Recently I published my fiftieth post to this blog and I felt a great sense of accomplishment. I'd proven to myself that I could consistently produce material I'm willing to share with others, and be proud of what I've created. My sense of euphoria for this accomplishment gave me the idea for this post.
Anybody who's ever tried their hand at being creative has had a tough time with motivation at some point.There are quite a few ways you might deal with this. One method is to celebrate milestones.
When you start a project think about where you want to be in a month, six months, and a year down the road. Stephen R. Covey talks about this in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In his second habit, Mr. Covey states that we should "Begin with the End in Mind". When you have clearly understood goals in mind, you will be more inclined to keep working towards those goals.
I'm suggesting you take it a step further. Not only should you have an idea of where you want to be at specific time intervals, but you should also celebrate when you accomplish the milestones you've set for yourself on the path towards your goal.
It doesn't have to be an elaborate celebration. You don't have to run out and buy a new car to reward yourself for meeting your goal. This might be okay for Jay Leno, but for most of us this would be a little too expensive after a while.
No, keep it simple. Perhaps you can treat your spouse to dinner, or go out to celebrate with a couple of friends. It doesn't matter what you do, just be sure to recognize and celebrate your milestones. Not everyone has the perseverance to see things through, don't take your accomplishments lightly.
The end goal you have in mind may not be easy to accomplish, but what in life worthwhile is? It's nice to be recognized by others, but this will generally only come when you are reaching the end of the path you've set for yourself. If you set milestones for yourself along the way, you'll find it easier to keep walking down the path.
In the early stages, expecting recognition from others may even be counter productive. Share your accomplishments with friends and loved ones by all means. Be proud of what you've accomplished to date, but don't be discouraged because you haven't received wider recognition just yet. Milestones will keep you motivated.
How about you? Do you set milestones for yourself to keep you motivated and moving towards your goals? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear how you use milestones to keep you motivated.