I am self employed. Often times, when I tell people I work from home, I hear the same question “how do you stay motivated?”, and the truth is, it IS really hard to self motivate when you don’t have coworkers to keep you on point. The television is there, the breakfast dishes, the bed, the books, the yarn, whatever. It’s definitely something that took me years to come to terms with, and learn to manage, and I have to say, if it wasn’t for the kids waking me up at the crack of dawn, and the student loans and mortgage debt hanging over my head, I don’t know if I’d be successful at this job.
But, there are some things I’ve put into practice that help me to get it done, and here are a few of them. I think these can really be applied to any type of work, whether it’s a career, a hobby, managing your finances, or household chores.
1. Goal setting done RIGHT. I recently went through this webinar by Hubspot. They say one of the single biggest mistakes we can make when going into any endeavor is neglecting to make measurable goals. I went into the webinar feeling completely confused about which path to take in this turning point of my career that I’ve found myself in. I left feeling completely solid and confident! Believe me, if you’re feeling uncertain, this is worth your while: http://www.hubspot.com/small-business-inbound-marketing/quickstart-grader-page/session-one/
2. If / Then thinking. Read this, just read it. http://99u.com/tips/7248/How-To-Use-If-Then-Planning-To-Achieve-Any-Goal
3. The right tools for the job. Staying married to an exercise regime is hard. Take one day off, and good luck getting back into it. The solution? Buy yourself some new sneakers, and see how excited you are to try them out, show them off at the gym, etc. A little reward, particularly one that helps you achieve your goals, goes a long way.
Recently I had a massage. My butt’s been killing me. I told the therapist I work long hours with my laptop on the couch. She practically spanked me (hey now!), and yelled “Meredith! You’re smarter than that!”. She was right! Now I sit at a kitchen chair with my adjustable laptop table (in the living room, in front of the TV). I feel so much better physically, and it’s fun to pretend this is my cute little studio office. I get a lot more done, I eat less junk food, my clients are happier, I’m happier, the money’s coming in, my house is cleaner, I’m HAPPY! The gadget helped. (Dave Laptop Table)
My friend buys herself fancy cleaning products to motivate her to keep the house clean. You see where I’m going with this?
4. Mantras. I’ve scheduled my mantras into my Google calendar. I get an alert when it’s time to revisit them. Believe me, it helps.
5. Do it your way. Throw out any notions that it needs to look, feel, smell or act like anyone else’s achievement. Go out of your comfort zone. Be OK with ugly (ahem, did you see my title graphic??). Notice the word PRACTICE. Achieving goals is a practice, which means, no one’s perfect at it. Go easy on yourself, take your time, rest in between efforts, look around and feel proud!
The worst thing you can do is lay around and wish you had motivation. The rewards are there for the taking!