If you were to ask Mark Twain how to get motivated, he’d say this, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Getting started is probably the most difficult task ever. We know what we want to do, we can see where we want to go, but we don’t necessarily know how to start. In this post, I’m going to share with you the top three must-haves in how to get motivated to start anything.
Super important. Read this.
Before getting into the tips on how to get motivated, I want to address one thing. Fear. Fear can hold us back from…well…everything! The fear of failure is a big one. Unfortunately, our world measures success primarily based on money. So if the world saw you start a business and see that you didn’t make any money, then the world would say you failed. Not cool. However, the Bible says in Romans 12:2 to not conform to the pattern of this world but instead be transformed by the renewing of your mind, it is then you will be able to test and approve God’s will for you, his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
The Bible is truth, the world is broken. Your business that didn’t go the way you thought? Isn’t a failure at all. It showed the world that you had the courage to make something happen, you learned a tremendous amount about business, and you’re living a life without regrets; that is a whole lot of success that you can take with you where ever you go. Don’t be afraid to start anything, be afraid of not starting it. There are other ways to measure success and I encourage you to take a stronghold of these other ways, for if you only measure by money, you’re going to miss a whole lot of blessings. Read up on 5 Important Ways to Measure Success without Numbers.
4 Critical Tips to Start Anything
If you jumped to this spot without reading the two paragraphs above, back up, and please read them.
1. Have a plan
Of course, I was going to say that. If there is no plan, there is no map. When the map isn’t in front of our faces, we won’t know what direction we’re going in. We could be going in circles for all we know…which has happened to me. In fact, I was going so fast around the circle, that I actually thought I was going somewhere. This creates busyness, and we all know being busy can be a trap. With that said, you may want to check out how not to be busy and How Cookie Dough Gave Me Super Powers.
Take things one step at a time. The first step is to write everything down. I know your ideas are in your head, it’s time now to get them down on paper. For some of us, this might even be a scary thing to do. Draw pictures, use details; it can be hard to transform information from your brain to paper, but at least we can see it now. Using a planner helps, especially if it probes questions and helps you organize. Being organized encourages your mind to get clearer on where you want to go. When your thoughts are down on paper, your idea becomes real. Now that’s really scary. But to move forward, it starts with paper and a pencil.
2. Get organized
As I mentioned before, how to get organized is a huge step in getting motivated. The next step is to take all those things you wrote down and organize them into categories or to-dos. Organizing your ideas, the steps you need to take, the research that needs to happen, and the tools you need to acquire are critical to your success. If we take things one step at a time, we won’t get overwhelmed and will stay motivated.
Lastly, break down these tasks into do-able steps. I know you’re going to want to go fast, but there is no sense in going fast if you don’t know what the heck you’re doing. Step by step. With each step, we get a little more confident in what we’re doing. And with more confidence, comes the next step, then the next, and so on. Get the free printable on goals at my Freebies.
Speaking of confidence. A lack of confidence can completely stop you in your tracks. We all struggle with confidence, it happens to the best of us, but what differentiates the ones to move on and the ones who go nowhere is getting back on the horse. Here are some tips on how to build self-esteem.
3. Seek encouragement – big one for how to get motivated!
“Gotta start somewhere” is a great weapon to protect you from judgment and to help you stay motivated. When you’re trying to describe your dream or idea to someone and they just don’t get it, you’re probably going to get some weird looks and unasked-for opinions. Remember this with your kids. When they come to you and say, “Hey Mom! I’ve got this great idea to make popcorn bowls out of my old basketballs!” If you want your child to come to ask for your opinion in the future, be wise in how you react. The idea may stinketh, but they need to figure that out on their own.
Lesson one: tell someone you trust, who will give you encouragement…more on this in a minute. Lesson two; don’t say a thing to someone who may bash your idea into liver pudding. Remember, if someone comes to you to share an idea, this person came to you, they feel safe with you. They are seeking a green light. No matter what the idea they tell you, give them a high-five or an “Oreo Cookie” response: say something good, then your constructive critisim, then something good again! Anyone who drums up the courage to tell someone something dear to their heart deserves encouragement.
Encouragement from inspirational quotes
Inspirational and motivational quotes can also give you encouragement. Here are some great ones I look to often:
Super important about encouragement…read this please!
My ideas got hammered many times before I finally learned my valuable lesson of ‘pick who you share with’. I touched on this briefy above. The most hurting time was when I shared some ideas with someone I loved. You’d think that is the right person to share with, and sometimes it is, but those loved ones can be very critical. Parents, spouses, and best friends listen to me, please. You may think you’re helping, but you’re not. At this point, think before you speak, this isn’t your spotlight to steel with knowledge or ego, it isn’t a time to ask a million questions of how they’re going to do it, again, just be excited for them, let them have this moment and give them encouragement.
Getting worked up
The embarrassing time when I shared my idea was at a dinner party with my husband and his colleagues. Wrong time. I panicked really. Of course, at any work function, one of the questions people ask is, “Where do you work?” I should have known better and prepared for this. Why wouldn’t they ask? We’re all curious to know what people do and secretly compare our lives to theirs. We’re all guilty of that. In a weird way, this experience helped me know how to get motivated. Anyway…while we were sitting at the dinner table waiting for our salads, the butterflies started to flutter in my belly.
Here I was a stay-at-mom-home who was trying to start a blog. I wanted to say something important like I’m launching a new product. Everyone else has these big fancy things they were doing. My blog was just starting out and I wasn’t too confident about it yet. My hands were getting sweaty as the person next to me told us what she did. These people have awesome jobs. Me? I had a hobby. And the annoying part of this experience was that it was loud in the restaurant so you had to yell for anyone to hear. Go figure.
“What do you do?“
Yikes! My turn. “I’m starting a new blog to help people go after their true dream in life and do more than exist.” At the time my blog was domorethanexist.com. From my answer people just stared at me, which seemed like five minutes. Because no one said anything I felt like I had to explain myself. I should have stopped there. Not really knowing what I was saying I went on and fumbled, but tried to catch myself. Big “L” to the forehead.
When I was trying to explain the blog the expression on their faces made me feel so out of place like I had a bug on my face and they were trying to figure out if they should smack it or let it crawl in my mouth and choke me. All this was going through my head until I said my magic words “Gotta start somewhere, right?” All of a sudden, the bug jumped off my face and into their mouths, they couldn’t argue, they couldn’t judge. Those four words made all the difference, and who knows maybe they were jealous they weren’t in a position I was. Toast to that! Wipe to the brow.
Two quick lessons at the dinner party:
- Know your pitch before you go to a dinner party
- When you get that ‘bug on your face look’ use “Gotta start somewhere, right?”, they’ll simply nod their head and repeat, “Gotta start somewhere.” Try it, it’s funny.
Where do you get true encouragement?
Know who to go to.
This goes back to some of the things I just said. If you know the person you’re going to is going to be critical, don’t talk to that person. I know that’s going to be hard, because sometimes we have this weird emotional acceptance thing that goes something like this, “if Sally (the critical person) approves of my idea then it’s gotta be a good one. I’ll just keep asking her opinion on my ideas until I get a thumbs-up from her.” STOP IT! You’re playing the acceptance game, fold your hand and leave the table. If you continue to go to this person your self-esteem will tank.
Don’t have anyone? Talk to me! Seriously, send me an email and we’ll talk.
The Bible is full of encouragement. In a weird way, the Bible is not dated, meaning God speaks to us individually through His words no matter what year it is. One verse may mean something one day, then a year later that same verse may mean something totally different. He knows what you need to hear and when you need to hear it. You just have to be willing to read the pages. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? (NIV).
Teachers, mentors, coaches, our kids.
Teachers are great encouragers, and so are mentors, coaches, and even your own children. Kids are pretty smart, they’re extremely observant. On a side note, just the other day, I was trying to figure out a new plugin for the website and it took me forever to figure it out, when in fact, I couldn’t get it to work. My son had asked how my day went and I told him I had wasted it on a plugin, but nothing got done. His response surprised me, “Mom, you didn’t waste your day, you learned what not to do!” I laughed, smiled, and said, “Right On! I needed to hear that. Thanks, Honey.”
If anyone can encourage you, it can be yourself. Gotta start somewhere. With that said, head over to my Freebies and download my top favorite affirmations. Depending on others to motivate you isn’t doing you any favors. How to self-motivate is a BIG bonus. Practice different ways that will teach you how to get motivated.
More sources of encouragement come from non-fiction books, YouTube videos of motivational speakers, stories from those TV talent shows, music, and even a stranger. When I first started out I got encouragement from Holley Gerth’s book, “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream“. I still reference it today. So good!
4. How to get motivated? Tap into courage.
In 2008 I started blogging. I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it for that matter. Note the dinner party. All I knew was that I needed to start somewhere. In the various books, courses, and ‘how to blog’ posts I read over the years, I’ve noticed a common denominator; nothing happens until Courage is invited. I had to get the guts to try. “Gotta start somewhere” gives us permission to take a step forward, to try it on for a bit.
With courage it’s important to understand who you are. If you don’t know who you are, knowing how to get motivated is going to be tough. What makes you tick. Where you want to go. To learn more about yourself you’re going to have to make time for yourself. Embrace “me time”. Here’s a post on 9 Easy Ways to Learn More about Yourself.
What is courage?
Courage is the moment in time where we take a step of faith not knowing what will come of it but we do it anyway. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (NIV) Gotta start somewhere.
When we put ourselves out there, people are going to judge. The magical element of courage is that we don’t care what other people think, we have a vision and we’re going to try our hardest to see that vision become part of the big picture. When people watch, give them a show. Show them how to move forward, how to stand back up, and how to live in freedom.
Those bug-on-your-face looks are beaming with curiosity or maybe jealously. Remember, everyone has their own opinion, and they are only opinions; it’s you who you need to believe in. Here are 5 Easy Ways to Build Courage & Confidence.
Wrapping up how to get motivated
I’m going to keep this to the point in a simple way. And if you skipped the whole post on how to get motivated, you might want to reconsider and go back and read, you may miss the blessing you need to hear to get motivated. In the meantime, here is the nutshell review:
- Pray. Daily. In Jesus’s name. “Lord, light my fire within. What is my next step?”
- Plan. Step by step.
- Practice. Try your dream on, take it off, try it on again. Trust who you tell.
There is one last bonus idea that you can try to get motivated, and that is to dress the part. Simply put, play dress-up. How to get motivated? “Gotta start somewhere” isn’t just permission to try; it’s also to inspire others to do the same.
Before you go check out these other great posts:
- 9 Gift Ideas to Comfort Someone
- Christmas: What Serving Others Does for You
- How Cookie Dough Gave Me Super Powers – Plus Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!
- 3 Essential Tactics for Holiday Eating
- 13 Natural Stress Relief Products For Anyone!
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