Every time, when I have a new idea for my blog or this website, I just couldn't wait to go home, turn on my laptop, and start working on it. I absolutely love that when my creativity switch got turned on, and I feel energized and ready to take on the world. This is what motivates me the most. However, I don't always feel motivated. In fact, most of my time was spent feeling the opposite way. Sure, it’s nice to take a break once in a while when I’m not motivated to create new stuff. But I can’t stay like that forever.
Finding motivation and stay motivated is something that I've trying to figure out for quite some time. After trying (and failing) many, many different methods, I decided to take everything back to the basic. And guess what? It actually worked better for me!
These are the three basic steps that I took to help me feel and stay motivated:
Find your inspirations (by doing what you like to do)
I started my 2018 feeling very inspired, and I found that I get the most motivated after I got some inspirations. There are so many ways that people can get inspired by: reading books, listening to podcasts, researching, the list goes on. My personal way of getting inspiration is reading helpful blog posts and watching lifestyle videos/vlogs.
When I started to learn graphic design last year, I was on Pinterest all the time and found lots of infographics that provide great tips on graphic design. I got to visit a few amazing graphic design websites, and some of them even have a blog! Not only was I able to get tons of tips and tutorials on graphic design and related software, I also learned wonderful lessons on blogging and branding! Every time after I read something that I could use for my website or blog, I would get super motivated and could not wait to get my hands on working on them.
I spent the majority of my free time watching Netflix and YouTube. It’s such a great way for me to relax. When I’m feeling creative or in my “work mode”, I would watch Illustrator or Photoshop tutorials on YouTube to learn more skills, but I usually like to watch videos like makeup tutorials (different kind of tutorials) and lifestyle vlogs. Lifestyle vlogs and videos like “a day in my life” always make me feel very inspired, especially the ones the involved people working/studying. I appreciate seeing how people work hard to live their lives. Looking at how organized and eventful their lives really makes me want to have this kind of life. And what can I do to have it? I have to work harder to get what I want, and I have just found my motivation.
Set/re-focus on your goals
After getting the inspiration and finding the motivation, it's time for me to (re)define my goals. Personally, I need to figure out my goals so I know what I am aiming for. A tip I would give is to not set your goals super high from the beginning, so you don't get discouraged and lose your motivation quickly. What I've learned from the past and am trying to change this year is to make my goals clear and measurable. From my experience, if I set my goals too high, it's easy for me to lose my motivation and slack off in a month, or even couple of weeks because it’s hard for me to see the progress. Setting smaller and trackable goals helps me see easily how close I am to achieve what I want.
This is also the same method I use to build a good habit. The example that I gave in the post was that I tried a 12-week workout guide and failed to follow through because I didn’t see the change I want to see right away. I know this might sound terrible, but when we’re talking about achieving something, 12-week for me is just too long! Now, if I want to make this my goal, I would have a different approach. Instead of making my goal like “finish this guide in 12 weeks,” I might set something like “workout 3 days a week for a month.” You know, something so small that it doesn’t scare me away. And if I follow through this goal for three times, then guess what? That’s 12 weeks! I end up achieving the same goal but with a different approach that helps me not to lose my motivation so easily.
Encourage and reward yourself
Another important step that I take to stay motivated is to connect with yourself. I am definitely the type of person who always needs encouragements, and I know it. I think after working for so long, it's necessary to take it easy and reward yourself for all the effort you've put in. When I get a little treat to myself or spoil myself by buying something that I want for a long time but never get, it motivates me to keep going. When you've worked hard to achieve your goals, you've earned the rewards. Find something that'll encourage you. You deserve it!
We're already three months into 2018, it's still early to try these steps if you want to feel and stay motivated to achieve your goals this year. I'm very excited to see my progress in a couple of months as well!