It’s easy for us to find motivation to dig deep and do the work every day when things aren’t going our way.
We’re motivated to spend less and create extra income when we review our bills and stare down debts we owe.
We’re fired up to get into the gym after our mother-in-law makes a comment about how we’ve “put on some happy weight around our waist.”
We’re busting our butt on the practice field after we’ve lost 3 games in a row.
It’s easy to find the motivation – and use it – when things aren’t going your way. Frustration, anger, disappointment all fuel us to work harder and become a solution that fixes our current downward spin.
But what about when things are good?
It’s a lot harder for us to put forth that same effort when times are good.
“It’s easy to get up and work harder and be more determined when things bad and you’re at rock bottom. Show me the guy after he’s successful. After all that success, when he’s gotta come back and do the work for next year.”Chris Bosh, Bill Simmons Podcast
It’s much easier to slack off after you step on the scale and finally see the number you’ve wanted for so long. Think about how many people binge diet to hit a specific weight, only to gain all of that weight back not long after?
It’s more convenient to work less after receiving the promotion you’d been working toward. Have you ever had a co-worker who used to work incredibly hard until they reached a specific position at work?
And let’s be honest, most of us tend to relax the following week during training after winning because we feel good about what we just accomplished.
The hardest time to be motivated is after reaching your goal.
So how can you?
Here are three ways successful people maintain their motivation when they’re already ontop of the mountain.
1.Reset your focus and energy levels.
Our effort relaxes after we’ve accomplished a goal. There’s a “letdown” when going from the mountaintop back into the monotony of the work required to scale it again. Boredom sets in much quicker, and it’s easy to believe that because we’ve reached it once, we can easily do it again – failing to take into consideration the entire scope of work we previously put in to get to that point.
Give yourself a few days to one week to reset and recharge your mind before diving back into your next pursuit.
2. Set your eyes on the next target.
Speaking of your next pursuit, Champions continue to stay hungry for their goals, by constantly setting new ones after an achievement. These new ones can be higher levels of a previously achieved goal (think promotion at work) or can be a new skill or goal entirely.
This continued pursuit allows us to combat complacency and boredom.
Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all-time, left pro basketball after winning 3 back-to-back-to-back championships in the early 90s.
“I was getting tired of the same old activity and routine and I didn’t feel all the same appreciation that I had felt before and it was tiresome,” Jordan said.
He’d lost some of his competitive drive after 3 championship seasons, and decided to try a new sport as a way to stay engaged and continue to grow.
Jordan went on to play minor league baseball for one season, with the goal of making the majors (he didn’t), before eventually returning to pro basketball and winning another 3 titles.
Whether it’s a faster race time, a different role at work, or learning a new skill, successful people focus on a new target after accomplishing a previous one so they stay engaged and growing.
3. Make a plan
The hunger to succeed wanes after you’ve just spent months (or years) pursuing the target you’ve just reached. It’s common to go from the exhilaration of seeing your hard work pay off to being bored with normal routine after.
Imagine going from winning the Super Bowl to being back in the weight room for off-season strength training a couple of weeks later. It’s hard to push yourself as hard as you did last year now that you’ve got a fancy championship ring on your hand.
That’s why repeat championships are the most difficult to reach. There’s only been 31 franchises to win back-to-back (or more) championships in all of the big four sports’ leagues’ histories (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB).
But what if you went into the off-season with a plan?
You take the emotion and feelings out of the situation and simply focus on the daily plan ahead of you. It’s the same logic when we lack motivation. By creating a daily plan of action, you force yourself to move, even when you lack the feelings or motivation to do so.
Following the plan ensures you raise the bar on your previous goal or get started on a new one instead of staying relaxed and living in a past victory.
It’s easy to be motivated when life’s not easy.
But it’s not about just reaching one mountain top – and then falling off the backside. It’s about reaching the mountain top and staying there.
Reset. Refocus on a new target. Make and follow a plan, regardless of how you feel.
That’s how Competitors can stay motivated to keep winning after they’ve won once.