The Blueprint for Success: How to Stay Motivated Everyday
How many times have you told yourself tomorrow is the day?
Tomorrow you would wake up and start that business, tomorrow you would start an exercise program, tomorrow you would launch that blog… but then tomorrow never comes. So many people do this, myself included. If I had a dollar for every time I procrastinated, I’d be a millionaire by now.
Why do we do this to ourselves? We want to be successful, happy, and healthy, but sometimes we can’t seem to make ourselves do what we need to do in order to make it happen. We might have momentary bursts of motivation and excitement, but it doesn’t last.
I did this to myself for years, and I know that if you’re reading this post you might have noticed this pattern in yourself too. I had a major problem with self-motivating and acting on what I wanted the most. At least, I thought that was the problem.
You see, I have a theory that when we are lacking the motivation to do what we really want to in life, the problem really isn’t motivation at all. The problem is the overwhelm.
It’s envisioning that big dream, that company, that business that you have in your mind and thinking, “How in the world am I going to get there?”
After a lot of trial and error, I finally figured it out. I finally developed a system to eliminate that scary, overwhelming feeling that comes with pursuing a dream. I officially put an end to the procrastination cycle and now wake up feeling motivated and excited every day. I’m sharing this with you today because as a self-help blogger, I don’t want to just write about my thoughts on a topic. I want to give you some real advice rather than leaving you with a motivational essay and saying “figure it out.” This is a step by step guide that you can do right now to get yourself on track and become the entrepreneur that you’ve always wanted to be.
Step One: Create Your Blueprint For Success
I can pinpoint the exact moment where I saw a real shift in my mindset and my motivation, and that is when I created what I call my “Blueprint for Success.” One day I was drowning in a sea of stress and anxiety and kept thinking “How am I going to accomplish what I want to do in life.” So, I pulled out an old notebook in the back of my closet and decided that I was going to figure it out. I couldn’t see any realistic way of accomplishing the things that I wanted to do, and I desperately needed a plan. I laid the notebook paper down on the desk and drew three columns. I labeled the first one “Life Goals,” the middle column “This Years Goals,” and the last column “This Month’s Goals.” Now it’s your turn. You may be sitting there thinking, “No, I’ll just do it in my head.” But don’t. This plan is what got me here today writing this post for you to read. Have faith, I promise it works.
Write down your life goals: I mean it. Get out an old notebook and write down everything that you’ve ever wanted to do and accomplish. All of your life goals. The BIG things. The things that might even be so embarrassing that you’ve never told anyone before. Like backpack through Europe, launch a company, become a famous athlete, or write a New York Times Best Seller. The big life goals that you wouldn’t want to tell your mother because she would roll her eyes and say it’s unrealistic. THOSE things. Dig deep and be completely honest with yourself. Make sure that you include both your personal and professional goals! Do you want to have a six pack? Become a world traveler? An avid reader? Or Learn Spanish? Write it down.
Write down this year’s goals: Now that you’ve thoroughly poured your heart out and listed off everything that you want to accomplish in life, it’s time to break it up into something that’s more manageable. Figure out what you can accomplish in the next year to help you achieve those big life goals, one step at a time. It could be anything from designing a logo, signing a certain number of clients, to attending a networking event. What are all of the things you can do in one years time to get you closer to the person you want to become? Write it down.
Write down this month’s goals: Can you now see how your life goals have been made a little less stressful and overwhelming? But you’re still left with a pretty hefty list of things to do this year! It can still seem like a lot to handle, and it can still be overwhelming figuring out where to start. Plus, a full year is a long time to keep the momentum going. Which is why most New Year’s Resolutions don’t make it past February. You have to break it up into simple actions that you can take in these next 30 days. What can you do this month to help get closer to accomplishing this year’s goals? Think about it realistically and don’t task yourself with everything at once.
Step Two: Check Back Every Night
Remind yourself: If you’ve gotten through the first step and you throw the notebook back into the depths of your closet, I promise you it will not work. The only way that this plan will work is by keeping it in the front of your mind. Set it next to your bed and look at it every morning and night. Anyone who has become successful in life kept their goals in mind. They reminded themselves of their life goals every single day, and you should too. The reason why this is so important is because it’s too easy to get “busy” throughout the day and forget about the things that are important to you. It’s easy to fill the day with emails, phone calls, meetings, shopping, and laundry without thinking for a second about those BIG dreams. You have to take a moment every day to refocus and remind yourself what you want to accomplish for you.
Plan for tomorrow: Right after you finish reading over your own blueprint, ask yourself “What is one thing that I could do tomorrow to get me closer to reaching my goals?” One thing. Something that is realistic and easy to fit into the next day. The key here is realistic. Sometimes we like to get ahead of ourselves and assign too much work right away and then get disappointed when we can’t get it all done. This could be something that is so small that you would be absolutely crazy to not do it. It could be to send an email, make a call, read a chapter of a book, Google something you need to know, search from networking events, apply for a job online, etc. Write it down on a piece of paper and take it with you the next day so you don’t forget about it. Success is not built all at once, it’s built in those little moments of doing one small step at a time.
Step Three: Check Back Every Morning
Prep yourself: I don’t know about you, but a lot of times when I look at my to-do list the next morning, I want absolutely nothing to do with it. So, in order to get myself excited every morning and mentally prepared for what I want to accomplish, I need to be in the right mindset where I feel happy, motivated, and excited for the day. One thing that I like to do is listen to motivational speakers while I get ready or listen to a podcast or Ted Talk that is particularly inspirational or educational. If I don’t get myself engaged as I’m preparing for the day, then I’ll go through my morning like a zombie and I won’t be in the right headspace to focus on what matters to me. Having this morning ritual energizes me which allows me to be in a better mindset to focus on my goals.
This step does require a bit of self-knowledge. Some people bring motivation and inspiration into their morning routine by exercising, meditating, reading prayers, checking their horoscope, doing yoga, going for a run, or walking in nature. Do whatever you can do to feel your best in the morning so when you look at that piece of paper with your task on it, you’re prepared. You’ll start the day feeling happier and more productive.
Step Four: Update Your Goals
Give yourself a fresh start: Re-write your own “Blueprint for Success” at the start of every month. The way that this works is by visually showing you the how to manage your goals each month to get on track so that you accomplish the bigger things. Having a plan each day and each month will keep you on track. The most successful people are the ones that always keep their goals in the front of their mind and then work on them (even a little bit) every single day. No one became a best-selling author or a CEO by doing work when they felt like it. They also didn’t let daily circumstances and life problems get in the way of what’s important to them. No matter what happened they reminded themselves of their goals and worked to achieve them. Dreams won’t happen by themselves, you have to consistently do the work throughout the year. Planning out each month will make it much easier.
Step Five: Create A Vision Board
Extra inspiration: Everyone’s heard of a vision board, but despite popular belief, this does not have to be some cheesy craft that you put together from magazine cutouts. This can even be done online and can be made very easily. You don’t have to look at it every day if you don’t want to, but a vision board has been proven by countless people to be tremendously helpful in their lives. A vision board reminds you of what you’re working toward when you need a pick-me-up, and it focuses on feeling rather than doing. So if you’re looking at your blueprint thinking “I don’t want to do all this,” a vision board will help.
I keep mine on a private Pinterest board and when I find myself needing inspiration and having difficulty doing the boring things that will make me successful, I pull up the board. It reminds me of everything that I’ve working towards. And now, I can go back and look at pictures I saved years ago and realize that I have those things now. Like my dream car, a photo of the college I graduated from, and my soulmate. It’s so much more powerful and fulfilling looking back at a vision board and realizing that you’ve acquired so many things you used to dream of.
Why this works:
It may seem strange designing your own “Blueprint for Success,” but it works. Having a plan right there in front of you eliminates the overwhelm and the fear of going for what you really want. It shows you step by step everything that you need to do so you feel better prepared. It serves as a reminder of what you want your life to look like and inspires you when you need it most.
This blueprint has helped my life tremendously. I used to float through my days not even thinking about what I wanted out of life and how I was going to get from point A to point B. But now I have a plan and I regularly remind myself of my goals, my dreams, and my vision. For example, I want to be a self-help writer/blogger and one of my yearly goals was to get published on a website other than my own. My daily goals were to search for guest blogging opportunities, email a lovely woman from Future Females about this opportunity, and then work on this post a little bit at a time.
Before I embraced the “Blueprint of Success” I lived my life waiting for motivation to spontaneously strike me, and I often thought “I’ll get around to that someday.” Now, I look at my goals morning and night, work on them every day, and find ways to inspire myself when I need it. It’s incredible how one piece of paper as the power to do all that. There’s a quote from one of my favourite speakers, Mel Robbins, that I feel embodies the meaning of this blueprint perfectly – “But when you’re stuck, the major task is deciding if you’re going to change at all. The challenge is finding the ability, in the face of an overwhelming amount of resistance, to create a small change in your life and build on it.” That is what I believe my blueprint has done for me, and what I hope is does for you too.
Heather Clark is a writer and content creator in Tampa, Florida. Heather started blogging in 2017 when she realized the impacts that growing up online had on the developing mind. In her personal blog, Lost Online: A Journey Towards Self Discovery During the Digital Age, Heather shares advice about how to stay sane in a time when people live half their lives on the internet. Heather is also passionate about writing for self-help, health and fitness, and travel.