“Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can have what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice
Did you know that one of the biggest obstacles to our success is stopping just before we cross the finish line of our goal? This is a normal human tendency and definitely something to be aware of.
Starting an important task is difficult. Continuing with it amidst distractions and potential pitfalls is also not easy. But perhaps most challenging of all is once we are 90% complete with what we are working on, finishing that final 10% of the task.
You may have lost the initial steam you had. You may have other ideas and dreams in mind that you are eager to get to. But you must first finish working on what you promised yourself you’d complete. You’ll not only feel like a million bucks, but your slate will be clean to begin working on something new. Here are five ways to finish your challenging task when it’s the last thing you want to do.
How to Move Forward When You are Lacking Motivation & Inspiration
Create a List of Reasons Why
Everyone deals with losing steam once they approach the finish line of their goal. Don’t beat yourself up for this. But be actively aware of it and seek to combat it with this practical action step. One of the best things you can do is to create a list of reasons why you want to achieve your goal.
What are some of the rewards you will have once the goal is complete? Write these down as reasons why you want to finish your task and/or goal. Knowing the rewards we will have when the goal is complete will increase our motivation and reinvigorate our inspiration.
When you have a list of ten reasons why you want to achieve your goal, you will pick up some forward momentum. When you have a list of thirty reasons, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel and be willing to get better at disciplining yourself. If you have forty or even fifty reasons why you want to achieve your goal, you will become unstoppable.
Don’t let the ups and downs of daily life make you forget your original reasons for wanting to achieve your goal. Remind yourself of these reasons by writing them down and watch your inner power return.
Use the Past
While you definitely don’t want to get caught up in the past, you can use the dysfunctional experiences you’ve been through as added motivation to achieve Mountaintop-level of success and finish your task at hand.
Let me be clear: I’m not saying to hold onto the hurt. When you let go of the hurt, the painful experience loses its emotional charge. And so it goes from a difficult feeling to a neutral memory. The key point here is that there is a difference between forgiving and forgetting. Forgive so that you free yourself from the pain, but don’t forget about the experience. Be sure to not let it happen again in the future.
Who do you want to prove wrong? Who are people that doubted you? Who might be surprised to see you succeed? These people and past experiences become powerful motivators that reignite your internal flame and cause you to become a powerful force for the good in the world.
Break it Down into Smaller Chunks
I know what you’re thinking right now. Trust me, I’ve been there:
Ok Jeff, great. I’ve got a list of reasons why I want to achieve my major task at hand. I also have the courage and willingness to prove the naysayers wrong. But I still feel stuck. I’m just not feeling it. How do I actually get down to brass tacks and make progress?
The solution is to break your bigger goal down into smaller steps. Literally, break it down into as small and actionable of steps as you possibly can. Let me give you a quick example.
When I was writing my first book, I felt overwhelmed. With work and graduate school, it felt nearly impossible to find the time to write the book. The first thing I did is carve out fifteen minutes a day to write. The second thing I did is write out on paper the smaller action steps necessary to achieve the larger goal. When I stopped thinking about the million-and-one things I had to do and instead broke the big goal down into one small, tiny, actionable fifteen-minute time block, I was able to make progress.
Some days I only wrote for fifteen minutes. But on other days, I picked up momentum and wrote for longer. Breaking the big goal down into a smaller action step helped me enormously.
What are some ways you can break down your overarching task down into a small, daily, manageable steps that you can start today?
Get Disciplined and Pick One Thing
Now that you have a specific list of smaller action steps, start as soon as you can. Get disciplined by picking one task and knocking it out. Practice concentration and establish a habit of working on your task for at least a few minutes each day. It might mean you need to read a chapter of a book, send out an email, or make a phone call. Start small. The tiniest step today will lead to momentum.
Reward yourself on the way to your end destination. You are meant to be happy along the way! If you spent some time on your task and made progress, take a break. Go for a walk. Get some ice cream. Watch a show on Netflix. One of the best ways to maintain motivation and inspiration is to set up a reward system for yourself. Once you complete the entire task, give yourself a bigger reward like watching a movie, taking a day off, or going on a vacation of some sort.
You owe it to yourself to reignite your internal drive and complete your goal or task. You will feel great about yourself! And most importantly, you will be helping others and move forward with your life. Leadership begins with self-leadership, and self-leadership is about following through on the promises you made to yourself. If you know you need to do something, then stop making excuses. You’ll never “find” the time – you need to make the time. Carve it out in your schedule and stick to it. Use the tips from this article to rekindle your motivation and inspiration. Your future self will thank you for the work you did.