When we work for ourselves we need to ensure that we get up, show up and keep going. Staying motivated applies on all avenues of our lives, in fact, it applies no matter the job, even if we don’t work for ourselves. The thing for me about working for myself is doing what I love, that makes it a lot easier to stay motivated. But for some having to be boss and be the one who keeps you going doesn’t work as well as someone standing over you! And love what you do or not there will be times when the other events of life take away some of that mojo, right?
I am great at staying motivated about my writing, my editing work, the gym… because I do it all with great gusto and passion. It’s the only way I know. But there have been times recently when I lost some of my drive although I think I am now nicely back on track. And that’s because we have to adapt and modify.
This principle applies in anything and is the reason many fail at things they started off being highly motivated about. Look about you at how many people tell you about what they’re doing, or plan to do. Some start and for a while are super passionate: a new job, a new course, losing weight, training at the gym. Give it a few weeks, some often less, and those old habits that made them make the change, now slip back in. Now think about the ones who are still going… and happily… are there many? I am thankful that, while I adapt to the many changes that life offers, I do what I say I will. Take the gym. I knew I had to look after my long-term health and when I moved I joined and I go every day. And I always will because some changes need to be forever ones. I simply applied the same reasoning I applied to being a full-time writer/editor. If you want it you have to do it, every day. Simple.
I was talking to my other half about how you keep clients motivated, he is a personal trainer. Adaptation, what they call progressions and sometimes regressions are part of how training programmes are set. So a plan is based on, in this case, fitness goals, that have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound (what we call SMART goals). But, and this is the thing we need to remember, no plan is set in stone and cannot be changed. In fact, it is by the process of continual review and assessment it will be tweaked and changed. Progressions are advances as people get fitter and what they did before gets easier then you change to something new that develops you more. Regressions might be having to remove something to step back to a new form of the exercise because of injury or perhaps it was too hard but that’s okay too. We must all realise that life is the same. Life is a process of continual change and progressions and regressions ‘shunt us about’ and while we have setbacks, sure, overall but we can ensure we always move forwards by never losing sight of the goal. What helps is thinking about why we started in the first place. And remember that you don’t quit, you make it a forever change. You take it milestone by milestone, you reward yourself for successes along the way and when you reach that goal, say weight loss or fitness or getting the novel finished, finding the agent, you now change again to maintain that or reset goals to be an even better you and to challenge yourself further.
Knowing that you have to adapt and that change is needed or you will get bored is what trainers have learned and apply so you have to apply that to your own life. I do have personal training now (why not, I have one to use!) and classes in the gym — the classes made a massive difference to me when I started two years ago. That’s because I know in that particular avenue of my life I needed someone else to help me stay motivated. Now I do fewer classes because I needed to change things up. I had to as the gym changed location, the classes changed, and I had to adapt so I did! With writing, staying motivated comes a lot more naturally — so be aware of your needs and ensure you have in place the means to keep going. I work as a coach too and while what I do is very different from my other half, the same principles apply. In our case it’s showing writers that rejection is process, the same way that his clients can stop losing weight some weeks, adapt to that! I always tell my clients to learn from rejection and keep growing… all the people I know who stick to plans, who keep weight off, who get the agent and publisher are the ones who know these things. They know you have to make something habit and you have to continually adapt.
That is all. Have a great day!