How to Stay Motivated When You’re Easily Distracted
Hustle culture has created a generation of dreamers. With this digital age and the ability to network and connect with other dreamers all over the world comes a bit of a double ended sword- distractions.
I know you have some pretty damn good ideas and dreams inside that beautiful head of yours, but are distractions stealing your motivation to successfully achieve your goals? Whether your dreams are wellness or business oriented, I believe it’s not necessarily a lack of passion or a learning curve that’s keeping you from achieving your goals. It’s more likely that you’re getting easily distracted. This then turns into low results- ultimately turning into throwing in the towel before peak momentum is even in the line of sight. It’s all a domino effect that starts with being distracted.
We tend to get wrapped up in other peoples successes when we’re on the journey to creating our own. It’s easier than ever to compare yourself to others when everyone’s wins are plastered all over your social media timelines. We judge ourselves for not being at the same place achievement wise as our peers (or even strangers) and sometimes feel like maybe what we want just isn’t in the cards- so we quit.
If all of this sounds a little too familiar you probably just need to rework how you approach your plan of action. We aren’t all wired the same. Some people can just think up an idea and make it happen without a second thought, but honey, those people are RARE! Instead of throwing in the towel on that goal you have let’s try to work up a plan that will help you stay motivated and give you the results you’ve been dreaming of hitting.
What is Distracting You?
Self-awareness and mindfulness are at the root of success. (The heart of success is passion.) The most important thing when reworking your plan of action is to become mindful of what’s distracting you. Challenge yourself to work on your goals like you normally would for a few days with only one change- taking notes of what causes you to become distracted during those few days. Write them down and reflect back on them.
If you’re having a hard time with this step check your phones screen time and keep a journal of how much tv you’ve been watching. A lot of us complain that we don’t have enough time for our goals when in reality we are filling up on junk time.
After you have a running list of distractions take some time to reflect on them. Are these distractions more important that what you want to achieve? If you really are running low on time and it’s not all about distractions can you wake up two hours earlier to work on your goals? Success comes with hard work and sacrificing some of the guilty pleasures in life. This in no way means you should never allow yourself downtime or an episode of trashy reality TV once in a while, but you do have to decide what you want more of in your daily life- junk time or results.
Set More Short Term Goals
Looking at the end goal is vital to success, but keeping your eye on the prize isn’t what’s going to get you there. It’s actually the smaller stepping stones along the way that get you to the finish line.
When we focus too much on the end results it can get overwhelming. Success feels so much further away when you’re focusing on all 1000 steps to get there. Focus instead on what small goals you can achieve this week. Break your weekly goals down into smaller daily steps.
Example: My weekly goal for this blog is to write and promote two posts per week. One day I might brainstorm ideas and then preform research on those ideas. Then write the outline for each post and begin content writing. Next create graphics to promote on social media. Each day might not look like I’m achieving a lot of traction towards my goal, but at the end of the week when I look back on what I’ve accomplished I can see the results.
Try reflecting on your end goal once a week instead of daily. This will create excitement towards what you’re working on, but it’ll be less overwhelming than dwelling on it everyday only to see how much further you have to go. Choose one day a week to break down your weekly goals into bite sized steps.
Keep Score of Your Accomplishments
Those daily steps towards your weekly goals we just talked about need to be celebrated. Once you finish a step highlight it, mark it off, place a gold star by it or whatever makes you feel fancy. When I mark something off my list it sets off a tiny celebration inside.
It may sound silly but there is psychological science behind this method. Research shows that when you mark something off your to-do list your brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is the feel good chemical in the brain. It’s also the chemical that’s released when someone likes your photo or video on social media. When we get hits of dopamine it’s addicting. If the feeling you get from posting on social media is one of your distractions, then you can replace it by marking things off your to-do list.
Take some time at the end of the week to reflect on what you’ve marked off. Don’t be judgmental of yourself but look at what’s working and what isn’t. If you have a lot of things that weren’t marked off ask yourself if you’re getting easily distracted, or if you were hyper-ambitious with your daily goals this week.
Create a Support System
Your support system is the lifeline to your goals. It can be a little intimidating to share your dreams with the people in your life. When you speak your dreams out loud they feel real. They become a possibility of reality instead of dreams you’re holding onto in your mind.
Who has been your biggest supporter in life? Share your end goal with them and ask them to help you by holding you accountable. This could mean just checking in with you each week to ask how things are going on your journey. When you achieve a milestone share it with your support system.
Social media has also created a great outlet for finding support systems. There are so many groups you can join for motivation and inspiration were you can share and celebrate wins with others. Whether you’re working to get healthier or build a business I can assure you there are groups out there. Places like Meetup and Facebook are great for finding others that are on the same journey as you.
Give Yourself a Break
Sometimes when we get traction with our goals we become obsessed with spending all of our time trying to reach new milestones as fast as possible. This can cause burnout resulting in throwing in the towel due to exhaustion.
Give yourself a break to enjoy things that aren’t related to your goals every now and then. If you feel exhaustion or stress around getting your to-do list done take a break for the day or go out to dinner or a movie with a friend. You can’t reach the finish line if you don’t take care of yourself.