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How many times have you enthusiastically started a weight loss program, started a weight training or aerobics program, or started learning a foreign language, only to stop after a short while? How many times have you tried to make changes in your life, to study a certain subject or to start a certain project, but failed for lack of motivation?
Sometimes we have the motivation and the enthusiasm to start a new project, but after a while, we lose the motivation and stop doing what we started to do. When this happens, we begin wondering what we can do to motivate ourselves and continue to the finish line.
What is motivation and why do we need it?
Motivation is an inner driving force that drives you to do and get things done. It is made up of a strong desire, an ambition, and an awareness of the importance of what we want to do.
To accomplish anything, you need a driving force, otherwise nothing would happen. A simple wish is not strong enough to take you into action. A wish is a weak desire, but only a strong desire can move you forward to act and achieve goals.
Motivation is aroused by internal and external factors, which stimulate the desire and energy to continue to be interested and engaged in a job, action or goal. It is the process that stimulates people to act, to do things and to achieve their goals.
What can help you get motivated?
- You have to know exactly what you want.
- Your goal should be clear.
- You should be aware of the benefits of what you want to accomplish.
- You must keep desire, enthusiasm and zest constantly alive.
Thinking often about your goal and accepting the idea that it can be achieved will increase your motivation and strengthen your desire to reach it.
Thinking of the importance of what you want to achieve will also increase your motivation, strengthen your desire, and make you want to do whatever it takes to reach your goal.
As strange as it may seem, exercising your body regularly can also help. This will increase your energy level, your inner strength and your persistence. Additionally, it will help you be constantly motivated, active, and energetic.
“Make your life a masterpiece; imagine no limitations on what you can be, have or do.” – Brian Tracy
How to get motivated – Tips and advice
Motivation has become a popular term these days. There are motivational coaches and speakers, as well as motivational books and articles. You can find a lot of information about this on the Internet, as well as here, in the articles on this site.
Motivation has a lot to do with emotions and imagination, which means that if you want to motivate yourself, you have to work on your feelings and your imagination. You can do this by visualizing your goal as clearly as possible and actually feeling that you appreciate it.
How to motivate yourself? Here are some tips to help you:
1. Think about and analyze your goal to find out if you really want to reach it. Is it worth the time? Maybe you don’t really want it. If after thinking about your goal you realize that you don’t really care about it, it will be difficult to stay motivated. It is easier to become motivated and stay motivated when you are sure of what you want.
2. Make your goal very clear. Writing it down will help you describe it in clear terms. The more specific it is, the easier it would be to focus and motivate yourself.
3. Think often about your goal or desire, its benefits, and how your life will look like after reaching it. This will awaken your emotions, which provide the driving force and enthusiasm to pursue your goal.
4. Visualize how your life will be after you get what you want. Imagine how you will feel after reaching your goal. It may not be easy, because doubts and disbelief will likely try to keep your mind occupied. However, with persistence, you can teach your mind to stay away from doubts, or at least ignore them.
“Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.” – Zig Ziglar
5. Make workable plans, with easy-to-follow small steps, and insist on at least one step a day. This will give you confidence and make you believe that the goal is within your reach. When you see a goal as achievable, it will be easier to become motivated and enthusiastic.
6. Read books or articles on the subject of your goal. They will keep your mind focused on and focused on your goal.
7. Read about successful people. It would inspire you to emulate them and do what they did. You can find books, articles, and videos about them by searching them on the Internet.
8. Read inspirational quotes related to the topic of your goal. I suggest you read a few in the morning and again in the evening before you fall asleep. You can also read them at any other time of the day. You can write a few on a piece of paper or save them on your smartphone.
9. If you are depressed and have no desire to do anything, you need to muster all the strength you have and go out for a walk. Never allow yourself to stay in a bad mood no matter how you feel.
10. When you need a dose of motivation, you will find it helpful to repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Here is an example: “I have the desire and the enthusiasm needed to reach my goal.” Repeat this statement often with care and conviction.
11. Start taking small steps towards your goal now. Don’t wait for the right opportunity and the right time. Every moment is the right moment, otherwise it is only procrastination.
The importance of starting with small goals
When it comes to long-term goals, it is not always easy to maintain motivation for a long time, unless you have a strong ambition. This is why it is wiser to start with small goals, which you can accomplish fairly quickly. After learning how to arouse motivation and increase your ambition, you can move on to more important goals.
If you want to achieve a certain goal, but you do not feel motivated enough to act, it means that the desire or the goal is not important enough. To be motivated to act and do something related to your goal, you must have a strong desire.
What motivates you? Share it with us below!
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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