3 Ways To Rediscover Your Motivation

Recently I’ve been lacking motivation which is very frustrating when I want to get lots done! After giving myself a bit of a break, I decided to actively find out why my motivation had decreased and do something about it.

I hope if you ever feel in a similar state, the actions I  tried help you too!

Mixing up media consumption

I’ve never been a huge fan of watching YouTube videos as I prefer reading long-form articles. However, this seemed to be getting stale, so I decided to mix it up and watch some videos.

I started off with Ramit Sethi’s channel. Most of the information was what he writes about on his website, but by consuming it in a different way, I was able to get a different perspective on things. Also, watching videos that have been edited into small chunks of 3 – 5 minutes kept my attention and the time flew by!

Having received some great information from the first video, it was an easy decision to let YouTube’s autoplay roll on and before I knew it, I was watching loads of different entrepreneurs discuss everything from SEO to strategies on meeting famous people.


envisioning the future

I love the internet. I started off by watching some random dude video himself about how to grow your email subscribers, which led me to different blogs, eventually landing on some other random guy’s website reading about dreamlining.

Dreamlining is “the systematic process of outlining your ideal lifestyle and making a plan to realize your dreams.” It is a concept created by Tim Ferris in the book, The Four Hour Work Week.

Actually writing down what you want to achieve makes it very real… and hopefully achievable!

I like how it is set out in this blog from Tynan (a blogger, life nomad, and programmer):

Think about where you want your life to be in three to five years. Imagine it clearly, so that it feels like you’re actually there. How do you spend your time? Who is around you? Where are you? What are your plans for the week? … Once you have an idea of what it will look like, write it down.

Next, think about how you have been spending your time. Who have you been spending it with? What are your hobbies? What’s your work? What do you do in the spare hour or two between obligations?

As you think about these actions, evaluate whether or not they’re getting you closer to your imagined future. If they aren’t, then ask yourself if you got the future wrong or if you’re getting your actions wrong. It could easily be either one. The goal is to create alignment.

(Bold formatting is my own).

I sat down with some music on and wrote out what was going on in my life right now. Underneath, I put down what I could feasibly achieve, and where I wanted to be, in five years.

I then compared the two paragraphs.

It was actually a really great feeling! I noticed strong efforts in some places, like saving/investing a high percentage while still having fun, and areas where I could make some slight adjustments to reach my goals.

Seeing where I am now and how I am making consistent baby steps to where I want to be was a great motivator.


finding your evil twin

After getting excited about my future, I stumbled across an article which appealed to my competitive side.

The idea is to imagine you have a twin who has exactly the same goals as you. If you want to start a successful low-input business, so do they. If you want to graduate from university in the top 5%, so do they (or even in the top 4, 3, 2, or 1%).

However, only one of you can achieve the goal. If your twin completes the goal before you, you don’t get to even attempt it. Tynan also states that the “one difference between you and your evil twin are your methods. You have a plan, and he has a different one.”

So, how are you going to achieve your goal before your evil twin?

If you’re both trying to start your own business on life coaching, are you frightened of the twin who spends his time reading article after article on life coaching online, or are you scared of the twin who arranges interviews with 10 different people to discover their goals, fears, and dreams?

And, as mentioned in the article, this situation could be real! (usually without the “twin” part). For instance, every person hoping to graduate in the top 5% of their class, there are two more who want to do the same.

How do you beat them?

You become the evil twin. You do what your competition is most scared of. What that usually boils down to is: do it NOW, be hardcore, and never forget that you’re not the only one in the race. (Tynan)

After processing this information, I immediate wrote down a couple of things I could do to “beat” my evil twin. The actions scared the life out of me, but if my evil twin would be willing to do it… so would I.


In conclusion…

I finished the day feeling significantly more motivated than I had at the beginning.

Consciously digging deeper into my lack of motivation also bought up another ‘ah-ha’ moment. Although it is important to have goals, it is also vital to focus on the current moments of joy that happen everyday. Stuck in traffic for example, yes annoying, but what a chance of uninterrupted time to think over your day and what you want to achieve from it.

Living in the moment seems to provide the most joy, and I also like to combine it with thoughts of how it will feel when it’s done. Think about how it will feel to have completed a project, article, book, and how it will add value to your life. That in turn gives extra motivation!

I hope some of the actions I took help anyone else who is struggling finding motivation, I am sure it will come!

3 easy ways to plan your dreams

This week I was off work and very last minute decided to go for a short trip to a dream place of mine: Geneva, Switzerland.

Being able to have the freedom to up sticks and go was amazing! Everything went like clockwork, from parking to getting from the airport to the city centre (an irrational fear I have). But the best bit about it was that I knew I had the finances to do this.

I had the finances to:

  • Work out Swiss public transport and visit the UN building
  • Devour some incredible cheese fondue
  • Buy my family and friends some mouth watering chocolates
  • Read 3 books in a day (!) – flight delays can do wonders for working my way through a book

One of those books was I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. Although very much aimed at an American audience, I was able to get some valuable insights from it about preparing for your dreams.

The main gem I gleaned from this book was about saving for the big events in our lives, like weddings, or even the less momentous but still important milestones, like travelling. Going with the example of weddings, Ramit claims that the average wedding costs around $28,000. In the UK, an average wedding in 2017 according to the Huffington Post costs £27,161.

How much?!

That is a lot of money.

But if having a wedding is a dream of yours, with that dream including all kinds of weird and wonderful things from chocolate fondue to sausage dogs dressed in suits, then you are happy to beg, borrow, steal, or get a loan, to cover the costs. Right?

It doesn’t have to be like that…

3 easy ways to plan your dreams

1. Actually plan for them

For most people, there are a couple of big milestones they would like to have in their life. Usually they include having a wedding and buying a house. Both super expensive decisions.

The average wedding age in the UK for women is 30.8 years and for men is 32.7 years. Running those figures means…

Scary wedding numbers

Your ageMonths until weddingMonthly amount you need to save

(I’m assuming you have no financial help from family/significant other). Thanks Ramit for the inspiration behind this!

It’s quite an astonishing amount to save! But perhaps even more astonishing is that we don’t usually even think about saving for a milestone like this. It’s something that will impact our lives immensely yet we don’t even sit down to think about it properly for ten minutes.

If you’re saying right now “wait a minute, I can barely save £50 a month let alone a couple of hundred”, then you may need to…

2. Have something to save towards

There is a MASSIVE psychological difference between just saving for the sake of it or actually saving for something.

I’ve seen this first hand with my housemate. He makes a healthy £28,500 but wasn’t really bothered about saving. Until he decided that he wanted to buy a house. Like really want to buy a house.

He’s now managed to save £11,000 in 10 months.

What is it that you want to save towards? How much do you need to save?

Let’s say that you want to travel to the Caribbean in 1 year’s time. It’s been a dream of yours to learn how to scuba dive surrounded by colourful friendly tropical fish.

So, let’s run the numbers for a 10 day holiday for 2 people:

  • Flights: £500 – £600 each (from London, UK).
  • Accommodation: anywhere from £400 – £2,000. Let’s say a mid-range hotel of £700.
  • Scuba diving: £250 each (ish).
  • Spending money/food: £500 each. (Not going crazy but still enjoying the holiday).

So the total for one person is £1,650. Divide this by 12 = £137.50 you need to save for a month in order to afford this holiday.

Bear in mind that I haven’t specified a certain island in the Caribbean so these figures can vary depending on the exact place. 

Great, so you now have the amount to aim for and the exact amount you need to save per month in order to meet this goal. It’s in reach!

Broken down by month actually makes it look less scary and really achievable.

Of course you can find savvy ways to reduce the total cost, from seeing if AirBnB have cheaper places to stay to picking your flight dates carefully to fly at the cheapest times.

3. sub-saving accounts

This is something I am currently working on in my finances. I have a “Save to Spend” pot into which I will regularly put money. The problem with this is that I’m not putting it towards something, it’s just saving.

Like I mentioned in point 2, it is so important to have something to save towards.

With this in mind, I am restructuring my big savings pot into a few pot for my goals. For example, your sub-saving pots could include:

  • Holiday to the Caribbean
  • House deposit
  • Going on a training course
  • A new wardrobe

It’s important to have separate saving accounts for each goal. In the UK we can open lots of saving accounts off the back of a current account, which is something to take advantage of. Make sure you’re not paying a fee for them and even better if they have a good interest rate!

For mid-term goals, such as saving for a house deposit, it would make sense to have a savings account that has a high interest rate as you will be saving a lot more. For short-term goals, such as saving for a new wardrobe or a designer handbag, I think it’s more important to have the structure in place so a high interest rate is less vital.

Work out exactly how much you need to complete each goal: the target figure needed.

Then, when money comes into your account, automate a number to go towards each pot.

Once you have reached your target, go out and spent it!

Do it. Otherwise it won’t happen!

The mini vacation to Geneva was one of the best things I could have done at this moment in time. By getting a sense of perspective on life, I have been lucky to learn some great strategies for pushing forward with my dreams.

Maybe one of my sub-saving pots should be another mini break!

Staying motivated on your goals

“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.” — Zig Ziglar

We all have goals that we focus on, both consciously and unconsciously. From short term goals, such as having a great evening with friends, to longer life goals, like achieving financial freedom.  Often, there may be difficulty in starting the goal, or not realising that it will take a lot longer to achieve than initially accounted for. At this point, we may start to lose motivation or try something new.  Luckily, staying motivated is an abundant research area and there are many different techniques you can use to stay on track!

Motivational quotes

A good quote can be a great pick-me-up to rekindle your motivation and give you a sense of perspective. When I’m in a real rut, I will change my phone’s lock screen to a motivational quote just to keep me focused.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” ― Karen Lamb

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” — Napoleon Hill

“It always seems impossible until it is done” — Nelson Mandela

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”  — Theodore Roosevelt

Focusing on a small number of goals

This is Warren Buffet’s trick that I chat about in his wealth profile.  Warren advises people to first create a list of the top 25 accomplishments that they would like to complete over the next few years. Then reduce this down to the top five and just focus on them while avoiding the longer list as this would distract attention towards meeting the top five.

I tried out this idea to see if it would work on my goals. It was surprising how difficult it was to write out 25 goals! I had to really think about what I want to achieve, and I know the list will change, but it was good to put some ideas on paper. I also made sure that they were goals that I actually wanted to have: I think sometimes we can get swept up in other people’s lives so they had to be true to me. It took two evenings to write down all the goals then went through the list saying to myself: What goals do I want to complete first?

Knowing that these goals will be completed, partly because I am super stubborn so just keep pushing and partly because what is the point otherwise, made me feel really excited about choosing just 5. Just 5! My top 5. It really motivated me and made me feel inspired that I can do this! What a fab feeling. Have a look at the ones I chose here. I definitely recommend it!

Setting deadlines

…and putting in mini deadlines to meet those deadlines! So for example, a goal of mine that I am planning to accomplish in 2017 is running a half marathon. By July, so now, I wanted to run at least 15k – I’m almost there! Having little goals is a great way of staying on track and keeps you motivated.

The same goes for saving goals. I guess it’s like making credit card payments every month: making little payments towards the overall total reminds you that the goal will happen, it’s just the process of getting there. Ramit Sethi recommends setting up sub saving accounts for major milestones that are in most people’s long term plan. Such as a wedding fund if getting married is something you can see yourself doing in the future. Or a dream holiday. Or even just a designer handbag! The trick is to set a limit, such as £5,000 on a 3 month trek around Malaysia, then once the goal has been hit to actually spend it! Definitely a motivator to go out and achieve your goals.

Support network

Let people know what your goals are! This will also provide some accountability: you will be more motivated to complete them because you’ve already told people that you have plans to reach a certain goal, such as going up on a hot air balloon (one of my goals!).

It’s also surprising how the world works in that your friends, family, colleagues, or strangers, may be able to help you achieve your goals through their own network or experiences. It also gives off a good impression of you as someone who is living their life to the full! It is so easy to get caught up in the dreaming part but talking about your goals makes them become more real-life and within your grasp.

I am generally quite a private person so it can be difficult for me to open up and talk about what I want to achieve – I think this also comes from a fear of failing. Sometimes life changes and you can no longer carry out the initial plan. A good way of working round these bumps in the road is to perceive them just as that: bumps in the road. Figure out a way round. Don’t go fast enough to scrape your “car” on the bump but have enough momentum to get through it. Then look back and be so proud that you are one step closer to reaching your dreams.

What are some of your techniques for staying motivated? Do you have key goals that you really want to achieve? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

I’m so excited to accomplish this goal!