Sometimes it’s hard to get up and do what you care about. And it’s even harder when you want to make a big difference in the world but feel too small to be noticed by anyone. But after you get yourself motivated and get over the starting point, I promise you it gets easier.
There are so many problems and challenges in the world that need solving or stopping. They will not magically fix themselves. People are needed to create solutions. One of those people could be you. If you are reading this then that means you want to change something in the world, probably because you are not happy with the way things are right now. That’s good. Use that drive.
People often turn to motivational videos on YouTube. While they can be helpful, most people get fired up for a couple of hours or days and then go back into their usual routine. And some don’t even do anything. They just keep watching these videos thinking they are being productive.
So here’s what you need to do if you want to even attempt to change the world. Only a handful have been successful but even making your community better or having an impact on a small group of people should be counted as a win because you were able to create a positive impact.
How to feel motivated and energized
01. Find a project
Find what you want to do. Start a project. Decide how you want to dedicate your time. There are so many different ways you can make a difference in this world. Depending on your talent and skills, you will be able to do something different.
Use your creativity in a positive way and start something that will make a good impact. After all, we will only be able to change the world using our creativity. But think long-term, not just 3 months into the future. You can’t build an empire in a couple of months.
Even if it starts as a small project, you never know what it could lead to in the future.
02. Dream big, start small
This is something that I love saying. It’s important to have big dreams that scare you and excite you. If they don’t, perhaps you need to find a bigger dream. It doesn’t matter if it sounds crazy. It could happen if you give it time.
At the same time, big things are not built overnight. Trust the process. Every day is a step closer to your goal. Small steps will eventually get you there. While you need to think about the future and future goals, focus on the day ahead. This will make your dreams and goals feel more manageable and attainable.
03. Create a vision board
This might sound silly to you but don’t dismiss it so fast. Having a vision board of what you want your future to look like can be rather motivating. Create a board and display it somewhere in your room, somewhere visible. Every time you look at it, it will make you work harder to get to that future, instead of wasting your time watching TV.
It will also make you believe in yourself and your abilities. Don’t underestimate what you can achieve. A vision board is an excellent way to stay motivated throughout the months of hard work where you are seeing no results.
04. Shut off the outside world
When it’s time to focus, you need to shut off everything for a while so you have no distractions. That means no notifications and no social media.
You come first, then everyone else. If you want to do something good for the world, you will need to stop going out as much and get to work (at least at the beginning).
In our modern world, there are too many distractions to count. That’s why you need to shut off the outside world. Otherwise, you won’t get any work done. If you want to get motivated, stop listening to other people’s negative opinions. It will only slow you down.
05. Set long-term goals
If you set yourself goals, you will have something to aim for and work hard towards. Think where you want to be in 5 years and what do you want to be doing. Once you decide what that is, write them down somewhere.
Have some realistic goals but also add some goals that are quite ambitious. Maybe you won’t quite reach them, but even if you don’t, you will be in a better place than you were 5 years earlier.
06. Use a timer
Every time you do a task, put a timer on. Working against a clock to get something done will make you more productive and are less likely to procrastinate.
I would not use a phone, because a phone is a billion distractions in one. Take a timer from the kitchen. Either work in short 20 min intervals or work for an hour straight then have a longer break. It’s up to you really. Whatever works best for you.
Working hard is important, but having breaks is equally important so you don’t burn out.
07. Make a to-do list every morning
I must say, the days where you manage to cross off everything on your list is very satisfying and rewarding. Making a rough plan for the day ahead will help you a lot. This way you don’t have to decide during the day what to do next. It might only be a small decision, but even a decision takes energy. Plan what you want to do in order to make your life easier.
Don’t put too many things on your list as it will feel too overwhelming and might not end up doing half the things on there. Start by creating a small to-do list.
I found that as time goes on, you become more efficient and what used to take you 3 hours now takes you 2. So you will be able to tick more things off that list as the weeks go by.
08. Declutter and organize
From what I’ve seen, the majority of people waste so much of their time organizing and tidying their bedroom up because they ‘can only work in a tidy space’. But this is yet another way to procrastinate. With this in mind, consider decluttering your room.
Don’t waste your time cleaning your room every day. I tend to organize my room once a week and it doesn’t even take that long because I don’t have that much stuff in there. I would recommend turning your room into a minimalist bedroom. It’s a big time saver.
09. Use a reward system
This is a common one that people use to get motivated. Setting up a reward system can be very effective. You could set small rewards in between tasks or you could have a long-term reward. For example, if you finish something by the end of the week, you can go out to a restaurant or something similar. You can choose what you want to do.
Having something to look forward to will allow you to keep going and make you work harder throughout the week.
10. Just start!
Ok, this might sound a bit weird as you are looking for that motivation to start. However, I promise you, you will get that motivation once you start. People often search for motivation by watching motivational videos ( I must admit, I did do this before). But when you start a project, you get that motivation you were looking for. Starting is always the hardest part. Once you get past that, it will much easier.
At the end of the day, it’s all in your mind. No one is stopping you from getting up and getting to work. It’s up to you to make that mindset shift and start working on your dream.
What comes after motivation?
Motivation doesn’t last forever. You are lucky if you feel motivated for a few weeks. What’s more important is self-discipline. After that initial motivation boost, self-discipline is what drives you to do what you need to do to keep going.
That is why most people give up. They lose that motivation that was driving them forward at the beginning and stop. You need to gain the self-discipline to keep going long after that motivation wears out.
No one said changing the world will be easy.
To start something big, you need to get motivated first. In the beginning, it will feel like you are not making any progress. But patience is your friend. You will get where you want to and you will achieve what you want as long as you have the determination.
The world needs more motivated and dedicated people to solve the world’s pressing problems like climate change. We need more ambitious people who have big dreams and that work hard towards reaching those dreams. If we all come together and do something, we could after all save the world.
You cannot change the world by sitting down and watching TV. If you don’t get up and do something, nothing will change. Not you and certainly not the world.
My most helpful piece of advice would be this: Just Start!
All images from Unsplash