The most common problem people talk about when they request
coaching is staying motivated. Sometimes they talk about
losing focus, being discouraged, having too much to do, or
procrastination, but what it boils down to is that they
arent achieving as much as they would like.
We all have things that are important to us. We have goals, a
dream, or maybe some obligations we are duty-bound to
complete, but we arent making the progress we would like.
Some people work hard for a while, then slack off. Others
procrastinate and never get to it. Some dont know how to get
started or are too tired.
The central issue is motivation.
The fact is that we do the things we are motivated to do. Ask
any teenager how hard theyll work to make the team or get
their drivers license. Ask yourself how many all-nighters
you put in to complete an important paper in college. Ask
yourself about the times youve worked hard to achieve
something that simply, absolutely had to get done!
Theres a wonderful story about a young man who travelled the
world to meet a wise and famous teacher. When they met, the
young man pleaded, “Will you teach me how to find wisdom?”
Without a word, the guru led the young man to a nearby lake
and suddenly pushed his head under water. At first the young
man thought it was a joke, but after a few seconds, he began
thrashing and fighting desperately for a breath of air.
Finally, the guru let him up and calmly said, “When you
desire wisdom as badly as you wanted that next breath of air,
you will find it.”
When we are motivated, nothing can stand in our way!
So, how do we stay motivated? Here are a few keys:
1. Be clear! You can hit almost any target if you define it
precisely enough. Its hard to stay motivated for a vague or
distant goal. Be specific. Be precise and concrete. You will
be far more motivated to increase sales by 6% than by “trying
to sell more.”
2. Have an action plan. If you have a map and know the next
step, you are much more motivated to do it. “Baby-steps” are
easier and safer than “giant leaps.” Its relatively hard to
stay motivated through the years to put a million dollars in
the bank, but its easy to start by saving $300 this month.
Have a clear, do-able and action-able plan. Then, take steps
one after another.
3. Surround yourself with positives. Zig Ziglar made a
wonderful observation that “people complain motivation
doesnt last. Well, neither does a shower. Thats why I
recommend both every day.” Read and listen to audio programs,
talk with exciting people and surround yourself with things
that energize you! We live in a bad-news world. It wears
everyone down! To counter this, surround yourself (every
day!) with things that energize, challenge and excite you.
(One more reason I recommend participating in trainings and
4. The “Breakfast of Champions.” With apologies to
Wheaties, I encourage you to re-read and re-commit to your
most important priorities, goals and plans every single day.
Personally, I begin every morning by focusing on my major
projects and goals for about 20 minutes. If I dont, the day
gets away from me. In the rush of the day, minor distractions
will beat strategic action every time. Start every day by
reviewing and re-affirming your most important objectives.
5. Have plenty of cheerleaders! I think this may be the most
important, easiest, and most-often over-looked. Recruit
friends and family to hold you accountable. Teach them how to
support and encourage you. Pick their brains for good ideas,
and report back to them regularly. Form and use a MasterMind
team! With a good team of cheerleaders, you can accomplish
There really is a science–a proven set of principles and
reliable steps–to keep yourself motivated and achieve your
dreams! To achieve your most important goals, hard work and
even self-discipline are not enough! Master the tools that
let some people achieve one goal after another for a lifetime
of success, while others work just as hard but get minimal