We all have days when we just don’t feel like it. Whether it’s going to the gym and sticking to a clean diet or working on a business plan after a long day at the office, long-term goals take daily work. At first, it’s easy to stay on track because you have that initial rush of motivation. After that, though, when you’re just a few weeks or months into founding and launching your business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how much you have left to do and what it’s going to take to get there.
At that point, motivation starts to flag, and it’s entirely too easy to start saying, “I’ll work on that tomorrow…” So how can you stay focused when you don’t have any outside influences forcing you to keep working? And how can you stay on target when you’re not feeling that initial burst of motivation? Here are a few tips to help you stay on track.
MAKE IT A HABIT
Motivation and passion won’t always be there for you when you’re feeling sick, tired, or just burnt out. However, habit and dedication will be there for you, even when passion and motivation take a holiday. Make a habit of doing something every single day to further your business.
If you haven’t quit your day job yet, this could be as simple as setting aside 20 minutes during your lunch hour to work on your business plan. If you’re already working on your business full-time, it might be a little bit more involved, but that’s really not all that hard, either. You just have to create a consistent schedule.
SET YOUR SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT
Whether you’re working on your business full-time or in your off hours, creating a set schedule can help you build habits and stay focused, even when you’re feeling discouraged or bored with the process (which happens to everyone and really isn’t a sign that you don’t have enough passion or drive).
Don’t just say, “I’m going to work on achieving my goals from 8:00 AM till noon.” Instead, structure your time and get specific. Set yourself deadlines and mark out time for specific tasks. For example, you might work on your business plan from 8:00–9:00 AM or until you’ve written a draft of a full section, whichever comes first. When you get done with that task, you’ll move on to the next one, etc. If you get done with everything you set out to do for the morning or for the whole day, you can then reward yourself by taking the rest of the day off or moving on to tasks that are always fun for you.
SEE YOUR BUSINESS AS A PROCESS, NOT AN EVENT
Just like losing weight and getting in shape, building a business is a process, not an event. For example, think of those people who say things like, “If I lose 15 pounds, I’ll be in shape.” You know that if that person stops working out and eating right after losing those 15 pounds, they’ll be right back where they started in no time. If they view getting in shape as a long-term process, then they’ll be much more likely to succeed. The same is true of your business. See it as a process, and you’ll start to appreciate even the small tasks and the less exciting chores.
Follow these tips, and you’ll find it much easier to stay focused, even when you don’t feel motivated. Keep moving forward, and you’ll be on your way to long-term success.