How To Stay Focused And Motivated Towards Your Goal


Motivation can be described as a state that sustains, directs and energises behaviour. But how can you initiate such positive behaviour in the first place? Successful entrepreneurs and leaders explain, to stay motivated, one needs to be focused on a clear set of goals. Motivation can yield only from goals as goals provide the direction and the impetus of action.

It might seem like a diabolical spiral, but once you learn to play with it, you would understand that goals and motivation feed on each other. And, chasing both of them is the key to ultimate success in anything in life. Edwin Locke’s ‘goal-setting theory’ also confirms that basically, motivation is a goal-driven process. Right from inventing fire to the modern gigantic satellites, every stepping stone of humanity has been shaped by these two factors. But today, in this fast-paced world, lack of motivation is a pressing problem.

Research shows, as students grow up and start attending high school, most of them seem to lose the spark of garnering knowledge and ideas spontaneously. Their interest to grasp information in school and desire to perform quickly wane away. A significant number of students have reported that high school is boring and frustrating, and the subjects that are taught in school are irrelevant to their daily lives.

Dr Jennifer Fredricks, who is a professor of human development in Connecticut College recently said, “I’m worried about our schools, I think it’s getting worse rather than better in a lot of indicators. Kids are bored and alienated. Too many are just going through the motions.”

“So, how can you stay motivated in all your life’s venture?”

To find an answer to this question, we will need to map the proposed relation between motivation and goals and shed some light on the processes themselves. So, let’s get on with it without any further ado. Read on to find out how to get motivated and what role does a well-defined goal play in our lives.

  • Wonder all you can

It’s said, curiosity and wonder are the two most productive emotions of humankind. Let’s return to the story of inventing fire. The one who invented fire might as well be called the first scientist in the world. They were the first one to rationalise fear of fire, overcome and reason it, and fuse it with observation. But first of all, they had to wonder. They had to wonder at the power of fire and the fact that two twigs can spark a wildfire! Wonder gives birth to reason and logic, which are key factors for developing a set goal in one’s life. So, wonder all you can, at every small object and learn to observe.

  • Find the right medium

Humans are wired to be curious and garner knowledge. If you aren’t getting motivated enough, it may also mean that your ways of “information dissemination” aren’t suiting you. Rote learning often leaves you bored and frustrated in the long run. A recent survey shows that two out of three high school students get bored in class every day. Due to the decreasing attention span of people, today, watching or hearing a given topic on YouTube can prove more useful than reading the regular class notes.

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Try to engage in group study sessions or interactive online classes (anything that suits you actually.) Finding the perfect medium will boost your curiosity and come across a subject that you love to explore. Half the game’s won there!

  • Remember, practice is the golden key

Apart from goals, motivation also feeds on practice. Once you find the subject of your choice, you will need to explore it, spend time with it and try to go deeper into it. Every kind of passion (be it music, science, arts or any new skill) and every piece of learning requires practice. As you proceed with your curiosity, you would notice things tend to get difficult once you plan to excel in something. And this is primarily why you need to engage in rigorous practice sessions.

Be it any random discipline under the sun; practice will be the key to reach your goals successfully. Do you want to understand how constellations change every thousand years? Then you must sift through the vast pool of knowledge humanity has amassed over millions of years. Daily practice is what will keep you motivated in your path of gathering information on a specific discipline and in turn, help you to accomplish your goals.

  • Gear up to persevere

Your goals get shaped gradually, as you huddle through the mud to sift the knowledge that feeds your curiosity. The path to success will shine upon you one day only if you stay motivated throughout the time. As you pursue your passion or skills, simply getting entertained and enlightened by the subject of your choice won’t be enough. It will be essential to stay motivated throughout the learning process in order to reach the desired goal. After you have found your goal, the final game of patience, practice and perseverance begin.

  • Get ready to face the initial roadblocks

As you go along your chosen path, you may start doubting your decision and have the feeling of quitting every now and then. During those times, always ask yourself, why did you start the task in the first place? Do those reasons still apply in your life? Or have you been late to the race and the world changed to suit itself? If it’s yes then always have the courage to set on another journey of wondering and with time, your motivation to find your path will only harden.

  • Remember, at times it’s important to sit back and relax

Overworking kills motivation. Rest is the key to a peaceful mind and a calm and rested mind sparks motivation.  If you cannot find a way out in your life, instead of feeling miserable about the fact that you lead an aimless life, just take a deep breath and relax. Maybe your journey hasn’t begun yet! Imagine yourself to be that person who wanders around the world in search of something they would love.

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Anxiety will only add to your stress and frustration and take you further away from your dreams. During those times, always run away to the mountains or the sea-side. Nature teaches us to relax, and a relaxed mind will soon open up a variety of new dimensions you can explore.

So, as you see, inspiration to achieve something only comes to exist, when one is motivated enough to set some sort of goal in their lives.  We keep returning to the story of the invention of fire. It is one strange tale of wonder, hunger, observation, love, patience and hope. And, all of it was bound by motivation. The unseen underbelly of it was made of dreams; dreams of watching a lashing fire raging and burning the trees and giving out smoke that blinded the eyes and the sun. At one point, fire gave us sleepless nights. It was due to fear as well as wonder. So, aim high and dream!

Author Bio :

Rocky Starnes is a professor of the esteemed University of Oxford. He has a great passion for teaching and helping students with their Chemistry lab report writing and distressed them with their academic coursework.