If a woman holds the power to create life, she also holds the power to create the life she wants. –Somebody’s Anonymous brilliant baddie mama
When I first heard this quote, I wanted to stand up and clap. Mothers are absolute superheroes and the strongest humans on the planet! And yet, if I’m honest, I still struggle with doubt and lack of motivation at times. I get bogged down in the dozens of day-to-day motherhood tasks and put my dreams on hold far more than I’d like to admit.
If you’re reading this post, you might also know the feeling of having things to do that you know are important, but you don’t make the time or muster the energy to do them. Sometimes no matter the size of the task, our thought is basically, “I’m not really in the mood to tackle this enormous thing right now.” The “enormous” thing could be something like folding one load of clothes or replying to emails or it could actually be a Hurculean task like researching and enrolling in school, working on a new business plan or initiating a career switch. It doesn’t matter what the task is, it is more about the will to begin and then keep going which can be broken down to one simple word: Motivation.
It can be sooo hard to stay motivated in the face of fatigue, the constant distractions that come with being a mother, and simply being so many things to so many people! Now that we’ve identified the problem, here are seven strategies that I’ve found helpful in my own journey to stay motivated:
FACE YOUR FEARS FIRST
Don’t focus on your goals until you face what you’re afraid of or you can find yourself putting them off again and again and get discouraged. This type of analysis paralysis and procrastination often come from fear. When I began my real estate career, I was pretty much afraid to call people and talk about. I soon realized I’d be out of business by my first anniversary if I didn’t get used to it. Now I can’t imagine not doing it and it’s a normal part of my day. To spur yourself into action, you have to realize that what you fear doing, is exactly what you need to be doing. I wrote down my fears on a cost-benefit T-chart so I could stare straight at them. Since anticipating our fears is usually way more painful and the actual experience, facing these fears ahead of time and knowing exactly how bad AND how beneficial it will really be can help spur you to ACT!
WRITE IT DOWN
Write down exactly what you want to accomplish the next day (before you get the beauty rest we’ll talk about later). Your brain will begin envisioning the task and problem-solving while you sleep, so it will be a bit easier to wrap your mind around getting it done the next day. Plus, research shows that we are more likely to execute goals that are written down where we can see them.
WORK IN BURSTS AND BREAK IT DOWN
All the way down. When goals are reduced to small manageable tasks, you become less overwhelmed and more likely to act. When you act, you experience the joy of success. Even small wins can produce A LOT of joy! The more opportunities you have to feel the joy of success, the more likely you are to stay motivated. You can take it a step further and time your chunks of activity. I use the timer in my phone to make it feel like a game to finish a task before the timer goes off.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DREAMS
One of the most simple and impactful statements I’ve learned in real estate trainings is this: “If it’s not in your schedule, it doesn’t exist.”
All of the motivation in the world won’t help you do something you won’t make time for. So make an appointment with your dreams and keep it, just like you would keep an appointment with your boss or mentor. I recently started waking up at 5am to work on my non real -estate related business goals. This is a recurring item in my calendar. I realized I wasn’t making the progress I wanted to make because I wasn’t devoting the time to my personal goals and dreams in the midst of family life and career, so it just wasn’t going to get done. Now that it’s scheduled from 5-6:30 am, I know I now have time to work on my blog, start a new business and write because I’ve made them a priority. I know this isn’t a ton of time and it will mostly likely be interrupted by our infant, but it’s enough to make a ton of small consistent wins and stay motivated by the joy they produce.
I’ve also faced my fear of getting out of bed at the scary hour of 5am and counted the costs, my precious sleep. As a mother, you are already accustomed to making all sorts of extremely uncomfortable sacrifices for your child(ren), so think of your goals and dreams as your babies and be willing to make the time and pay the costs! Make a daily appointment with your dreams!
EAT THE FROG
This silly saying simply means, get the things you dread out of the way first. Unless you have a clone (or two or three), you are not going to be able to do everything it takes to run a household, be a great wife, take care of children, work in or outside the home and start a side hustle without some help! These are just examples of what some moms including myself juggle from day-to-day. If you don’t do anything else in your day, do the one thing that’s going to make you some money and move you closer to your ultimate goal. If you’re in sales, for example, this means talking to people. It may be intimidating and that’s why you must do it early before you start distracting yourself with stuff that won’t make money or make a difference.
As long as you’ve eaten the frog for the day, it’s ok to just be a tired parent sometimes and go to bed with the dishes in the sink or without folding the clothes. You won’t be worried about it a year from now, so it’s not important. Let go of guilt and thinking everything is your job and your priority. Delegate when you can but if you cannot, just let it go and take care of you. Save some energy and motivation for the things that will truly matter a year from now.
PLAN TO SLEEP
We’ve all heard the mantra, “You can sleep when you die.”
Umm what?? No, thank you. I’ll take my sleep now. I’m not trying to look and feel haggard.
I’m realizing the importance of prioritizing my beauty rest! How else am I going to have enough energy to take care of three littles, crush my to-do list and be a boss in real estate and my other endeavors?! There is just no way for me to be sharp and effective when I’m experiencing the chronic fatigue that comes with no sleep. So one of my top priorities is to now be in bed by 10:30 pm instead of 1 or 2am like my former self. That’s a start. Even if I don’t spend all of my hours in bed sleeping (moms can’t always get a decent night’s sleep but we can string together a bunch of naps) I am still resting and not on my feet! If you implement just this one simple thing, you can wake up a little earlier and get stuff done like the boss you are meant to be.
TREAT YO SELF
Don’t forget to reward yourself for wins – large and small. Spend some time uninterrupted on Pinterest or Instagram if that’s your thing or buy yourself a well-deserved drink at Starbuck’s to celebrate small victories! Heck, as soon as I finish this post, I’m heading to Starbucks and getting myself a frozen matcha green tea latte with almond milk and whipped cream because I earned it. And isn’t that exactly what this is all about?!
On my bookshelf:
I’m a self-proclaimed self-help addict. Right now I’m reading:
- Atomic Habits by James Clear https://amzn.to/2NG1gs6
- Running on Empty by Heather Lindsey https://amzn.to/2QpDq5Z
- Do the Work by Gary John Bishop https://amzn.to/371BA0R
What do you do to get and stay motivated, mamas?! Let us know in the comments!