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Most goals fail because of a lack of motivation. We build so many systems that it pains us to admit it. But motivation is the true cause of the problem .
You can work with low motivation. Thanks to the healthy habits you build around your projects, you can even work without it for a short period. But after a while, you will give up if you don’t find a way to reignite motivation . And one of the simplest ways to do it is through a life review .
A life review helps you keep track of your long-term goals and understand how you are working towards them.
Usually, you have to split long-term goals into smaller pieces you can track easier. But this way, you may lose focus on why you are doing certain things instead of others and, therefore, lose motivation.
Yet, with a life review, you can reignite the passion and motivation that made you choose those goals in the first place.
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First, review your pain points — a.k.a. the problems that prevent you from working at your best.
Those problems might be temporary, like a stressful period at work, or recursive, like procrastinating too long.
In both cases, you must acknowledge them and the effects on your performance.
The best way to review your problems is to note them as soon as you notice them.
Also, your mind will start troubleshooting and problem-solving them passively once it becomes aware. Therefore, the best way to review your problems is to keep a pain points notebook or sheet that is easily available and that you can always reach every time you meet a new issue.
So during the life review, you can write the effects and solutions of the problems in your notebook.
When you ask people to review their problems, they start brainstorming whatever comes to their mind. But that’s ineffective because there’s only a slim chance you will get the real problem this way.
Yet, to solve a problem, you must get personal. So it would be better, during the life review, to spot problems by starting from the effects.
You can find the real pain point going backwards. So, my issue was not binge-watching videos. I was afraid of eating alone in silence. And I should have worked on that.
Once you find the personal issue that keeps you from working consistently, it becomes easier to solve it. And instead of solving procrastination, you only have to solve eating alone in silence, which is way easier.
So during your life review, find solutions to your pain points because you will use them as your goals later.
A life review doesn’t only focus on the negatives. Otherwise, it will never reignite your motivation. Therefore, focus on your accomplishments and the feelings they triggered.
You can review the accomplishments in a similar way to the pain points. You only need a notebook or a piece of paper.
But you don’t have to fill it as soon as they happen. You will probably remember them for longer. So you can fill the success stories in one iteration during the life review.
Also, build a clear definition of a success story. Otherwise, you will put everything in there only to feed your pride.
Success stories help your motivation grow stronger because they remind you everything is doable. But besides factual data, you should also collect emotive ones.
How did you feel when you accomplished the first milestone of your project? And how does it make you feel now?
Do you want to replicate the same feelings? And how could you do it?
Again, if you recognize those desires, your mind will troubleshoot them and search for solutions to live those moments again.
How much time do you spend doing the things you want to do?
Time management is fundamental in a life review because time is your currency. And you have to make sure to spend it efficiently.
This doesn’t mean you have to work every minute of the day. On the contrary, breaks are a strong ally if done right. But you must be in control of your time and make sure you are not losing it to external stimuli that come from marketing campaigns and social networks.
So how do you do that?
You can work towards two things: flexibility and strictness.
If your friend asks you to take a 30-minute walk tomorrow, could you fit it into your schedule without ruining the week’s planning?
Suppose you have a weekly plan (otherwise, you should build one). Then, your flexibility defines how much you know about your task's length and how fast you can finish it.
The more you know, the more flexible you will be. And improving this parameter is not that hard. You only need to keep track of the repetitive tasks in your day and note how much they take until completion.
So, if you want to achieve flexibility and more free time, here 3 steps that could help you.
How strict are you with your plan?
The importance of flexibility might suggest you should not be strict, but it’s the opposite.
Flexibility is a short-term value. You must be flexible to take that opportunity in the moment or the near future. But strictness is a long-term value. And you can’t miss the deadlines of your tasks.
So flexibility allows you to move your working hours around, while strictness guarantees you finish each task before its deadline.
Now that you have all this data from your life review, you should finally trigger your motivation again. And you can do it in two ways:
The first thing to do once you finish your life review is to update your goals with the new problems and solutions you found.
Most times, you set long-term goals in a state of ecstasy or blind luck when everything is going great. But after a while, you might realize that wasn’t the norm. So you might want to scale back your goals based on that data.
Also, old goals are the ones that need the most motivation. Their level diminishes over time, and you might be in disbelief. So take care of them. And don’t overestimate your abilities this time.
Practicing your old goals might have uncovered pain points you didn’t even know you had. Or you might want to try different strategies that work better (at least in theory).
So, besides updating old goals, you might also set new ones based on your life review and how well you did.
But don’t try to improve everything at once. If you have many pain points to fix, start with the first. Make a goal for it, solve it, and then go to the next.
You can’t make the same error you made with your old goals and overestimate yourself. So take one step at a time, and you will succeed.
Passionate about self-improvement, personal growth, finance, and creativity. I love to inspire people to become the better version of themselves. Author @ www.cosmopolitanmindset.com
A life review can help you understand what is going wrong in your life and fix it before it's too late. Here's a guide on how to do it!
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