This week we’re helping you to stay motivated with tips from Louis Howell, Co-Director of Revolution Hive (a youth empowerment program) and also part of our amazing roster of Apprentice Nation guest speakers.
Without wanting to dwell on the negatives, I do want to begin by saying that you are forgiven. Honestly… you are forgiven. Forgiven for feeling less driven, a little frustrated and as if the wind has been taken out of your sails due to the challenges that the COVID-19 outbreak is causing us all to face.
Some of you reading this may just have been gaining momentum with your jobhunting, career planning or might even have been in the process of securing the ideal Apprenticeship to kickstart your career and then… everything has come to a halt. Definitely not ideal.
Let me be real though, this is not a time to stop and nor is it a time to step back. I haven’t been skiing but I hear that when you are the most off-balance whilst skiing the only way to regain balance is to lean in! Slow down or lean back (thinking it’ll stabilise you) and you are guaranteed to fall. So, how can you lean into your career progression even though everything is up in the air?
These 5 steps are a proven method, based on science, that me and my team at Revolution Hive have been delivering at schools, colleges and universities across the country for the last few years – this most recent format was debuted at a conference at the University of Oxford in January. Ready?
Step 1: Identify a current topic of concern and CONFIRM the goal
Using S.M.A.R.T Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) you’ll be able to reach the goals that matter you.
First, you need to identify a specific area of your life, or to keep it focused it could be your jobhunting journey, that you know you are not performing well within.
Don’t select an element of your personal character such as ‘Motivation, ‘Confidence’ or ‘Focus’ as these are tools that help you reach a goal, or could be the by-product of you pursuing a goal, but they cannot be the goal itself. Examples of a topic you might choose could be “Applying for enough jobs to give myself options.” “Getting through over-the phone interviews.” Or “Standing out in group interviews”. These are job-related examples, but you can identify topics not directly related to the process of getting a job or kickstarting your career.
Once you have this topic, then write down the following the sentence – filling in the blanks to make it personal to you:
The goal I will achieve that will help me progress this area of my life is ___ [Insert SMART Goal] ___,
and I will achieve this by ___ [Insert date to complete the goal by] ___.
When I achieve this, my ___[Insert person in your life that relates to this area of your life]___ will say ___ [Insert what you believe they will say when you succeed] ___
and I will feel ___ [Insert word describing how you will feel when you have succeeded] ___.
Step 2: Remind yourself you are COMPETENT
The first issue we face when trying to maintain the motivation to achieve a goal is the fact that we believe the journey is going to be hard. Now, it might be, but I am sure the journey is made easier when you fully embrace the fact you possess several skills and abilities that are needed to succeed.
So, take a moment to list at least 3 things you are good at in the topic area you chose. This is where you can focus on specific activities that are needed to try and reach your goal and whether you seem to do some of those fairly easily or comfortably.
Once you have this list, then you will need to confirm how you will remind yourself that you are good at these things regularly. Will you stick the list in your room, make it the wallpaper on your phone or put it on your computer?
Step 3: Identify the CONSEQUENCE
This may be the most important step if you want to talk about straight up staying motivated. Knowing what the consequence will be of you achieving a goal that is going to fuel your fire like nothing else. Just think, what will the impact be on your personal life, professional life and the way you will be able to help those around you when you achieve this goal?
So, take a moment to state why the goal is truly important to you. This is where you identify exactly how you and the people you care about will benefit from the new results or progression you will make.
Once you have confirmed this, then you will need to confirm how you will remind yourself of this consequence regularly. Will you stick the statement in your room, make it the wallpaper on your phone or put it on your computer?
Step 4: Involve the COMMUNITY
This is key for many people who struggle with intrinsic motivation – which doesn’t make you bad by the way. Simply put, you are going to be more motivated when the people you engage with, interact with and who have the most influence on you are also motivated and working towards goals. Or, better yet, they know your goal and hold you accountable for achieving it.
So, take a moment to list the 5 people you spend the most time with and consider if they are a community of people that will help you reach this goal. This doesn’t mean you get rid of your friends if they don’t seem to fit the bill for helping you reach this goal, but it does mean you need to expand your circle of influence to include those that will help you stay motivated.
Once you have this list, then you will need to confirm how you will remind yourself to engage with these people regularly. Will you make a group chat about achieving goals, or hold a conference call once a week to check in?
Step 5: Exercise the CHOICE you have for how to act
This final step should hopefully be the most empowering as this is where you are able to put your own stamp over the actions you are taking to achieve your goal. You are more motivated to achieve a goal when the approach you are taking is one that you created and not the one prescribed or demanded of you by someone else.
So, take a moment to identify two unique actions you will take on a regular basis in order to reach this goal. This might mean that you make use of your artistic side and create a visual CV to send to employers; send a short poem about why you want each job you apply for, or make a game of seeing how long each employer takes to make contact with you after you apply then try to make it shorter every time.
Once you have these two actions, then you will need to confirm how you will remind yourself that you own this process regularly. Will you stick these actions in your room, make it the wallpaper on your phone or put it on your computer?
So, there you have it. 5 steps that are guaranteed to keep you motivated in the pursuit of that career-accelerating role you might be looking for. Be sure to make use of these and let us know how you are getting on by sending a direct message to Apprentice Nation or tagging Apprentice Nation in a post on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
I would personally love to hear your comments, thoughts and find out whether there is anything I can help you with so feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Instagram: @mrlouishowell