Motivation is the driving force behind effort and accomplishment. Yet, even the most motivated of us can feel unmotivated at times. I am no exception. The past several months have been difficult to say the least. Major surgery followed by a personal loss left me challenged in ways I had never been challenged before. Here are some ways I stay motivated even in the toughest of times.
1. Make a plan. Write it down. Seems pretty obvious, but putting your goals on paper brings them to life. It gets them out of your head and brings them one step closer to being. I make personal and professional goals at the beginning of every year. The actions and decisions that I make throughout the year are guided by these goals. I stay motivated by working purposefully to actualize them. Whenever I feel stuck, I simply take a look at my goals, see where I am and get busy !
2. Find support. Surround yourself with people whom you admire. I have been doing this since I can remember (Really. Pretty much since 3rd or 4th grade). I choose like-minded people with whom I not only share common interests and goals, but people who share a similar work ethic, drive, and ambition; people with whom I can share ideas and ask for advice; people who help hold me accountable for doing what I say I am going to do.
Associations such as APA, ASMP, and the Los Angeles Center of Photography are also great places to find support. They offer numerous opportunities for networking and being part of a supportive community.
3. Get Inspired Inspiration, for me, comes from many sources. I am inspired by the people I meet, places I visit, books, blogs, and magazines I read. (see previous blog post). I am inspired by others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I am inspired by participating in workshops and seminars, visiting photography exhibits, attending art galleries, and viewing and studying other photographer’s work. Once I get inspired, I am motivated to create !
4. A Photo A Day keeps the doldrums away. Daily photo Challenges are a great and fun way to stay motivated 365 days a year. Each day brings a new themed challenge. There are no models, hair and makeup, light meters, strobes, etc. to contend with. Just you and your imagination. Fat Mum Slim (#fmsphotoaday) is one such challenge that I participated in for the month of March that inspired me to see and think outside of what I normally shoot.
The good news is that once the initial hurdle is overcome, it takes less and less energy to stay motivated and easier to get back on track if you fall off.