I don’t know about you but I’ve been having a hard time staying motivated. The start of the new year hasn’t been exactly stress-free.
The now very long periods of social distancing have impacted many of us. Motivation can lag on projects. This in turn has consequences such as missing deadlines, being unprepared, and losing clients or customers. Having a roadmap is a key element to project completion and success.
Setting goals as part of that roadmap can help you feel less anxiety and more accomplished. Goals also provide focus as well as a measuring tool for progress. They enhance productivity, bolster self-esteem, and increase commitment. You are more likely to achieve what you set out to do.
Motivation is essential to setting and reaching goals. Research shows that you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control by deciding what you want, powering through challenges, and envisioning yourself succeeding. Here are some tips on how to set project goals and how to keep yourself on track to achieving them.
Set Smart Goals
Write down the project goals. Be specific, use action verbs, have measurable outcomes, and specify completion dates.
Make a list of hurdles. Think of everything that might cause you to get off track with the project. Plan for how you will handle these disruptions to stay focused.
Identify the benefits of achieving your goals. Think about why your goals are important to yourself and project. By achieving the goals what will you and others gain.
Break your goals into smaller steps with deadlines. Establish specific tasks that need to be done to achieve each goal. Be clear on exactly what you are going to do and when.
Have a backup plan. Because life happens, make sure you leave room for the unexpected. This could be unforeseen circumstances or a temporary lapse in your own motivation. Have strategies in place to get yourself back on track with the project.
Implement Accountability and Rewards
Chart your progress. Whether you use a high-tech project manager app or a basic to-do list, seeing incremental progress can boost your motivation and help you stay on track.
Enlist others for help. Find someone who is willing to be your sounding board or feedback partner. Schedule time to talk to hold yourself accountable. If they have presentation experience, ask them for insight.
Reward yourself. Treat yourself to a reward for every successful step you take toward achieving your project goals. Remember though, choose rewards that will motivate you to continue moving forward.
Everyone’s motivation lags as some point. It is important to recognize that it isn’t a failure on your part. Having a process in place to help you stay on track like setting goals and accountability can help you stay motivated.