A month ago, if you were to tell me that I would have blogged five days a week for four weeks straight, I would not have believed you. As a matter of fact, I would have laughed at you.
Mattie James, a prominent blogger and lifestyle influencer, instituted a challenge for the month of July. She challenged her audience to post to their blogs, Monday through Friday, starting July 6 up through July 31. When she initially announced this, I said to myself, “well, I guess I’ll be catching the next challenge because I am not doing that.” At the time, I was posting to my blog once a week and was struggling to do that.
A couple of days after initially announcing it, Mattie announced it again in a Facebook Live, and she caught me on a day where I was ready to take over the world. “I’m doing it!” I said. I didn’t know how in the world, I would successfully meet the challenge, but my motivation was high and that was enough for me in the moment.
To solidify my commitment, I posted on my Instagram stories just so that my tribe could hold me accountable. This was the Saturday before the challenge. My adrenaline was running high, and I cranked out four blog posts in one day! Who was I?!?!?
Week one went by like a breeze because when I started, I was pumped and full of energy. Then came week two…
By the middle of the second week, the motivation was gone, and I started to feel the struggle. What started out as an exciting challenge had become an undertaking that I was not confident I could accomplish. The motivation I started with would not be enough to carry me through to the end. If I were going to follow-through on this consistency challenge, I would need the determination to kick in where the motivation left off.
Motivation can be defined as the enthusiasm or desire to perform an action. It is external and often comes from speeches, quotes, or maybe the encouragement we receive from others. Motivation breeds high energy and excitement but is usually temporary.
Determination, on the other hand, can be defined as the personal commitment to completing a task or purpose. Your determination is internal. It is those irrevocable promises that you made to yourself, the drive that keeps you going even when you’d prefer to quit. Determination is not always fun, but it is long-lasting.
Both are important. Motivation is often what gets you started. If I weren’t motivated, I would likely have never started the challenge. Determination is what pushed me not to miss a day, even when I wanted to quit.
So, how does this all work? How do you get from one place to the other and follow-through on those goals?
Photography // Thalia Nino
Identify The Motivation
The first thing I want you to keep in mind is that motivation is not always positive. You can certainly be negatively motivated to do something. That girl on Instagram is posting her new job, her new man, and her new fancy car. You, not content with where you are, decide that you need a new job, a new man, and a new fancy car. Pump the brakes sis. It’s fine to want those things, but if the source of your motivation is rooted in jealously, envy, or anything else negative, it’s not healthy and will cause you destruction in the end.
The right motivation will strengthen your determination. There are a ton of motivational speakers, people that we look up to, and the positive company we keep around. These are all important and often help us to kick start those goals we’ve been putting off.
Find Your Determination
Why is it that you want to achieve this goal? How would achieving this goal affect your life? It’s essential to answer these questions for yourself as these answers will be your anchor for keeping you going. And dig deep. The surface things are cool, but they’re often unsustainable. This challenge came with the possibility of winning $1,000 in cash. Now don’t get me wrong; I could certainly use $1,000. But for me, $1,000 is not enough to sustain me through the long nights, the early mornings, the days I just AM NOT FEELING IT, and still show up!
What I wanted was to be stretched. I wanted to bring my business to the next level and push myself to do something I really didn’t think I could do. Every time I wanted to skip a day and have a night off, this is what I held onto. And here we are.
Being determined is not easy. It takes discipline, drive, and focus, but it is entirely worth it. I am no motivational speaker or determination guru, but I do know what can happen when you set your mind and heart on a goal.
I hope this is the motivation you needed to set your own determination into motion. I’m rooting for you!