An important piece in the motivational puzzle is Direction. If focus means having an ultimate goal, direction is having a day-to-day strategy to achieve it. A lack of direction kills motivation because without an obvious next action we succumb to procrastination. An example of this is a person who wants to have a popular website, but who spends more time visiting other peoples websites about than actually formulating a desired website.
The key to finding direction is identifying the activities that lead to success. For every goal, there are activities that pay off and those that do not. Make a list of all your activities and arrange them based on results. Then make a make an action plan that focuses on the activities that lead to big returns.
Keeping track of your most important tasks will direct your energy towards success. Without a constant reminder, it is easy to waste entire days on filler activities like reading email, random web surfing and watching television.
When my motivation starts to wane, I regain direction by creating a plan that contains two positive actions. The first one should be a small task I have been meaning to do, while the second should be a long-term goal. I immediately do the smaller task. This creates positive momentum. After that I take the first step towards achieving the long-term goal. Doing this periodically is great for getting out of a slump, creating positive reinforcement and getting long-term plans moving.
It is inevitable that we will encounter periods of low energy, bad luck and even the occasional failure. If we do not discipline our mind, these minor speed bumps can turn into mental monsters. By being on guard against motivation killers we can preserve our motivation and propel ourselves to success.