“The easiest thing to do on earth is not to write.” William Goldman
Words loaded with dynamite! They have the ring of truth, don’t they? We’ve all been there at one time or another: facing the temptation not to write because we’re tired, because our work isn’t going well, because we have other things to do. After all, there’s no one tapping us on the shoulder and whispering, “Write,” in our ears. We’re in solo, “If it is to be, it’s up to me” territory. How do we keep ourselves going? Here are three simple strategies to stay motivated:
1 Set an intention: Research shows that people who take time to write down specific goals that they plan to execute and follow through on – “implementation intentions” – are 100 percent more likely to reach their objectives, while those who don’t are only half as likely to achieve what they’ve set out to do. So be specific: At 10 AM on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday I intend to write for an hour. When you commit your intention to paper you make it real and doable.
2 Enlist an encourager: Having help to stay on track really helps: so says a study by the American Society of Training and Development. According to its research, our chances of meeting a goal increase by a whopping 65 percent if we ask a friend or loved one to be an encouragement counselor and hold us accountable for the goals we set. And better yet, setting up weekly check-in sessions about our progress with that “partner” boosts our chances of success by 95 percent!
3 Reframe setbacks: Instead of getting frustrated and discouraged when you have a slip-up, reframe your setback – see it as a chance to learn and improve. A new study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that people who mined disappointments for meaning bounced back more easily from setbacks and were more likely to go on to achieve their goals than those who let themselves feel deflated.
Armed with these strategies, let’s stay strong and keep our motivation high. One more precious gem of advice from John Kenneth Galbraith: “The quality of writing I do on the days I don’t feel like it is just as good as the quality on the days I do feel like it.” Write on!
* Research on motivation cited in Woman’s World, June 3, 2019 issue.
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