The final piece in the motivational puzzle is direction. If focus means having an ultimate goal, direction is having a day-to-day strategy to achieve it. A lack of direction killsmotivation because without an obvious next action we succomb to procrastination. An example of this is a person who wants to have a popular blog, but who spends more time reading posts about blogging than actually writing articles.
The key to finding direction is identifying the activities that lead to success. For every goal, there are activities that pay off and those that don’t. Make a list of all your activities and arrange them based on results. Then make an action plan that focuses on activities that lead to big returns. To continue the example from above, a blogger’s list would look something like this
- Write content
- Research relevant topics
- Network with other bloggers
- Optimize design and ad placements
- Answer comments and email
- Read other blog
Keeping track of your most important tasks will direct your energy towards success. Without a constant reminder it’s easy to waste entire days on filler activities like reading RSS feeds, email, and random web surfing.
When my motivation starts to wane, I regain direction by creating a plan that contains two positive actions. The first one should be a small task you’ve been meaning to do, while the second should be a long-term goal. I immediately do the smaller task. This creates positive momentum. After that I take the first step towards achieving the long-term goal. Doing this periodically is great for getting out of a slump, creating positive reinforcement, and getting long-term plans moving.
It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter periods of low energy, bad luck and even the occasional failure. If you don’t discipline your mind, these minor speed bumps can turn into mental monsters. By being on guard against the top 3 motivation killers you can preserve motivation and propel yourself to success!!