When were you at your happiest, most energized and most inspired? The answer to this question can yield valuable insights into what can help propel you back into this state in the future. The human mind is very prone to "anchoring" to environmental triggers that can lead you into strong emotional states, both positive and negative. Here are six tips for staying creative, motivated and inspired on a more consistent basis:
1. Choose Your "Destination"
If you don't know where you're headed, you can't make much headway. Whether your goals are personal or professional (or both), be as specific as possible about where you want to be. Are you seeking a committed relationship, a fitness goal or looking to increase your business income by 25%? Be specific, and put it in writing.
2. Find out "Why"
Author Simon Sinek speaks of the importance of getting to the "why" of any goal. His book, "Start With Why," explains that companies with a visceral, emotional connection to their stated goal tend to be far more successful long-term than companies who may make a quality product but have no compelling mission/passion. This works for individuals as well: What drives you? Connecting with the passion behind a goal can allow you to tap into an inner fountain of energy and inspiration.
3. Set a Deadline/Time Frame
Open-ended goals are harder to achieve, so take a stand and give yourself an end point. Specific deadlines can have a "catalyzing" effect, and work often "fits itself" to the amount of time available. Choose a reasonable deadline for your goals that will motivate you to take action and honor your promise to yourself.
4. Create a Reward System
While many goals can be their own reward once they're met, others may feel a little dry. Choose rewards within your budget to look forward to once you achieve key targets. Taking a day off from work, splurging on a favorite meal, getting a massage or taking a vacation can all offer incentive to achieve goals and enjoy your reward.
5. "Chunk" Down Larger Goals
A major long-term goal can seem daunting, but breaking it down into more manageable segments can bring a more motivating feel. Use the reward system from Tip #4 to fuel your motivation to meet key milestones along the way to your ultimate destination.
6. Get Support
Flagging motivation can strike at any time, but if you use a "buddy system" while working on your goals, you'll be able to motivate one another and hold each other accountable. Your support system can take the form of a co-worker or business partner, a trusted friend, a peer working on something similar, a mastermind group, or even a life coach. Besides feeling more inspired, it's also more fun to share the experience of setting and achieving goals with other people.
If we could bottle creativity, motivation and inspiration, we'd be rich beyond measure. However, these six tips can help anyone to tap into natural reserves of these energies more and more of the time.