consistent writing routine and warm up your writerly muscles. These are both positive, personal, and nurturing to the soul.
Define what “success” means to you
Success is not a “one size fits all” concept. As I mentioned, society tends to boil it down to money, status, and accolades, and while there’s nothing wrong with wanting to achieve those things, they’re not the whole story.
What is the deeper desire? What do you really want out of your goal?
Using NaNoWriMo as the example again, maybe your deeper desire is to reignite your creativity so you can feel like yourself again, or you want to stop putting aside your dreams and get serious about them.
Drill it down and find the core desire, then determine what success would mean to you in this instance. You’ll probably find that success won’t be limited to that one specific goal; the journey itself will be where the success is. In either of those cases with NaNoWriMo, writing every day or several days out of the month would be fulfilling that desire. You won’t have to reach that specific 50,000-word goal to achieve it.
Use your goals as a target to challenge you and give you a clear focus rather than treating it like a hard post where anything that falls beneath it is deemed a failure.
Set your intentions
Once you know what you truly want, you can take inspired action to manifest it in your life and move steadily toward your goals. Approach each day, choice, action, and thought with intention aligned with what you value.
Some exercises you can do to set your intentions are:
- Reflect on them each morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.
- Decide what your intentions are whenever you start work on a project; what do you want from the session?
- Visualize how you want to feel and imagine the best possible experience, then declare “this or something better.”
- Think about how do you want to show up in the world. What do you value most and how can you be a living example of it?
When you set your intentions, you approach every moment with more clarity and feel more grounded because you’re taking control of your experience rather than letting your circumstances control you.