Whether you’re self-employed or committing to a personal project, working for yourself can be super liberating. You can work at your own pace and exercise complete creative control. Working solo can give you the freedom to really go after your dreams, if you have the discipline and motivation to stay on track. If you decide to take an afternoon off and say, binge watch Mad Men on Netflix, no one will know, but your work will suffer. Staying motivated on personal or work projects is crucial for success. The more you can stay inspired, the more your blog/business/project will flourish. Here are some tips to get you motivated when you work for yourself:
Share goals and plans with friends
Without a boss breathing down your neck, it can be tempting to slack off. You won’t get told off or fired for taking a two-hour lunch-turned-shopping-spree. But in reality, the stakes are higher. You are responsible for your own success. That’s why it’s important to have friends or family members that can keep you in check. You are much more likely to stay on track if you have someone holding you accountable. They don’t need to track your progress or punish you when you’ve missed a deadline, but just having someone who is aware of your goals is helpful.
Sharing with friends the work you’re putting in to achieve your dreams is rewarding in itself. When they ask about your progress you can brag about your success or admit to some bumps in the road, but either way you’ll be motivated to continue pushing yourself!
Think big picture
As a blogger, I often get demoralized with just how many items I have on my to-do list. From writing to social media to photo editing to networking, it seriously seems like the list never ends. Focusing on the day-to-day tasks is important for getting things done, but don’t forget the big picture. For me, that hour spent editing photos for Pinterest translates to more readers which leads to a more successful travel blog which means I get to continue this crazy adventure on the road that much longer!
Focusing on the end game is much more motivating than seeing each task as an individual chore. Find a way to visualize your motivation for pursuing your work. Is your end goal to become location independent? Print out a big photo of your ideal workplace. Maybe you want to be published in the New York Times or sell your art in a gallery. Whatever it is, write it in big letters over your workspace so when you’re trudging through the day-to-day you can remind yourself what you’re really working toward.
Celebrate little milestones
Focusing on the big picture is great for motivation, but remember to celebrate successes along the way, not only when you achieve your big goal. This sounds like an easy tip to accomplish (who doesn’t love a celebration!?) but it’s something that I constantly have to remind myself of.
My partner and I set blogging goals and then consistently do not celebrate when we achieve those goals. Whenever we accomplish something, we’re right on to the next goal. It’s important to stay ambitious and continue pushing yourself, but don’t forget to pat yourself on the back when you’ve hit those little milestones. It can be something as sharing your success with your followers on Instagram or buying a fresh bouquet of flowers for your work desk. Plan ahead which milestones you’re going to celebrate and how you’re going to treat yourself. Having small achievable goals to look forward to will keep you motivated on your journey to your big dream.