If you were to stay focused on your current unpleasant circumstances, you will never generate the motivation needed to start doing the things necessary to change them.
Our tendency is to place our attention on our problems rather than what we want believing that somehow this will make things better. It doesn’t. We have been conditioned to take this approach by the news media, government agencies, and mental health organizations. Each of these institutions tends to focus on problems, disasters, and drama. In other words, they are set up to focus on problems after they occur rather than focusing on the desired outcome in advance.
A crucial part of self-improvement is facing the truth about the present conditions in your life. And taking full responsibility for everything in it. However, staying in a place of self-reflection and self-analysis will never produce favorable results.
To generate the motivation to begin and persevere to your goals requires that you maintain your mental attention on the end result. The more vividly you can imagine your desired outcome and the more emotion you attach to it by picturing yourself living in that reality, the more motivation you’ll generate.
For example, if you are trying to begin and sustain an exercise program, you’ll never make any real progress if you are focusing on your overweight and flabby body. In order to motivate yourself, you must vividly imagine the body you want to have before you begin and during your exercise routine. And you must repeat this every time. Soon these images will come automatically. Eventually, your motivation will increase to even higher levels when you see your progress in the mirror and then imagine where you’re headed.
This same strategy works for more dramatic life changes as well. For example, if you dream about starting your own income-generating website, designing a home, or moving to the country you must get yourself into the daily habit of imagining these outcomes in vivid detail. You must picture yourself living these realities along with all the emotions that go along with them now! When it comes to grander dreams like these, it’s a good idea to create a few inspirational mechanisms as I like to call them.
Inspirational mechanisms are visualizations, written descriptions, and graphic representations of your goals that you refer to for motivation, focus, and direction.
Here are a few ways to create inspirational mechanisms.
- Create a visualization of your goal – Get yourself in an environment where you’ll be undisturbed for at least 20 minutes. Close your eyes and imagine every aspect of your goal as though you’ve already achieved it. Imagine how you’ll feel. Hold on to that image and add to it as the inspiration to do so hits you. Keep the visualization alive and growing by reenacting the visualization daily and adding to it. Eventually, the complete visualization will play in your mind automatically with little effort anytime you want.
- Create an outline of your goals – Describe the details of the things you want in outline form. I suggest using an outline format because it’s easier to review quickly than a bunch of paragraphs. You might just describe your top 3-5 goals this way. Put information in the outline that gets you the most excited.
- Create an inspiration board – I prefer to call them an inspiration board over the more common vision board name because that’s what I want them to do for me. Inspire me! You can make them on many different materials including a bulletin board, poster board, cardboard, or even in a picture frame. Put everything on it that inspires you the most. For example, you might have a list of your goals, quotes from famous people, and images of your dream town, house, and car.
For the best results, refer to your inspirational mechanisms first thing in the morning, just before you get into bed at night, just before starting a goal-related task, and anytime you need a motivational jolt.
Train yourself to keep your thoughts on where you want to end up and NOT on all the work in between. The more you do this the more motivation you’ll generate and the sooner it will become a habit. This habit will then carry you all the way to your desired destination.