When was the last time you ever felt motivated? Was it an inspiring speech? Or a little chat with a loved one?
You might have felt motivated without even realising. For example, you may have gotten out of bed three minutes before your alarm was set to go off (a big achievement if you ask me). There was something that motivated you to do this, whether you noticed it or not.
Wherever it comes from, it is important to harness this motivation, and use it in your everyday life for both your larger and smaller goals.
Achieving your goals
We often get asked about what our goals are, where we see ourselves in five years, what we want to be when we grow up… it goes on. However, it’s often just a few lucky people who can answer this question, and this is often because they know what their motivation is.
If you are not one of the lucky ones, don’t fret! Not everyone needs to know and set specific goals such as what type of leather bar stools you want for your breakfast bar in your city centre townhouse… although that does sound pretty great!
What you need to do is find out what motivates you, and in turn this will help you to define and achieve your goals. To do so, focus on is what is important to you, why this is and decipher your values from there to then set yourself some positive, bite-sized goals. Once you have some smaller goals set, these may then snowball over time as you achieve each more and more.
These goals will hopefully be easier to achieve since it is your values that drive your motivation to succeed. It is important, however, to not overstretch yourself when it comes to your goals, as this is where your motivation could take a hit.
Not all motivations are positive…
Both negative and positive motivation can be used to achieve good things. So negative can be positive… this isn’t a physics lesson, I promise!
Negative motivation is a type of motivation that is used when we want to avoid an unwanted outcome that would have resulted from not doing a certain action. For example, we may study for a test to avoid failing, we may floss every day to avoid rotting teeth, or we may hoover the living room to avoid being told off by our other half.
Whilst both negative and positive motivation can be used to our advantage, the only pitfall with negative motivation is that it may mean we don’t reach our full potential.
So, if we study purely so we don’t fail, we may not achieve as high a grade as we would’ve done if we studied in order to get an A.
The point I’m trying to get across is the feeling you have when you are being propelled by positive motivation against negative motivation. You will probably enjoy your job more if you are working hard to achieve a promotion, rather than if you are working hard to avoid being fired.
However, if you intend to stay motivated, whether through negative or positive means, make sure to reflect and think ‘Am I really living up to my full potential here?’ and more importantly ‘Am I dreading the work needed to achieve this goal?’
Certainly, some food for thought.
How to stay motivated
Becoming motivated should start once you have your values and goals set out, as explored earlier. The tiny little thing that becomes a struggle is remaining motivated when sometimes all you want to do it quit and have a nap on the sofa. You may lose faith in yourself, you might think that your goals were unrealistic, or you might simply think “I can’t be bothered!”
These thoughts are all natural, and we have all felt them. If they do begin to creep in, don’t worry, it is probably just your mind telling you that you’re working too hard. Take 30 minutes, perhaps go for a walk, engage in some box breathing, read your book, watch an episode of your favourite TV show or make yourself a snack.
Then look back at your goals, be sure they are aligned with your values, and reshape them so that you don’t lose your motivation to achieve them.
It is also important to focus on these simple rules for harnessing motivation:
- Focus on one goal at a time
- Have a plan in place
- Reward yourself
- Get enough rest
- Seek support where needed
Above all else, MAKE SURE YOU DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP! Instead, when you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders or you slip on a hit of doubt, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, realise that not everything always goes to plan, and try again.
We are all only human after all…
Motivated to get motivated?
Are you struggling to keep yourself motivated?
My RE3 effect can help you achieve newfound levels of motivation by reflecting, reframing, and reinventing your way of thinking. Check it out here: – https://big-knows.co.uk/re3-effect/