Let’s talk about how to motivate yourself to work and to keep pursuing dreams when you don't feel like it. There are three levers of motivation that I think about when I need to put that extra effort into work, and I don't quite feel like it. Do you ever feel like this?
First Lever of Motivation
The first lever is actually fear, which sounds kind of weird. Why would fear help motivate you? Fear usually stops us from pursuing our dreams, but you can also use fear as a motivating factor. Think about what you won't achieve if you don't actually take action on your biggest goals.
There was a study on elderly people who looked back on their lives, and they actually said what their biggest regrets were. And their biggest regrets were not going for their dreams, or not taking enough time to be with family, or not taking more risks.
When I think about this, I think about what my biggest fears are in not accomplishing my creative goals. And that helps me get motivated to then take action on it.
Second Lever of Motivation
So, that leads to the second lever, which is vision. As a creative person, I'm sure you can relate to this. You have ideas. There's a good chance that you can see what you want. I've always known that I wanted to be creative, and when I was in art school, I could see that I wanted to be a picture book artist.
I actually could see in my head that my book could be in school libraries and in bookstores. When I was in bookstores, I could envision my book right on the shelf. And when I walked around in schools, I could see myself presenting my story to kids. So, when I don't feel like working, sometimes I just have to think about that vision. I want to complete it.
With Storyteller Academy, I can also see what this organization could be. I visualize how we can create so many classes that will help so many people. I want to connect actual storytellers who are being published and making books with students so that they can mentor people who have the same goals and dreams. It just makes sense. So that's what motivates me to continue working on Storyteller Academy when I'm tired and I don't feel like it.
Third Lever of Motivation
And the third lever is routine. So this routine habit is such a powerful one. It's actually something that I've been working on a lot in my life because I want more balance. I've created a routine to help me exercise consistently. I have a routine to get my morning journaling and my creative work done. And then in the afternoon, I have a routine of working on my business.
Routine helps expedite work processes because your body gets used to doing whatever it is. You get into automatic mode, and you don't have to use as much willpower.
So the last thing I'll note is that you want to take note of the willpower that you have during the day. If you've had a good night's sleep, you actually start your day off with a lot higher willpower. From there, your willpower slowly goes down. Usually there is a dip right around lunch. After you eat, there might be a little bit of an overhang, and then you get some more energy back.
So, when you work on your creative goals, ask yourself: When you have the most energy? And when you have the most willpower? How can you arrange your routine to get your important work done when you’re at your best? Using these three levers of motivation to establish and follow a routine will help you get your creative work done, even when you don’t feel like it. Once you make it a habit, you won’t need as much motivation.
If you haven’t figured out your routine yet, you might find last Monday’s post, “How to Be More Creative and Productive,” helpful.
If you have a routine that helps you get your creative work done, please share in the comments!