Has this ever happened to you?
You start a project. You’re so enthusiastic about it in the beginning that you can’t ever imagine abandoning the project. But then you start letting the project slide. It falls to a low priority. And the next thing you know, you’ve abandoned it altogether. It may even reside in a virtual cemetery of other projects you’ve abandoned.
It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
But let me tell you why it happens…
The reason why people start but don’t finish projects is because the end reward simply isn’t motivating enough. Simply put, there’s not enough of an incentive to keep going.
Let me give you an example…
Example: Let’s suppose I give you a big job, which includes thoroughly washing, waxing, vacuuming and detailing my car. This is going to take hours. It’s going to be tiring.
Now imagine if I offered you $1 to do the job. Yes, one buck. You’d scoff. You’d laugh. And you’d no doubt outright turn down the offer, simply because $1 isn’t enough of an incentive for you to spend all that time doing all that work.
How about if I offered $5? Probably still not motivating enough, right?
How about $25? Depending on your financial needs or how quickly you think you can do the job, you may accept the offer. Possibly.
Now, the point is, I could keep raising my offer. And at some point I’m going to hit on a price that looks very attractive to you. That’s the price you’d happily do the work, because the end reward motivates you to do the work.
Now think about your business.
You have goals, right? Problem is, some of these goals aren’t going to happen overnight. They’re motivating goals, but you may not see the rewards for months or even years.
So what you need to do is create incentives for yourself that will help keep you going as you march towards your overall goals. That is, you can motivate yourself to achieve milestones (which are smaller goals on the path to your larger goal).
Example: If your overall goal is to build a blog that turns a $100,000 profit per year, then some of your milestone goals will include activities such as creating a certain amount of content and bringing your traffic numbers up to a certain level. These smaller goals are stepping-stones to your overall goal (and to your overall reward – making $100k per year).
Now here’s the important part: As just illustrated above, you need to make sure that these incentives are motivating enough to make you want to do the work. You need to want the incentives so badly that you have no choice but to just do the work so that you get the reward.
Obviously, this is a very personal thing. An incentive that might have me working like mad may just have you cocking an un-amused eyebrow.
So, you need to find an incentive that works for YOU.
Something that puts fire in your belly. Something that really excites you. Something that will make sure that this time you don’t quit.
Here are six examples…
1. An Indulgent Day
Imagine having a day when you did all your favorite things. Maybe this was a day on the golf course, a day at the spa, a day spent hiking your favorite trails.
Whatever it is, it’s probably something you don’t get to do very often. And so it’s really special (and motivating) if you turn it into an incentive for finishing a project or achieving a special goal.
2. A Vacation
The type of vacation you take depends on what type of project or goal you just finished. In other words, match the vacation to the goal.
For smaller goals, you might get out of town for one awesome weekend. For medium goals, you might take a week off and do something in your country. To celebrate the completion of a larger goal, you might go on a cruise or go to a foreign country for a couple weeks.
Those are just examples. But in all cases, the point is to create a vacation incentive based on something you’ve really wanted to do, something that’s personally motivating.
3. An Indulgent Purchase
You’ve had your eye on something, but it seems like you’d be splurging in order to purchase it. You tell yourself you don’t need it, but the truth is, you REALLY want it.
So turn it into an incentive, and you’ll feel proud when you’re able to make that purchase.
4. Dinner at Your Favorite Restaurant
You can go alone, with a partner or with a whole troupe of friends. But the idea is to go to your favorite restaurant, order champagne, order appetizers, order your favorite entrée – and just really enjoy yourself.
5. Take Up a New Hobby
Maybe you’ve been thinking about taking up a new hobby, like fishing, golf, or even scrapbooking. But you keep putting it off because of time constraints or perhaps because you’d need to purchase equipment.
If you have a burning desire for this hobby, then turn it into an incentive. Once you reach your goal, give yourself free reign to indulge in your new pastime.
6. Helping Someone Else
Maybe you can’t think of something that’s super motivating to you. If not, then think about helping others. This might involve going on a mission trip, raising money for charity or setting aside time to volunteer.
The cool thing about this incentive is that if you quit your project, you’re not just letting yourself down – you’re letting down someone else too, which makes it feel extra motivating.
Think about it…
You can do anything if the incentive is big enough. That’s why you need to make sure that any goals that you set for yourself have a big enough reward at the end. And if there isn’t a natural reward (such as bringing in a rewarding income through your business ventures), then you need to create incentives that will keep you going.
This time you will NOT quit… as long as you have that incentive to keep you stepping towards your goal!