People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar

If staying motivated were so easy, a lot more people would reach their goals and achieve more in life. Without motivation, taking action is almost impossible, it feelings like you are dragging yourself up a hill with a 100 tons behind you, just not fun at all.

Finding the motivation you need to achieve your objectives is an on-going effort and something you need to do regularly. Here are 5 simple ways to get and stay motivated from the outset.

1. Belief comes before motivation

There is a fine line between setting a huge goal and an unrealistic goal. There are many people who favour the idea of setting large almost unreachable goals, stating the bigger the better. However, although it might be very inspiring, if you can’t see yourself reaching it, you will struggle to find the motivation to take action. Inspiration and motivation are different.

Visualize yourself achieving your goal, how hard is this for you to do? What feelings come up for you? First you need to believe in yourself and then you will feel more motivated to take action.

2. Must be worth the effort

While this may sound obvious, the reward you get needs to clearly outweigh the effort you are going to put in, by far! If you want to lose weight and you have to change quite a bit in your routine, from your diet to exercise regime; that is a lot of effort you need to put in.

You will only feel motivated to put in all the effort you need to when you can clearly see the rewards you will get back after some time. Seeing yourself slimmer and feeling better is not enough to give you the impetus to make such a big change. You might need to put your thinking cap on and come up with 50 reasons why the reward is greater than the effort.

The reward has to mean so much to you that you are willing to put in everything you have got to get it. Find the massive reward and you will find the motivation. Doing something because ‘you should, have to, or need to’ is not motivating at all.

3. Get organized and put a plan together

Being more organized actually helps you to stay motivated. When you are not organized, you lack a lot of clarity, you feel more stressed, overwhelmed and all over the place. Motivation doesn’t work well in these conditions.

If you want to boost your motivation and chances of success, map out a plan of where you are now and how you will get to where you want to be. When you can connect the dots and clearly see how you can get to where you want, you have a boost of motivation to get there.

Your goals need to be more organized so you have more energy to be motivated and clarity on what action you must take to achieve what you want.

4. Align your feelings and thoughts

To be motivated, your feelings and thoughts need to be aligned. You might set out to achieve something and you have decided on a few action steps you need to take. When it comes to taking action however, you feel stuck, something is holding you back.

Your feelings are not aligned with the action and so, you get stuck. The opposite is true as well, you might feel fine about the action, but if you have an underlying feeling that it isn’t the best choice for you, you probably won’t feel so motivated.

Ensure that you are not imposing any feelings or taking actions that you actually don’t resonate with. When you have a vision, and you are clear on the right action you need to take, backed by the right feelings to get you there, motivation will follow right behind. If you miss out on one of these, you will probably get stuck.

5. Create a motivating environment

Most of us are predominately visual and respond much more to visual stimuli than what we hear or feel, for example. Having post it notes, inspiring images, quotes, and motivating reminders will go a long way to staying motivated. It is easy to get distracted and caught up in the routines of each day and lose motivation unintentionally. Reminding yourself constantly of what you are working towards will help keep you focused and your energy high and visual reminders are the best way to do this.

The only difference between being super motivated and not motivated is you. Motivation is a choice you make; you decide how motivated you actually want to be in life. Whether you are easily motivated or not, there are many ways to get and stay motivated if you really want to.

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Kirstin O’Donovan is the founder of TopResultsCoaching and author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Time Management. Kirstin is a Productivity coach, who specializes in helping individuals gain control over their time, to feel more productive and organized to successfully achieve their goals. Want 7 Simple Strategies to Triple Your Productivity? – Free Access to E-Course @ www.topresultscoaching.com