Literally, Just Start
Many people wait for motivation before starting. The truth is that motivation comes after you start.
There’s that great business idea — the one you’ve been telling everyone about but you keep shelving it and waiting for “just the right time” to get it started. And there’s that fitness goal you set at the start of the new year. Yet, you have barely moved a muscle since you set it. What about that project that should be halfway done by now but you have not even started?
Are you waiting for the motivation to take action and get started?
See, that’s the problem right there. You are operating under the mentality that motivation precedes action. So you procrastinate things that you know you should be doing until you “feel like” doing it. Worse still, you use the pressure of a dangerously close deadline as the motivation to take action.
I have been there too.
I would wait for motivation to work out, to get up early, or to start working on a project and stop procrastinating. But I found that I rarely ever had the motivation to do it. And even on the rare occasion that I got motivated, the motivation only lasted for a hot minute before it faded and I was back to doing nothing “waiting for inspiration”.
Act yourself into motivation
The thing about motivation is that the way that your brain is structured, you will always be motivated to do anything that gives you instant rewards or makes you happy. That’s why it’s so easy to pick up your phone and scroll through social media, play video games, or binge-watch movies on Netflix.
I'm personally addicted to scrolling through TikTok in order to scour the internet for ways to grow my account. Follow me @genothefilipino (a little over 250k now!). The brain fog that comes with getting into routines is a big factor when it comes to why you resist doing things you know are good for yourself.
Instant gratification equals super motivation.
If the reward of your efforts is not immediate, you will find it difficult to get motivated. It’s the one downside of having a brain. So if you wait around for the motivation to start working on your goals, you will probably never get it done. You need to trick your brain into getting motivated by taking action first.
Start with the smallest action
One of the reasons you delay taking action is because you think about the whole project and how everything needs to get done. So you feel intimidated and overwhelmed. And that allows you to set it aside until “you are ready to get it done”. The key is to make the most difficult thing doable by breaking it down into small tasks that you can get done easily.
When you take even the smallest action towards your goal, you get a sense of accomplishment. You feel good.
Now, that’s a language that the brain understands.
That sense of pride and happiness tells your brain that this is something fun and beneficial to do. And that releases satisfaction hormones in the brain, which drives motivation.
What’s more, the more action you take, the more motivated you feel. You can even begin with the easiest tasks going to the more difficult ones.
The point is that as soon as you start taking action, you will be motivated to keep doing more.
It’s not easy to take action when you don’t feel like it. It takes discipline and a strong will to go against every fiber of your being and start doing something. But the answer is always in taking that first step. It’s in doing the smallest thing towards accomplishing your huge task. Then the motivation to keep going will come and you will achieve more than you thought possible.