Want to Achieve Your Goals? Do NOT Rely On Motivation

Cute lazy panda eating noodles but has no motivation to read books

If you want to achieve your goals, you should NOT rely on motivation.

Easier said than done.

Sometimes (very often, actually) you just can’t get yourself to do anything.

Without any motivation, doing what you need or have to do or even what you want to do is just too difficult.

And the worst part is that you can’t feel motivated whenever you want to.

So you feel more and more lazy.

The lazier you get, the more disappointed at yourself you become.

And at some point you start to feel so tired of this.

You’re tired of being motivated for only a few hours (or even minutes!). Tired of skipping every appointment with your to-do list just because you always “don’t feel like it”.

Most of all, you’re tired of ending every day thinking “Oh sh*t. Again? Did I waste the entire day doing everything except what I really had to do? Oh come on… How am I ever going to achieve my goals?”

You start thinking “It would be great if I could always be motivated, just like other people do”.

Why Your Motivation Melts as Quickly as an Ice Cream in the Sun

Melting vanilla ice cream on a cone

“You should feel motivated when you do what you do.”

“Without motivation you’re unlikely to achieve what you want.”

“If I could always feel motivated, I would have no problem at achieving my goals.”

Blah blah blah. These are just a few sentences you have probably heard a number of times. Or perhaps, you find yourself having these thoughts.

But, you know what? Not feeling any motivation is absolutely normal.

I mean, you don’t think that successful people, those people that have achieved their biggest goals, are motivated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, do you?

Even they have moments when they don’t feel like doing anything.

Yup, true story.

Here’s the thing: motivation is just an emotion. And emotions come and go.

Emotions depend on many things, they can change based on the weather outside, on what you just ate, on what you just heard, on what you just saw… literally anything!

Your motivation can build up extremely quickly, after watching an inspirational movie or listening to an inspirational podcast, but the opposite is true as well.

Motivation can fade away as quickly as it can be built up.

You must not rely on motivation. Relying on something this fleeting is just wrong.

Motivation Is Not Your Only Friend

Motivation is not your only friend, and on top of that, it’s not even a good one.

Yes, it’s really fun when they’re around and you always have a good time with them, but they are not the reliable type of “person”.

They only show up if there’s something they enjoy doing, they don’t have any kind of problem at ditching you and going somewhere else where there’s more fun.

But don’t be sad about it. This kind of friendship is not as precious as you might think.

You know who is a real good friend? Discipline.

A good friend is someone who supports you in what you do and helps you achieve your goals.

Sometimes they will tell you harsh things, but only when it’s for your good.

A good friend is someone you can rely on, in bad times and good times, on rainy days and sunny days.

That’s right, Discipline is your best friend.

Say “Bye” to Bad Friends, and Trust Your Best Friend

Best friends doing pinky swear promise

So, do you understand now who is your real friend?

You’ve realized that motivation won’t come to you, no matter how much you wait. Right?

You can wait for days, weeks, months, but if you don’t do anything but waiting, nothing will happen.

Sorry for calling you dumb, but if you like the idea of waiting, waiting and waiting for “someone” (motivation) that probably won’t even show up, you really are not that smart.

The right thing to do here is to say “bye bye” to Motivation, and put your trust in Discipline.

Discipline is to stop waiting for the “right time”, because there’s no such a thing.

Discipline is understanding that your goals are much more important than a fleeting feeling called ‘motivation’, and that it’s not worth it to sacrifice your time and your progress.

To be disciplined is to do what needs to be done, everyday.

It doesn’t matter if you’re motivated or not, if it’s a sunny or a rainy day, if it’s Monday or Sunday.

To achieve your biggest goals, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

It’s as simple as that.

Only after you have actually done something, made progress, and gotten results, only then will motivation come back to you.

Just by understanding that motivation is not reliable, while discipline is, you should already feel more willing to work on your goals without waiting for motivation.

However, if you want an actionable way to become more productive, here it is.

Use Tomatoes!

Red ripe tomatoes in a basket

So here’s a simple yet effective technique for getting yourself to do something even when you don’t really feel like it.

I’m sure you’ve already heard about it, I’m talking about the “Pomodoro Technique, first created by Francesco Cirillo.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose one task you want to complete;
  2. Set a 25-minutes timer (if you struggle with 25, you can start with 10–15 minutes and then, when you get used to it, add more minutes until 25);
  3. Work on your task without distracting. Just focus;
  4. When the timer rings, stop right away. Then, write an X on a piece of paper (or on a digital note) to track how many pomodoros you’ve completed, and take a 5-minute break;
  5. Repeat.
  6. Every 4 pomodoros take a longer break of 15–20 minutes.

25 minutes work + 5 minutes break. It’s just that easy.

Here’s why you should use the Pomodoro Technique:

  • It helps you with getting started, since 25 minutes is not that much time, so it makes it easier to start. As you know, simply starting is the n. 1 productivity “tool” you should always keep in mind;
  • It helps you focus, because the moment you set a timer, you’re telling your brain “It’s time to work!” and you won’t get distracted easily;
  • It helps you with tracking how much effort a task needs. Once you get used to it, you’ll be a pro at estimating how much time to dedicate to a specific task;
  • Thanks to the frequent breaks, it helps your mind staying fresh.

To find out more about the pomodoro technique, click here.

(Oh, I forgot to say: “pomodoro” means tomato in Italian, in case you didn’t know!)

It’s Time to Break Free from Motivation‘s Chains

Not feeling any motivation sucks, we acknowledged that.

Everything seems more difficult without it, and the worst part is that you cannot summon it whenever you like.

But who cares!

You don’t need to wait for motivation to do something.

You have your best friend Discipline that will always be by your side.

Don’t let the “I don’t feel like it” stop you.

Use the pomodoro technique to get you started. Once you begin gaining momentum, it will become easier and easier to do what you need to do.

Trust me. No, trust Discipline.

You will become more productive, less lazy and less disappointed at yourself.

You won’t say “Oh no, I wasted an entire day doing nothing”. Ever again.

When you start to achieve your goals one by one, and your life starts improving and you become more and more happy, guess who’s going to come back?

That’s right, the one called Motivation, because they only go where there’s more fun.

So stop waiting. Start doing.

2 thoughts on “Want to Achieve Your Goals? Do NOT Rely On Motivation”

  1. This is a good reminder read! I had forgotten about the Pomodoro Technique. I am definitely going to make sure I implement that cause I see where it works. I feel like I just might get more done if I stick to this. I made some good strides today that I am proud of.

    1. Nice to hear that it helps, Savorian!
      The Pomodoro Technique is often underrated, but it really is a great tool for increasing one’s productivity, especially for those who are “beginners” when it comes to personal productivity.

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