Motivation is one of the most valuable traits a leader or team member can possess but also one that can be difficult to maintain consistently. Lack of motivation can lead to frustration, overwhelm, poor work performance and even burnout.
Luckily though, it’s incredibly easy to give yourself – and your team – a pick-me-up to get back on the right track to delivering your best to each other and your guests. Here are five ways to get and stay motivated.
1. Set Goals.
Success doesn’t happen by chance and neither does motivation. The most successful people can tell you the goals that they are working on without hesitation.
Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) goals for what you want to accomplish in a given period of time. For instance, I have a list of the most important goals I must accomplish daily, weekly, quarterly and annually.
But don’t go overboard setting too many goals or that can lead to motivation-killing overwhelm. Start with the most important one or two tasks that you need to get done, which would make your life or work easier. Be sure to measure progress against them, and check them off when you’ve completed them. You could do this by creating smaller milestones and checking them off as you get closer.
Celebrate every win and before you know it, you’ll be flying past your goals and feeling more motivated than ever.
2. Practice “3 Gratitudes.”
One of the core beliefs of positive psychology is the idea that the more you look for positivity, the more you’ll find. The opposite is certainly true as well.
You know the adage, “when it rains it pours”? This is because when your outlook starts to move in any direction, you start to subconsciously look for more of that – positive or negative. Over time, you begin seeing patterns of those same thoughts realized over and over again, developing what’s known as the Tetris effect.
If you find yourself starting to lose motivation due to negative thoughts, consider the practice of “three gratitudes.” From wherever you are, just take a moment to reflect on three things you’re grateful for in the last 24 hours. Research shows that the practice of gratitude leads to reduced stress, better sleep and even decreased physical pain, among other benefits. Try practicing daily for the most benefits.
3. Get enough sleep.
Did you know that, on average, people who get fewer than six hours of sleep fight mental fogginess, physical and emotional exhaustion, and consume 385 calories more per day than those who get more sleep?
Lack of sleep breaks you down physically, mentally and emotionally. If you’re overly tired, it can be extremely difficult to do your best work as a contributor or a leader. This can lead to relationship strain, poor guest service and even low morale among the rest of the team.
Consider a bedtime routine that allows you to consistently sleep for seven to nine hours for the best results. This may include a specific bedtime, or activities that you do every night that you begin preparing for 30 minutes or an hour before sleep. Some people read, practice yoga, meditate or pray. Others prepare for the next day, making their list of goals for the following day or practice “3 gratitudes.”
Try out different activities for at least a week or two at a time to learn what helps you get the best sleep and make adjustments as necessary.
4. Move more.
It’s no secret that people who are more physically active are more likely to handle stress better and stay positive and more motivated. But this doesn’t mean you should hit the gym at four in the morning or take up running marathons. Any activity will do.
Walking outside, swimming, dancing, stretching and even playing with your dog all provide motivation boosting benefits. Try out a lot of activities and find what works for you at your current level of physical fitness.
Remember that comparison is the thief of joy, so understand that any movement at all is taking you in the right direction of reduced stress and a fresher outlook. You can only be where you are, so be kind to yourself and find joy in what you are physically able to do.
5. Commit to learning every day.
The most successful people are avid readers who commit to bettering themselves. Plan at least 20 minutes a day developing a skill or cultivating your own personal growth. Be creative in how you get your content. Books, podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs and audiobooks are all great sources of content for the eager mind. In fact, maybe you couple listening to your favorite podcast with a walk in the park and double the benefits!
Remember, though, don’t just devour the material without considering how you can and should apply it to work or in life. After all, you can read about Tae Kwon Do, watch videos on Tae Kwon Do, listen to the greatest martial artists talk about Tae Kwon Do, but unless you practice Tae Kwon Do, you can’t, in fact, do Tae Kwon Do. Don’t rob yourself of the real growth that happens when you’re learning to apply what you’ve learned.
Your level of motivation will come down to the habits that you build – constructive or destructive. But the good news is that they are entirely within your power to change and drive the results that you want the most.
Have other tips to help improve motivation? Share them with us in the comments or on Twitter.