Motivation is All About Your Priorities

We all know what we should be doing right now. Unfortunately, for almost no one, that thing isn’t lying on the sofa, eating chips or scrolling on social media. The fact is, despite everyone knowing what they should be doing, that doesn’t make much difference to what they are doing. The difference here, is always going to be priorities. Embracing the right priorities is what separates the ultra-motivated and the “lazy”.

If you’re someone that puts exercise before everything else, you’re going to see results. Same goes for work, same goes for hobbies, everything. It’s a conscious acknowledgement that this one element in your life is much more worthwhile than these other ones, and as such, this takes precedence. In this way, learning to prioritise the right thing is a great example of motivation, especially when it comes to motivation that you’re creating. Here’s exactly why that is, and how you should start prioritising the right things, right away.

Prioritising is Always Key

It doesn’t matter what point in life you’re at. It doesn’t matter about the size, scale or realism of your goals. The only thing holding most of us back, in the long run, is always going to be the failure to prioritise the right things. We all know we’d be happier if instead of spending our evening watching TV, we went for a run, or learnt about some new skill or hobby we’re interested in. Deliberate practice and commitment to the things that matter to us will always help us develop in the right direction.

The only thing that set us apart from those that do develop those skills and achieve big things is often the differences in priorities.

If you’re going to be someone that prioritises going out drinking and having fun, you’re always going to be behind someone that prioritises work and real development.

That’s not to say it’s all about denying yourself things and being brutally stoical, that’s not the answer either. It’s about prioritising what you need to be doing, when you need to be doing it. That can even go as far as to end up being putting going out drinking before work, if you’ve been working too hard and need to cut loose.

Ultimately, it comes down to balance, and prioritising the right thing at the right time. That takes a steadily diagnostic way of looking at yourself, your life and your priorities. You need to be thinking “what should I be doing right now?” regularly. The answer is never lay about scrolling on social media, it’s always going to be something worthwhile. Just be aware of potential wasted time. That’s what this is about avoiding.

Make the Right Choice Daily

Ultimately, motivation is always going to come down to a series of choices that you make every single day. That’s the choice between the lazy indulgent option, and immediate gratification, and doing the thing that you actually want to be doing.

In a sense, it’s about ignoring what the body and childlike parts of your brain want to be doing and instead focus on what the real, deeper you wants to be doing. You want to be someone that’s extremely skilled at your hobbies, who thrives at work, who is fit and healthy, these are all the kinds of things that everybody wants, deeper down. If you can block through the peripheral nonsense every day, and make the right choices, you will see real motivation and forward momentum flourish.

The fact is, these are choices. No one has zero options, we all have opportunities available to us, it’s mentality that makes these opportunities visible to us. Make the right choices every day, and you will see more opportunities and more development than ever before.

Every Day is Fresh Opportunity

It can be hard to look past our failures sometimes. We feel weighed down by a wasted few weeks spent doing very little. We’re painfully aware how much further ahead we could be than we are. This weighs us down, pulls us away from moving forward in the way we should be.

The fact, however, is that every single day is a thousand fresh, shining opportunities to start making good decisions and do something bigger, better and more awesome with your time. It doesn’t matter in any real sense that you spent yesterday lay on the sofa eating crisps, because today you can climb a mountain, learn to sew, start a business, whatever. You’re not defined by your past. Embrace the fresh opportunity of each day, prioritise that which is actually right for you and start moving in the right direction. Motivation will inevitably start arriving. Maybe not immediately, but it’ll be there soon.

Overestimated Days and Underestimated Years

One of the real issues holding far too many people back is that we habitually overestimate what we can get done in a single day. We believe that we can get a ridiculous amount done in a single day, conversely, we fail to realise how huge our yearly achievements can be. If you spend one day working hard on something, you can make some progress. A year spent concertedly working on something can change everything, with absolutely huge results. This is the thing so many people fail to realise.

Start thinking in terms of months and years instead of days and weeks and you’ll see huge results.

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you never know what you’ll have achieved in a year’s time, but I guarantee, it’ll be way more than you expected.

Building a Positive Feedback Loop (And Avoiding Negative Ones)

In the end, prioritising the right things and producing real motivation and momentum is massively helped along by positive feedback loops. By building a lifestyle and methodology where your behaviour becomes addictive and continually amplified, you can expect to produce some spectacular results.

An example of this is the comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s joke writing method. His goal was to write a new joke every single day, so he put a blank calendar on the wall, and every day that he managed to write a new joke, he a big red “X” on that day. Pretty soon, he had a chain of “X”s going, and had no desire to break that chain. It was a tangible representation of his successes leading to this point, highlighting his progress and forward momentum. Pretty hard to turn to and say “sorry, I cannot be bothered today”.

An example of a negative feedback loop is something we’ve already discussed. It’s thinking about how you wasted yesterday and letting that stop you from being a productive person today. This is an easy trap to fall into, especially if you’re looking to majorly change the way you live your life. It can be way too easy to get lost in your own past failures and fail to see the rich potential inherent to the future.

Know Your Weaknesses and Avoid Traps

Lastly, I want to talk about knowing yourself. We all have behaviours and ticks that trip us up at times. Self-destructive urges that push us away from what we should be doing and back towards old, unhelpful habits. Things like comfort eating, excessive drinking, sleeping in in the morning, all unhelpful, all too common.

This means that if you’re someone who habitually overeats, you know that that this is an issue for you, and there’s all kinds of things you can do to help mitigate and reduce this in your life. The same goes for sleeping in, or scrolling on social media endlessly. Whatever your issue, there’s always going to be simple answers that’ll help you deal with it.

Sometimes, these simple answers will absolutely require some cutthroat action. If you’re spending long hours scrolling on social media and it’s detracting from the things you need to be focusing on, delete the apps. If you’re snacking too much, stop buying the tasty snack food. If you’re undereating, buy more tasty food. Understand your major shortfalls and weaknesses and you can reinforce yourself against behaviours that’ll pull you down and stop you achieving your best.

Ultimately, prioritising things isn’t just about what you do, it’s about what you don’t do. It’s about making the right choices, turning your back on behaviours that trip you up and slow progress, and watching results slowly start to trickle in. Prioritise the right things regularly and you’ll start seeing real results and with them motivation. This all comes together to create forward momentum and before long you won’t be able to remember what it was like to be so lazy or uncaring. Start today by making some of the right decisions and you won’t regret starting out on the path it sets you on.