How to become more self driven?

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“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” — Jim Rohn

Connect with your “why”

And do it habitually. Every morning I look at my vision board based on my personal mission statement. I also repeat my mission statement in my mind as soon as I open my eyes.

My personal mission statement is my compass for life, something that deeply motivates me. It’s not a temporary whim and it deeply connects with who I want to become.

It’s good that whatever you do connects with a bigger picture. It’s also good to have a very personal motive for any particular goal you pursue.

Part of Jim Rohn’s goal setting exercise was to ask yourself why you want to achieve this goal… and if your answer doesn’t sound convincing you should never start at the first place.

I watched an excellent video where a speaker asked from stage a guy from audience what he does. It has to do something with singing. The speaker asked him to sing. The guy sang “Amazing Grace”, pretty well. Then the speaker asked him to sing like he was singing for his uncle that just got into jail. The guy singed SO much better with this “why”.

Connect with your “why”, it will make a difference.

Track

This is my magic ingredient in habits development. When I tracked my new discipline I always succeeded. When I didn’t the results varied.

Starting any new venture design a tracking activity as well. If you want to run, buy a pedometer if you want to lose weight, weigh yourself every week and so on. There is a useful metric that can be attached almost to every discipline. And if not, there is always tracking if you’ve showed up in a given day.

Tracking activities effortlessly bring awareness about your performance and work in the background, subconsciously. We become what we focus our attention on and tracking focuses attention on your new gaol/ discipline/ habit.

Build daily habits

Build them both to achieve your goals and habits which sole objective is to maintain your motivation.

For example, if your goal is to write a book, focus on writing every day (and of course track if you do that). Yes, you can write a book during a 2-week retreat or working on it on weekends (in fact, I’ve been writing a novel on Sundays for over 3 years). But it is so much harder than following a daily habit. Habits spare your willpower and decision fatigue. They are automatic or semi-automatic.

Apart from consulting my personal mission statement, I have many other habits that have no clear agenda, other than sustaining my commitment to progress and life transformation.

I journal 6 days a week, meditate every day, read a few sentences from 3 books that shaped my philosophy, go through the file with quotes that did the same… Most of those things I do in the morning and it prepares me for the daily struggles.

This article first appeared on Medium.