We are almost at the end of the year!

Are you looking at how you fared against the goals you had set for yourself for the year? 

Did you nail them and are now planning to up your game next year, or did your goals remain on the piece of paper that you wrote them on while you waited for motivation to strike you to start acting on them?

As you consider what you want to accomplish next year, here are a few tips that make it more likely that you will feel motivated on a consistent basis – 

Set a worthy goal – Such a goal speaks to your heart and motivates you to stay the course. Author Michael Bungay Stanier says a goal is worthy when – 

  • It is important to you and aligned with your values. The outcome of the goal is a priority in your life. Maybe it helps you create the life you want, takes you closer to being who you want to become, or serves others in the way you want to. When you are connected with your goal emotionally, your commitment is high and more likely to be sustained. 
  • It is thrilling. The thought of achieving the goal excites you. 
  • It is daunting. A worthy goal challenges you and inspires you to take action.

Self-efficacy – As you set your goal, ask yourself if you have the time, the knowledge, and the training to achieve your goal. When you believe all of this about your goal, you are motivated to pursue it.

Optimum difficulty – If your goal is not challenging enough, it will bore you, but if it is too difficult, it will dishearten you. Motivation peaks when you are working on things at the border of your current abilities, where victory is not guaranteed but possible if you really focus on it. 

Autonomy – Choice is a crucial determinant of motivation. When you do something because you want to and believe that you have a choice in what you are doing, you feel motivated to pursue it. On the other hand, when you do something under pressure to please someone or to avoid negative consequences, you feel controlled and drag your feet. 

Community/connectedness – When you feel connected with other people, you are motivated and happy. To nurture motivation, communities –

  •  Support, educate, and train people helping them feel competent 
  • Teach about how consequences drive behavior, and
  • Help people perceive choice, for example, by making them a part of the goal-setting process. 

In addition, Author James Clear gives practical tips on what else you can do to sustain motivation in everyday life. Some of his suggestions are – 

  • Get started – Often, we look for sources of motivation in our environment. We watch videos and read books in search of it, but motivation is the result of our actions, not the cause of them. It strikes after we start working toward our goal. Getting started produces momentum and acts as active inspiration. 
  • Schedule motivation – This is how professionals excel. They set up a schedule to train and stick to it. It puts their decision-making on autopilot and gives their goals a time and place to live. Once you have set up a schedule, you are more likely to follow through regardless of your motivation levels. 
  • Build rituals -Ritualsprecede schedules.They arean easy way to trigger behavior by removing the need to make a decision. Simple actions, done the same way every day, become habits and reduce the chance that you would skip them. Many famous creative artists follow rituals, e.g., Maya Angelou rented a hotel room to write. She went there at 6:30 AM and wrote until 2 PM.

What works for you to stay motivated? What else will you try to build on it? I would love to hear your thoughts.