By Alisha Reyes
So how is it that one person with so many titles, jobs, goals and hobbies can be continuously motivated AND successful?
The first thing you must know about me is I’m a to-do lister; on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. I have pages upon pages of all the things I have to do, want to learn and need to accomplish. With deadlines, of course. The first thing you must know about yourself is what gets you to actually do something? Are you like me where you need to makes lists as every little idea pops into your head and check them off as you accomplish them, crossing things off as you realize they may be out of reach at the moment? Or do you go with the flow and do things as they come to you, only pursuing the things that fit in at the right time and place? Whichever you may be, just know it and use it to your advantage!
Note: the following homework assignments are just guidance and an example of how I keep myself on the right track!
Make a list with two columns: all the things you have to do (like chores), and all the things you want to do. At this stage, don’t hesitate to literally write everything down.
The key to staying motivated, is accountable success – in whatever form that means to you. As humans we all like instant gratification, and signs that we’re on the right track. Set short term goals that are within reach, and long term goals that result in greater satisfaction. The first thing I think about as one, two, ten! ideas pop into my head, is PRIORITY! Out of all these amazing things I want to accomplish (and all the things I have to do), which are the most important to my well-being and which of these am I most likely going to tackle given time, resources and accessibility? It’s so easy to get lost in all the things we desire and we lose focus on the things we truly want. Having a clear list of what is truly important will help you stay focused!
Take that list and start marking each item with a number using 1 as a top priority (use a pencil… you may have to erase). You may also cross things off at this point.
Re-write your list in order of priority.
Once you’ve prioritized and found the things that are the most important and reasonable for you to accomplish, it’s time to turn these desires into actions! I often find all those “have to do” daily tasks tend to get in my way of this step. First, either get all those nagging thoughts of “I really should be doing this…” out of the way, whether it be to let the thought go, or get the damn thing done and out of the way. Then figure out the steps needed in order to accomplish your goal. And make sure some of those steps are fun, and rewarding! I start my knitting students with small projects that will teach them new skills, with a feeling of accomplishment at the end of each one, constantly keeping them on the move towards their greater goal. So, start small, creating building blocks to the next level. Not everything can be accomplished in one fell swoop. When something is too much “work”, we easily lose our motivation and seek something more rewarding. With that being said, there also needs to be enough challenge to keep us engaged. Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but ensure it’s still in reach.
Check off those nagging chores.
Take your top 3 -5 priorities and break them down into reasonable steps that you can check off every day or week. The key to this step is making sure this isn’t too overwhelming or you’ll never do it! You should look at this list and feel excited with an added element of some challenge!
Mark off on your calendar designated times that you can spend focusing on these things! Or make the time as the motivation hits you. No excuses!
BE POSITIVE & PATIENT
The most important factor of all, is to be eager yet patient with a constant positive mindset. I strongly believe in the self-fulfilling prophecy - if you say you will, you will. If you have doubt, you won’t. Keep your mind in gear! That energy alone will drive you to success, even if things don’t happen as you “plan”, it will happen! Let your energy drive you and feed the moments you feel motivated, but also know that things take time. Not all the times you want to accomplish something will you have the motivation and drive, and not all the times you’re motivated will you have the set aside time. The best advice that has been given to me is to let your goals, ideas, and hobbies be “organic”. Meaning, feed and nurture these ideas and goals, but also let it grow and evolve on its own and something incredible and beautiful will develop from it. Perhaps something even better than you envisioned.
About the Author: Alisha Reyes
Alisha has been actively involved in the knitting industry for 8 years, 4 of which have been teaching knitting classes of all levels, from beginner to advanced, at Cast Away and Folk. In addition to teaching, she designs patterns and sells her hand-mades at a local craft fair. She is currently completing a certificate in the TKGA Masters Hand Knitting Program.