Understanding how to maintain your self-motivation is one of the greatest challenges you will face. Especially when it comes to achieving your goals. So how do you keep your motivation at an all-time high? Well, for starters have a clear definition of your future. This will inspire you to reach your goals.
What Defeats Motivation
Motivation moves the same way as two people trying to maintain balance on a see-saw. There are two sides to motivation, a positive side and a negative side. Similar to a see-saw, which moves according to the change in balance. In real life, the level of motivation moves the same way. If you keep positivity high, your motivation level remains high and vice-versa. Although, unlike a regular see-saw, keeping your motivation balanced is not as easy.
Developing that kind of mindset calls for change and change doesn’t come of its own; you have to work for that. Now, think back to the see-saw example once again. How did you maintain balance? By making slight adjustments (of weight and distance)! In the same way, you have to make slight adjustments to your life to even things out and continue to remain balanced.
How to Remain Motivated
1. Have Clear Well-defined Goals
Just wanting certain things in life isn’t enough. “Wants” don’t really motivate you enough to move forward. You have to have a clear and real goal. Wanting to start your own business or losing weight should propel you to define your goal. Think, how much do you want to achieve by a certain time? Now, start thinking of all the steps needed to reach your goals. Break down each step into a number of small activities and then proceed further.
2. Learn to Distinguish between Excuses and Reasons
In order to move from where you are to where you want to be, you have to take some risks and sacrifice some comforts on the way. It’s human nature to resist change and to avoid changes one tends to offer some excuse or the other. As any excuse comes to mind, look for its reasons and soon you’ll learn why you should avoid giving excuses, as reasoning leads to rationality. Excuses dampen your spirits and prevent you to reach your goals.
3. Be Prepared to Stumble on the Way
This is the most frequent and important hurdle on your way up. You should understand and be prepared to come over stumbling blocks on the way. Even a slight setback can cause you to second guess yourself and cause you to not reach your goals. Have confidence in yourself that you wouldn’t have chosen any wrong goal. Let no negative thoughts or feelings encroach on your mind for these have the capacity to impact other aspects of your life. Treat these stumbling blocks as part of the learning process and you will know how to avoid them in the future.
4. Results Will Take Time
You may experience moments where even after following your strategy, the results don’t seem to be appearing, and you can’t seem to reach your goal. This may make you wonder whether you chose the wrong strategy. You will become inclined to abandon your strategy and your motivation will hit its lowest level. Don’t be alarmed. You chose the right goal, but the path you decided to follow was wrong. Do not give up your goal, instead, visit the plan once again and revise it. You will then be able to see where you went wrong and make necessary adjustments. If you are unable to identify where you went wrong, take help from someone who might have already succeeded in achieving what you aspire for.
5. Free Yourself from the Cycle
Motivation is the first step to breaking yourself free from any cycle. What reason or drive would you have to move forward without some motivation? If this makes sense to you, the next step would be to understand the two kinds of motivation.
The first kind of motivation is extrinsic motivation, which is motivation received from external factors. The clearest example of extrinsic motivation is money; other less tangible examples are intimidation and punishments.
To explain this here’s an analogy, at a sporting event, the crowd can cheer for a team, which can motivate them to do well. Awards, medals, and trophies that a team gets for winning their game are also extrinsic motivators. Looking at it more generally, any form of competition is an external motivator because it encourages the individual or team to win, not to take pleasure in the internal rewards of the activity itself.
Now, on the other hand, intrinsic motivation is received from internal factors. For example, discovering inherent rewards in the job or activity itself–the joy of the game or the experience of something you deeply appreciate. We believe that the only way to be motivated long term is to find your intrinsic motivation.
6. Discover your Internal Motivators
The next time you notice yourself losing motivation because stress and worry are wearing you down, STOP and identity at least one thing that’s missing for you in the situation. This will be something that is deeply important to you– something you value. Every value that we hold dear desperately wants to be experienced. So once you discover the value that’s missing for you in a situation it will motivate you to be in action finding ways to experience it.
As an example, say that your significant other has been letting you know the different ways they are dissatisfied with you. You’re so sick of hearing about this and you even begin to worry that they may be considering leaving your relationship. You began to notice that you’re starting to lose motivation to make your relationship better, so what do you do? STOP and ask yourself, “what’s missing for me in this situation?” You may discover that caring and consideration are missing for you, or you might notice that a connection or sense of togetherness is lacking. Great! Now that you’ve discovered what’s missing the next step is to find ways to experience it.
Can you see how moving towards connection and consideration would be motivating? How finding ways to experience a sense of togetherness would have you moving in the direction of what you want in life?
The key to any successful self-help motivation tool is its ability to lead you inside before you move outside towards what you want to achieve. Whether it’s improving your relationships, enhancing your work circumstances, or just figuring out how to better handle your day to day stress and worry. Finding a useful intrinsic motivation plan is guaranteed to help you to reach your goals.