Friday, September 23, 2016

NF for NF Handout: Got Motivation?

You’ve probably heard that the secret to completing a manuscript is as easy as BIC—Butt in Chair. But with such busy lives, it can be hard to find the time and, more importantly, the motivation to stick to the writing goals we set for ourselves. How can we make writing a top priority day after day, week after week, month after month—until our manuscript is finally done?

Here are some tips and tools to stay motivated as you pursue a writing life.

Don’t think about achieving success or being successful. Don’t compare yourself to others who you think are more successful. That kind of thinking is toxic. No one ever thinks they are successful.

It’s better to focus on motivation. Because:
1. We can control it.
2. It helps us remember that we’re on a journey.
3. It lets us know when something is wrong.

Know the Why: If you aren’t clear on why you’re doing something, it’s easy to give up. Take the time to figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing and how it benefits you, your family, and your community.
 
Motivation has three main components:
1. Focusing on your BIG dream.
2. Setting goals.
3. Staying positive.

Here's each step in greater detail:
 
1. What is your BIG dream is? Write it down. Create a vision of what you want your life to be. A vision board can help. Lots of people swear by them. 
 
I use an idea board instead of a vision board. It works better for me. It’s a place to store and keep track of ideas for future books and marketing plans. Looking at what’s up there helps me set priorities quickly.
Want to know more about my idea board? Watch this video of my nieces giving a tour of my office.
Be sure to rehearse your BIG dream. Daydream as you drift off to sleep, while in the shower, while walking the dog, etc.

2. Set 4-5 goals per year. They should be specific, achievable, and measurable. Write them down in the following format: By ____ (date), I will ______.

If you only have one or two goals, it may help to break them into smaller steps.

If you have so many goals that you feel paralyzed, you have created a to-do list, not goals. Think bigger picture and try again.

If addressing writer’s block is one of your goals, try switching to a different writing project when you feel stuck. Getting stuck is a natural part of the process, but you can stay productive if you devote your time and energy to a different project.

If you’re wondering how to prioritize your goals, listen to your heart. Which goal are you most passionate about?
 
I post my goals in the upper right-hand corner of my idea board and look at them every day. You can see my goals in the photo above. I usually write them on the back of a receipt. No reason to waste paper.

Think of your goals as an action plan.

Once you have a plan, stay the course. Every time someone asks you to do something or you have an opportunity, ask yourself: Does this serve one of my goals? Does this serve my BIG dream?
 
Find a friend to help you stay accountable. A buddy can:
Help you set deadlines
Act as a sounding board
Highlight your blind spots
Be a cheerleader
Celebrate successes (big and small)
 
3. To stay positive:
Surround yourself with upbeat, constructive people.
Focus on what you can control.
Commit to improving your mindset.
Go forth and contribute. You can make it happen.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Melissa, for these great tips and chart to help me prioritize my goals. Sometimes I get boggled down by negatives. Your post is a terrific positive!

    ReplyDelete