Renowned American motivational speaker and author, Dr. Stephen R. Covey once remarked: “Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” How do you define motivation?
There are two distinct types of motivation:
- Intrinsic: Motivation that comes from within ourselves.
- Extrinsic: Motivation that is derived from outside source such as a friend, colleagues, seniors at workplace, religious or spiritual leaders, spouse, kids and lots more.
Briefly, motivation can be described as a reason or cause by which a person or a group of people behave in a certain manner. The cause or the reason has to be extremely strong, and it often involves self interest.
Considering you have good and healthy plans that do not conflict with any laws, rules and regulations, staying motivated is quite easy. Basically, motivation is merely a state of mind. Utilized properly, it can take you to heights you may have never dreamed of.
However, our simple steps below will guide you on how to remain motivated at all times, despite any adversities you may encounter:
1. Goal Setting
Setting a goal for yourself is a time-tested and proven method to remain motivated. However, it is important to set realistic and achievable goals. Set yourself a deadline by which you intend to achieve these goals.
There are three types of goals:
- Short term goals: These may be achieved in a few weeks or a couple of months.
- Mid-term goals: These usually take a year or two to achieve.
- Long-term goals: Here you can include your career options, plans for marriage, buying a home or anything that takes a longer span of time.
2. Money matters
Regardless whether we like it or not, money does matter in remaining motivated. Here, we are not speaking about millions of dollars. We are saying that having sufficient funds to lead a decent life is a great motivator by itself. You can start by saving a healthy portion of your income daily or monthly.
3. Shun any loans
Undoubtedly, people encumbered with loans exhibit a tendency to lose motivation. The reason is simple: A considerable portion of your earnings will go towards servicing whatever loans or credit card dues you have. Avoid getting into loans as much as possible, unless it is for some genuine and strong reason such as buying a home.
4. Stay with positive people
Generally, people with a positive mindset and attitude are the best motivators. Regardless of your situation, they will always try and uplift your state of mind. Such positive minded people will motivate you even if you are feeling low and beaten. Further, whenever you encounter negative thoughts, speak with such people by either meeting them or on phone.
5. Appreciate yourself first
Whenever you lose motivation, think of all the positive stuff you have done in the past and reflect on great experiences you have had. Also, remember all the adverse times you have been through and how you sailed out of them unharmed. Appreciating yourself for your achievements is a great motivational tool.
“When you’re trying to motivate yourself, appreciate the fact that you’re even thinking about making a change. And as you move forward, allow yourself to be good enough.” – Alice Domar
6. Use mistakes as experiences
This means learning from your past mistakes, because as humans we are all prone to mistakes due to inherent defects or flaws in our character. Remember, mistakes are not final. They hold vital lessons for us. Most people tend to lose motivation when things go awry and desired results are not forthcoming.
7. Examine your motive
Once again, as Dr. Stephen R. Covey puts it, the key to motivation lies in the motive itself. Should your motives be good and in conformity with laws, motivation follows automatically. But beware, wrong motives can lead to misplaced motivation which can land even the most stable and sober person into deep trouble. Once your motives are positive and clear, motivation follows automatically.
8. Avoid getting over-stressed
Stress can be divided into two different categories:
- Negative stress: That arises out of negative actions, interacting with obnoxious people and lethargy or laziness, continuing exposure to painful or unpleasant situations and loneliness.
- Positive stress: Accrues by solving work related or domestic problems. Positive stress usually leaves you satisfied and happy once the issue has been resolved or after a hard day’s work.
Stress in daily life is imminent. Staying motivated helps you to remain motivated.
Now this may sound like a tall order for anyone encountering adverse situations. However, it is worthwhile to note, every bad situation always passes. Be aware that every bad circumstance will eventually vanish. Losing motivation will not help solve any problem and neither will worrying about something. You can maintain your motivation with the sheer thought that every problem is temporary.
10. Chart your map
Sadly, most people embark on a project or endeavor without much heed to the end result. Instead, you can chart your own roadmap. Take an inventory about how you want to begin and why. This in itself is a great motivational factor. Simultaneously, bear in mind what is the exact objective or the end where your endeavor should culminate. Be fearless in your pursuit of your dreams and goals.
“I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.” – Will Arnett
It is worthwhile to remember, we all lose motivation at some point of life. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be alarmed about. Analyzing cause of losing motivation, understanding and finding ways and means to counter it, works miracles indeed. Lack of motivation, left untreated, can lead to mental ailments.
How do you remain self-motivated? Let us know in the comments below!
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8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back
Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.
Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.
Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:
1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side
Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.
2. Do something that you love
When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all?
Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.
3. Don’t overcomplicate it
Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.
4. Get up and get moving
This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.
5. Reset your focus
It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do.
One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.
6. Listen to your favorite music
Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.
7. Expand your knowledge
“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.
If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.
When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.
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