These are a few words that are usually thrown around to guide entrepreneurs to build a successful business. The problem with relying on those to build a business is that they each have their limits.
Today I discuss a mindset that few others are discussing: hard work doesn’t have to be difficult. Hard work and the time spent achieving your goals and building your business can be enjoyable.
This episode will guide you to reframe motivation and help you enjoy the process of reaching your goals.
- Determine how much time each day you have to really work toward your goals.
- Create a process of reaching your goals that you genuinely want to do every single day, rather than relying on motivation and willpower.
- Implement a process to move your goals forward that is delightful and motivating.
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We are told that the hustle and discipline and will-power will get us to where we want to be.
But it doesn’t have to be that hard.
Motivation is King
So let’s talk about motivation for a second, because I see so many people asking these questions in Facebook groups on Instagram and all these different places and sometimes shows up in my DMS as well. “I just don’t have the motivation that I need in order to keep going.” “I get really motivated at the very beginning, but then can’t keep going whenever it starts to get hard” or “I run out of motivation.” Why do we reach for motivation in the first place? wWe think that’s the thing that’s going to push us to our goals. That’s what’s going to push us to keep doing the hard things necessary, the things that are time consuming, energy consuming, sometimes finance consuming, in order to level up and get where we want to go. Whatever those big goals are, whatever that big dream life is.
So we think that in order to get to those big goals, like we’re here, they’re over there. And there’s basically like crocodile-infested waters that we have to get across it. That it’s gotta be hard and that you need hustle and need discipline and you need willpower and you need external motivation in order to get from where you are to where you’re going to go. It’s gonna be hard. It’s gonna be tiring. It’s going to be one of those things that makes you want to give up, right? We think achieving our goals has to be hard and does it? Not necessarily, it might be work. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like leveling up and doing things that push you further. Aren’t going to be work, but there’s a difference between something being work and something being hard. And it has everything to do with how you are seeing it.
So the problem with this idea of motivation being a limited resource that dictates whether or not you have the willpower, the discipline, and the hustle in order to get from where you are and where you want to go, is that it’s inevitably going to run out at some point. And you’re going to get to this point where you’re like, oh, I’m just not motivated today. Or, oh, I just don’t have the motivation today. I’m looking for motivation from someone. And that might come in forms of inspiration from a coach, inspiration from listening to someone’s Ted talk. It could come in forms of accountability to somebody else. But the problem with all of that is that it is basically outsourcing your responsibility to get from where you are, to where you want to go. Nobody else cares about your dreams and your goals as much as you do.
I don’t care if your mom is totally gung ho for what it is that you want your life to be like. And sometimes she believes in it more than you do, or your ability to get there. I don’t care if it’s your partner or whoever it is. You can have all the cheerleaders in the world. You can have all the business coaches in the world, but if you are not the person that cares about your dreams, your dream life, more than anybody else, then you’re never going to get there. Nobody else is going to fight for your dreams as much as you are. We’re just not meant to do that. Like we’re, we’re selfish creatures. Now that doesn’t mean I can’t be your biggest cheerleader and want that dream life for you, but I can’t want it more than you do.
Right? So that is kind of the problem with this idea of motivation being an externally driven thing and something that is a limited resource, right? And it’s this idea. The reason we think about it that way is because this idea of, well, I’m super motivated right now, meaning I’m inspired. I want to take action. And then it’s one of those things that drops off as things get hard or, things come up. Now, motivation, isn’t intrinsically a bad thing. It’s how we are relying on it at this point, right? So what I’m going to take you through for the rest of the time that we’re here is not how to sidestep motivation, but how to reframe, how to do what motivation is supposed to do, which is to keep you moving forward, right? To stop giving up, to stop stopping working on your goals, to stop falling off the bandwagon, and then having to get back on it come January, or whenever you decide you’re motivated again.
So that then leads into this conversation, this question about “what is this entire thing that you’re trying to do anyway?” And you think about what goals are. Goals are an end game, right? Goals are a destination, goals are an outcome that we’re working for. But what if rather than just focusing on the what, rather than just focusing on the outcome, rather than just focusing on what that destination is, you actually made the process of getting there something that you inherently drew joy from. How would that change this conversation? How would that change the way that you think about being motivated. Rather than being motivated to do something hard, it’s then this like, oh, I get to do these things today, as part of the process to getting to this outcome. Rather than being the journey or the, or the destination, it’s both, you get to like both of them.
Why is that not the conversation more people are having. Why aren’t we talking about liking how we’re doing something and the what that we’re working towards. Because there’s so much focus put on the What in the business coaching circles and online self-development circles. It’s like, I’m going to get to this ideal body, or I’m going to get to 10K months or six figure years, or having the beautiful team or having the sold-out course launch. We talk so much about the what, but nobody’s talking about the how in a way that feels joyful.
What if rather than having to suffer and struggle to get to that What, it was actually fun to do all the steps up to that point. Something that genuinely lit you up up to that What point so that What wasn’t like this big let down or this big, like, okay, now I’m here now, where am I going to go? It became a practice. The process became a practice that you genuinely wanted to do, that you genuinely reached for every single day. And the outcome, the what, the goal that you were working for was the cherry on top, because you were already fulfilled by the, how you were already fulfilled by the process of getting what you wanted.
Not a whole lot of people in this online business circle are talking about this. Usually it’s like, okay, well, we’re going to go do all these things that are going to suck, but I promise you it’s going to be worth it. I promise you it’s going to be worth it.
And this is the idea that I was talking about at the beginning of this episode, which was how do we take something as misconstrued as motivation, reframe it, and make it to where the, the hard things, the things that are going to require work in order to get to that specific destination is something we genuinely want to do every single day, not something we have to force ourselves to do. What if motivation was intrinsic because we genuinely loved what we were doing?
Love the Process
That sounds like a much, much better way to live. And I’m going to share this quote with you from Eleanor Roosevelt, because it was a quote I found about a year ago, maybe a little over a year ago. That just landed with me in a way then, and now it lands with me in a totally different way. So I want to share that with you.
It says “the purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Now, you might read that and think experience like experience on the beach after having doubled your income for the next year. Kind of, but not just that. What if it was the daily experience of living your life now, living aspects of the things that you love now, rather than just waiting until someday when you’ve made it, when you’ve reached that destination. Because pretty much everybody I’ve talked to about what their dream vision is for their life and for their business. The only thing that is a thread through every single thing is they want the freedom to live their life the way they want to live. It. And you have heard this. The joy is in the journey, not the destination, like that’s not a new concept, but it’s new in terms of this conversation that we’re having around motivation and around what it means to be successful. What it means to live the dream life now versus wait until all these aspects, all these things that you think are supposed to fall into line, to actually fall into line for you to have the life that you want to live.
Right? So this idea of having freedom. Yeah, you may not have freedom right now over all 24 hours of every single day. But I bet that there’s like an hour, two hours, five hours every single day where somebody else isn’t dictating what you’re doing. Meaning you actually do have an aspect of freedom and you can start living aspects of that dream life right now. So that leads into this idea of loving the process. And I’ve talked about this before. I’ve talked about loving the process before, but not exactly in the same exact way. This idea of loving the process is how do you make the doing that thing— How do you make the process of reaching your goals, working towards your goals, especially if there are goals that feel super far off, how do you make it something that you genuinely want to do every single day, rather than making it something that has you have to motivate yourself to do?
So here are my top tips on how you can start loving the process today.
Okay. So first of all, stop trying to plug and play, stop trying to copy and paste. You don’t have to build your dream business or your dream life like anybody else has done it. You don’t have to take so-and-so successful entrepreneur or so-and-so six figure entrepreneur, take what they did copy and paste it into your business or your life. It’s not necessary. And it’s not sustainable because your strengths, the way you show up the things that you want in your life, where you’re starting from are going to be different than so-and-so successful entrepreneur or six figure entrepreneur. Right? So stop the plug and play and get curious about the things that make you, you, and how you can, rather than trying to try somebody else’s plan of success on you start to create your own.
So self-awareness is a really big piece of that. Another thing that goes a little bit deeper with the self-awareness is figure out why any of it matters. Why does any of it matter? Why is this vision important to you? What is your purpose? What is your mission with your life? What is your mission with this business? Why does that matter? And it’s not like a nice, neat little Instagram quote or caption. Know what your why is, but it doesn’t have to be, oh, well, I just want to help underprivileged kids. And if that’s it, brilliant, but it’s not a sound bite and it’s not a tagline. You’re not doing anybody any good, if you are trying to put on what is acceptable from other people.
So figure out why it matters to you deep down. It can’t be surface level. It can’t be because this is what other people expect me to say. Okay. Another thing that you can do is to figure out how to incorporate things that genuinely light you up in the process. So I’m writing a book. If you’re following me on Instagram, you can kind of see in my stories, the progress there. I wrote 60,000 words in 60 days. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve started to write a book in my life. It has been a dream since I was seven years old to be a published author. And so I have had story ideas, some of them better than others, definitely, but I’ve always started and stopped and started and stopped and then lost motivation.
What’s different this time? Well, this is certainly the first time I’ve written consistently for more than like a week. And it’s the first time I’ve gotten to the word count that I’ve gotten to or even close. And what’s different now. Because I’m not relying on motivation to get it done. I’m relying on setting myself up to succeed by genuinely loving the process, by putting things into play every single day that makes sitting down and writing something fun for me. So the topic is a lot of fun. It’s something I’m super passionate about. When I sat down to write it was the best time I get to drink my coffee and really like listen to my music and do that. And it aligns with my why. So not only is publishing the book going to be something really awesome, I didn’t wait until then to enjoy this. I’ve been enjoying the process of writing it, editing it, and that’s why I’m sharing it.
So you might’ve heard a couple of things. So how am I incorporating things that I love to do as part of the writing process? Well, I do like writing and the topics that I’m writing about. I’m getting to share stories and go into things that I previously hadn’t had an outlet to share. So that’s one way. I get to drink my coffee with my hazelnut creamer. If you know me at all, you know, that’s like the best thing ever for me. And I listened to Jonas brothers music on repeat while I did it or Hanson or other pop music. It’s something that I genuinely enjoy. And it’s something that doesn’t feel like a total slog, whenever I sit down to do it. Um, another tip for you is to get innovative. Like I said, you don’t have to do it the way anybody else is doing it.
All you have to know is what is it that I want to work for? And what are the possible ways that I can get there? Which one of those ways right now is most exciting for me? So your goal may be something around increasing your visibility on Instagram and number of followers and things like that. How many different strategies are there to increase your visibility on Instagram? Too many to count. But if it’s something that you don’t enjoy doing, if it feels like a total slog to create reels, don’t create reels. Go find something else to do to grow that visibility, right? Get innovative. That’s what drives us forward. So I’ve talked a little bit about, um, me writing this book. And at this point, my goal was 60,000 words in 60 days. Uh, April 23rd was be my 60th day. So what, what that means is single day from the time I started writing this book until the 23rd, I was supposed to write a thousand words every single day.
And in doing that, creating a habit and well, how long it takes to actually form a habit will differ. It totally depends on what the habit is, how hard it is, where you’re starting for all those different things. The more you do something, once it becomes a habit, it’s harder to not do it than it is to do it. Right? So it’s not any one of these things. It’s how can you combine all of these things to create a process and a plan to move forward with your goals in a way that feels delightful for you and is motivating you intrinsically. Rewards. Not every single part of the process, like every single little task that you do may not be something that you can finesse or figure out how to make it intrinsically fun for you but you can say, okay, I’m going to do this one thing and I’ll sit down and write this one email. I’m going to sit down and do this thing that I don’t really want to do. And then after that, I’m going to go do something that I do want to do and tie those together. Because you’re rewiring neural pathways that way as well. Um, setting up your environment again, whenever I wrote my book, I made sure that I was the only one up and my daughter was still sleeping so that I could actually focus.
I put my headphones on, I got my coffee. I made sure that I have plenty of materials around me that I needed. It’s about creating an environment that really lights me up as well. The final thing that I want to talk about, and I always get people groaning and moaning about this, especially in the online business space or in the self-development space. And it’s the idea of mindset. Now, before you click away and I say this every single time, I start talking about mindset, before you click away, I’m not going to tell you what to think, but I am going to ask you to get curious about what you do think. Because if you think it’s hard, it’s going to be hard.
If you tell yourself that getting to a goal has to suck, it’s going to suck. I’m not saying faking it and being like, oh, this is the best thing ever when you deep down hate it is going to fix your problem. What I am saying is that the words you tell yourself, how you talk to yourself about the things that you’re doing every single day matters. Something as simple as changing the list of things that you are responsible for every single day, from a “to do list” to a “get to do list” can make a difference. It doesn’t have to be you going from negative Nancy to positive Polly overnight. It’s a process. It’s a practice. I get it. But there’s always room for improvement. There’s always room for progress. And think about how far you’ve come. You are here today. Think about all the progress you’ve made up to this point, given exactly the tools that you’ve had up to this point.
And now you have more tools to put in your toolkit to continue that uplevel, to continue that progress. Super exciting, huh?
Make the process something you inherently reach for and enjoy.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode:
I’ve talked about this before, but I hope that everything I just talked about over this episode helps you see this exercise in a totally new way, which is creating a love list. So if you’re going to incorporate things in your day, that genuinely let you up in the process that genuinely light you up, add rewards that actually motivate you, knowing the things, the experiences, the people, the situations that truly, that you love, that truly light you up is invaluable. So creating a love list, nobody else needs to see this.
It’s just something that is for you. And you can legitimately just write out all the different things that you love. They can be things that are super expensive. They can be things that are totally free. They can be things that you do with other people, they can be things that you do by yourself. One of mine, I got to experience this past week. I was sitting outside in the sunshine. It was like a beautiful 72, 73 degrees. The breeze was blowing. I was reading my book, soaking up the sun and that’s one of my most favorite things. It doesn’t cost anything. I’m not relying on anybody else to entertain me. I was just there and soaking it up.
Moving forward this week, moving forward with this idea of loving the process of motivating yourself when motivation feels like it’s in short supply, create a love list and then start to see how you can start loving the process now rather than just waiting for when you finally do achieve all those big goals