The beginning of a new year brings with it inspiring aspirations, impressive resolutions, and a whole host of ambitious goals you want your to reach. But despite the best of intentions, it can still be a struggle to keep your motivation levels high enough to achieve all you hope to achieve this year. We’re also nearing January 19th, which has the honor of being “Quitter’s Day” for 20211. (It had previously been recorded as January 12th2 back in 2018, so at least we’re getting better at not quitting. Although, not by much!) Some clever people have crunched the numbers and analyzed the trends and statistically, it’s the most New Year’s Resolutions fizzle out as motivation fades. But if we can help it, we won’t let that happen to you and your podcast!
We’ve researched productivity tips and tricks, we’ve scrutinized motivation techniques, and we’ve narrowed it all down to these 6 simple strategies to help keep your podcast motivation sky high in 2021:
Let’s break these down into actionable steps…
1. Set Clear Goals
First up, we’re looking at setting clear goals. We’ll spend quite a bit of time fleshing this one out because all our past experience as well as our research indicates a strong correlation between the setting of goals and motivation. This is because your level of motivation can be seriously affected by how effective you feel you are. Okay, so that sentence is a bit of a tongue-twister, so let me say it another way. You might be super busy in a day, but if you look back and can’t actually see what it is you achieved, you may feel your levels of motivation plummeting.
That’s why setting clear goals is so important. And one of the best ways to set clear, achievable goals is to make sure that they are SMART. No, this is not an evaluation of your intelligence. As an acronym, SMART goal setting is a tried and tested time management technique designed to help you keep motivated to achieve your goals. Whenever you sit down to write out your goals, whether these are your weekly or monthly podcasting goals, or even those long-term aims and objectives you want your podcast to achieve, you should ensure that these goals are:
If you set specific goals, like “Record three episodes this month,” “Read 10 emails today,” or “Reach 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year,” you know exactly what you want to achieve, and there’ll also be a clear indication of when that goal is achieved, and can be crossed off your to-do list with a satisfying swipe!
You also want your goals to be measurable. You need to include some type of quantifiable aspect to your goal that will be your indicator of when the aim has been reached or the objective has been achieved. In our “Read 10 emails today” example, you’ll know you can scratch it off the list when you’ve read that tenth email.
I can’t emphasize this aspect enough! If you want to keep those positive feelings of motivation when it comes to achieving your podcasting goals, you need to make sure that those goals are actually attainable! It’s no use setting yourself a goal of reading 100 emails today when you KNOW before even starting that you won’t be able to achieve it. (I realize I’m mentioning emails a lot. I have an inbox issue. I’m working on it. Slowly.) You’ll actually be way more productive if you set smaller, yet attainable goals.
Just as setting attainable goals is important, so is making sure that the goals or objectives you want to achieve are realistic. It’s great to have big dreams you want to achieve in the long run, but if you want to keep the momentum and motivation to actually get there in the end, you need to set realistic, smaller goals.
This just refers to goals that have a clear end time or date, preferably in the not-to-distant future. It’s very easy to lose your motivation if the end goal is miles away. But, if you set a timely end-date, you’re more likely to be pumped up and motivated to tick it off.
2. Change Things Up
If two of the words that spring to mind when you think of your podcast are “boring” and “unexciting,” then there is a very good chance that you ain’t got no podcast motivation! But, there could be a simple remedy for that! Maybe you just need to change things up a bit on your show? They do say that a change is as good as a holiday (now, I’ve never been completely convinced of this statement, but making some kind of change can certainly go a long way to reinvigorating your podcast passion!) so a few changes to the way you do your show could be just what you need to build up excitement and get you feeling all motivated once again. This could be as simple as changing up your podcast segments, recording a new intro, or even sprucing up your recording space. Take a step back and really look at your whole podcasting process, and look for the areas that could do with a little makeover.
3. Try New Things
Your lack of motivation might be the result of not feeling challenged enough on your podcasting journey. Maybe you need to step out of your comfort zone and try something new? This can be scary! But also totally energizing! New challenges are a really effective way to hone new skills and experience some massive growth, both personally and with your podcast. You could introduce a new element to your show, like hosting guest interviews, or even recording some shows live. You could look at collaborating with other podcasters within your niche, you could plan and host a podcast event, or you could even design and launch your own line of podcast merch. But no matter what you do, trying new things and challenging yourself in new ways is a great way to boost those motivation levels again.
4. Listen To Some Great Podcasts
At first glance, this may not sound like an effective way to keep your podcast motivation going strong, but hear me out. For most podcast hosts, at some point, you fell in love with podcasts and were inspired to start your own show. And that love spurred you forward to keep putting out your valuable content. But with all the effort and focus that is required to create and produce a great show, it’s easy to forget the joy that podcasting brought you in the first place. And that’s why one of our strategies for keeping your motivation up is to keep listening to great podcasts. Whether it’s your favorite true-crime mystery, an amazing fiction podcast, or the latest interview episode from your top host, allow yourself the time to enjoy just listening to an episode (or two, no judgment here!) of those great shows. There’s nothing like seeing someone else do well at something to flame your own passion and enthusiasm all over again.
Besides listening to your firm favorites, there are also some amazing motivational podcasts out there, specifically created to help keep you motivated! The hosts of these shows can become your own personal cheerleader, mentor, or life coach, spurring you on and encouraging you in your journey.
You can check out our list of some of our top podcasts that help keep us motivated here. Get ready for a motivation overload!
5. Practice Some Self-Care
With “self-care” becoming quite the buzzword of late, it’s easy for it to induce an involuntary eye-roll whenever it’s mentioned or for it to be whittled down to nothing more than a fad. But, self-care is really just making the time to take stock of our mental health, and implementing the techniques that help us keep focused, motivated, and happy . We all know the importance of developing healthy food habits and exercising to keep our bodies strong. Well, our minds need this kind of care too! And this is particularly important when we’re wanting to keep motivated, as motivation is usually one of the first things to go when our mental health suffers. We need to deliberately carve out the time in our busy schedules for activities that help us recharge, debrief, or just slow down a bit, as then we’ll have the energy and motivation to keep tackling new challenges and reaching our goals.
Related read: Self-Care Tips to Help You and Your Podcast
6. Take a Break
Our last strategy for keeping your podcast motivation alive and kicking is to take a break. Yes, I get that that sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes, you just need to press pause on the podcast in order to help you rejuvenate your passion for your show and for it fill you with excitement once again.
And it’s totally okay to step away from the mic for a bit! Spending that specific time away from your podcast can actually be a necessary part of ensuring your show’s overall success. It’s not a sign of weakness or failure. In fact, taking a short break from your podcast to tackle other projects, to have a little “me” time, or go on a vacation, or even to spend some serious time brainstorming new ideas for your podcast could be the thing that fuels your motivation levels right back up again.
If you feel that a break from your podcast is what you need to do, then check out this post which shares strategies on How to Take a Podcast Break Without Losing Your Momentum.
Related read: Podfade: What It Is And How To Avoid It
It can be so easy to be hard on ourselves when we feel that lack of motivation creeping in, especially if that happens right at the start of a new year. But sometimes, just making a few simple changes, or putting some easy strategies in place can make the world of difference. As you take on all that this year has in store, put these strategies into place, and you’ll be amazed at all that you and your podcast can achieve!
Related read: How To Stick To Your Podcasting New Year’s Resolutions