For almost two months, I’ve been backburnering the writing of a book proposal I had a request for at a conference. I should be motivated to complete the task since it is a proposal the editor assigned and wants, but I repeatedly allow the project to drop to the bottom of my to-do list. So, what’s the deal? Why do I lack the ability to jump-start motivation and revitalize forward motion?
Following are thoughts on enhancing motivation:
Determine What’s Holding You Back
Book proposals are always challenging, but when it’s a type of proposal I’ve never done before, I can feel myself backpedaling. Uncertainty holds us captive.
What is holding you back? Lack of knowledge? Fear of failure? If you need help, ask for it. If you need knowledge, search for it. If you need encouragement, look to your supporters. Figure out your deterrents and spur motivation by cultivating a plan that rekindles momentum.
Figure out your deterrents and spur motivation by cultivating a plan that rekindles momentum.
Stop Manufacturing Excuses
Like me, you may be able to think of many things that require your urgent attention instead of gaining motivation to begin the project that you are procrastinating. It’s amazing how much house cleaning happens when I’m delaying work on a project that contains elements of which I’m unsure.
Excuses freeze progress. Redirect the thought process and energy involved in inventing excuses to motivation where it is most needed.
If a project is difficult, and you don’t give it priority, it will never rise to the surface. Priority means forcing yourself to give complete attention to the hard project ahead of competing alternatives. In a practical sense, working on that project first, early in the day, and sidelining everything else, guarantees priority. To accomplish this, you may have to spend a day away from distractions, including your phone.
Priority means forcing yourself to give complete attention to the hard project ahead of competing alternatives.
Doubting and second-guessing are the biggest deterrents to beginning. Silence the internal voices that shout “this is too hard” or “you’re not smart enough.” Doubting your God-given ideas and capabilities is a sure path to delaying or never starting at all. Trust God to inspire, encourage, and help you regain momentum and motivation.
Doubting your God-given ideas and capabilities is a sure path to delaying or never starting at all.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Last week, I completed a project that has been on my to-do list for six weeks. My motivation was simply to stop seeing it on my list! While the task occupied a space on my list, I felt unproductive.
Goals are important, even if the goal is to feel a sense of accomplishment in drawing a line through an item on your to-do list. Keep your eyes on completion and rewards that result from your discipline and follow-through.
A sports shoe brand became famous for its slogan “Just Do It.” Perhaps the motivation watchword for those lacking enthusiasm and stuck in a holding pattern should be “Just Start It.”
With writing, and other endeavors, taking those first steps toward beginning primes the pump for more ideas and boosts enthusiasm to remain with the task. Even a rough outline on a scrap of paper helps rejuvenate forward motion.
What have you been putting off? Today is a good day to assign priority, formulate a plan, put doubt aside, jump-start motivation, and move forward.
“Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it” (Ezra 10:4 ESV)
Taking those first steps toward beginning primes the pump for more ideas and boosts enthusiasm to remain with the task.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.