Hey it's that time of year when 92% of people who made NY Resolutions have screwed up with them and when we realise that once again we are working in a way that could make us fall short of reaching our dreams this year.
In 2016 it's totally up to you to make sure that you do not fall for the same trap as you have in the past, that this time you make things happen once and for all.
No more being lazy.
In this post we are going to hit the double edged sword emotion called motivation.
On one hand getting yourself pumped up can be great because it puts you in the frame of mind that will drive you towards taking action, but there is a downside because if you use external motivational methods to get yourself moving then you could be setting yourself up for failure.
Motivation is very often the reason why so many of us under achieve or fail to get what we want, you have to use it right, let me explain....
The Common Belief
It's common belief that if we are motivated and inspired then we will push ourselves more and work harder.
We believe that if we pump ourselves up with the right kind of videos and music then we will be inspired to take the required action and will have a successful working day.
All in all we need to be in the correct frame of mind first, only then will we act accordingly and can get stuff done.
This Creates The YoYo Mentality
There's a problem with this belief though, if you usually use motivation tactics to get yourself into the right mental state in order to act as you should then you can very quickly adopt the YoYo mentality.
If you have the YoYo mentality then you will suffer from the following symptoms:
1) You will have a lot of good and bad days that will influence your work ethic (days when you work hard yet others when you cannot be bothered, 50/50)
2) You will be wasting precious time in your days looking for things to stimulate you
3) You will feel frustrated that things are not happening quick enough
4) You will be conscious of how you should be acting but find it hard to get into your rhythm
5) You will most likely fail at what you are trying to achieve because your work rate is too inconsistent and not enough for what is required for you to succeed
6) You can start to lose heart and question your goals
Here is the kind of work rate that a person with YoYo mentality has (if they have no day job and can allocate all their time to their career / dream):
A YoYo person can start the week all motivated and pumped to make this week count, they work as hard as they can on Monday and would give themselves 100% for their effectiveness.
On Tuesday however they feel less 'up for it', they didn't get as much feedback from others for their hard work so lose motivation or could even feel that they deserve a slower day because of all the hard work they did on Monday. They find a way of justifying this.
Wednesday they start to get back into it.
Thursday they are back on form, they have watched a few motivational videos in the morning to set their day up and they are on fire again.
Friday they start to get the end of the week feeling and chill a little.
Saturday they realise that they didn't work hard enough in the week and have kicked off with another dose of YouTube again to get them going, they also like the thought of doing work whilst most other people are off so they can make up lost ground or get ahead of the game.
Sunday they don't feel like working again and convince themselves that even God had Sunday off.
This is the typical week for a YoYo person and a pattern that will make it very hard for them to really make a difference or achieve the huge goal that they have in mind.
1) They will do this for decades and it will become a set pattern that they can have forever.
2) They feel like they are taking the correct actions but really they are selling themselves short and wasting their lives.
3) They think about their dream a lot, it's always on their mind but they need to spend less time thinking and more time doing. Again wasting time.
Don't Stew, Just Do!
If you are serious about achieving something monumental in this life then you have to act in a monumental way, you have to OUTWORK EVERYBODY around you and have the aim of taking action without having to make sure that you 'feel like it' first.
You should never have to attach feelings to the action you are taking.
You should never ask "How do I feel about X?" when you are writing down your To Do's for the day / week.
The fact is that there are certain things that must be done, no matter how they make you feel or how you feel about it, they must be done, period.
As soon as you bring your feelings into it you will create a block between you and the task in hand and start to re-evaluate things.
You cannot do this!
Do not stew over what needs to be done and search for what this action means to you or how it makes you feel, instead just do it.
You can bitch about it as you are doing it if you like :-)
The Gym Example
What's the difference between someone who goes to the gym regularly compared to someone who goes sporadically?
The one that goes 5 days per week will be focused on:
1) I desperately want that body
2) I will feel so good about this session afterwards
3) I love the fact that I am looking better already
4) I am going to look good on that holiday
They are still feeling causing thoughts but all on the future benefits, and not on how the process of actually doing the workout will make them feel.
Compare this to someone who struggles to maintain their enthusiasm:
1) I've had a long day so should give myself a day off the gym, don't want to make myself ill
2) I have to find my jogging bottoms and I don't know where they are
3) I hate the way people stare at me at the gym
4) It’s raining
If you are going to get what you want and take the necessary action then you must focus on the benefits, what it will look like once done and have the kind of internal drive that feels automatic.
The goal itself should do that for you anyway, if it doesn't then you need to address this.
If you start to focus on the uncomfortable areas or what it makes you feel like in the process stage then you will be killing your inner drive and it will put you off, until you all of a sudden wake up motivated again one day. YoYo.
To succeed at this dream or goal of yours you have to adopt a work rate similar to this:
Someone with this work ethic / rate can actually afford to take Sunday off. Like God they only take Sunday off because he have worked like crazy on the other 6 days, they earned it.
You cannot work Half-Ass all week then take Sunday off and still expect to achieve your dreams, it simply won’t happen.
The average Joe may think this is OK but once again if you have a huge goal that you want to achieve then you do not have that luxury.
If you have a day job which takes up your week days then this is how your work rate should look if you are serious about succeeding:
Ok maybe you could have Sunday off in this scenario but if you can just keep this up temporarily then you may find that you can replace your day job with whatever you have been working so hard on, your dream.
This is not easy
Noone says this will be easy (that’s why very few manage it) but if you are to aim for the above work rates then you need to manage your emotions.
To attach less emotions to the jobs in hand and act automatically, like a friggin robot.
It is life's way of seeing how determined you are. You have to work hard to get what you want, there are no short cuts.
So with this reality you must leave behind how you feel about things and just get on with it.
The rewards for doing so will be worth it and if you focus on those rewards now, have your future life in mind, then this will create the kind of motivation that is permanent, you won't need the external pumps ups as much as you used to.
By all means use the inspiring YouTube videos and inspirational music but do not depend on them to get you into state, just use them as a back-up or a mid-day break to keep the flow going.
Once you get this down and master how to build true motivation within yourself you will find that you start to wake up early completely switched on and raring to go.
This is where the magic is, without that you will find it hard to get what you want and to act as you need to every day.
This again is just scratching the surface but an area I love to teach.
So get out there and do it this time, no more excuses and stop being a wuss.
Don't Stew, Just Do!
Photo by Daniel Carlbom