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Motivation: How to get it and keep it

motivationDo you have trouble maintaining your motivation? Do you go in with all guns blazing at the start of a project, only to find your enthusiasm waning as time goes on? Where does true and lasting motivation come from?

Why do I lose motivation?

You can get temporary motivation from reading self-help books, going to seminars, watching an inspiring movie or even getting some life coaching! But enduring motivation ultimately has to come from within you.

You need to identify the reasons why you may be losing motivation, and then find ways to get it back.

It may be that other priorities have taken over, and you have re-directed your time and energy to something else. If your new priorities are truly more important and more beneficial to you, then so much the better. However, if they are just distracting you from what you really want to achieve, you need to think about where you should be focussing your attention.

Expect setbacks along the way

The road to success is never easy or smooth, and is strewn with potholes and obstacles. Recognition of this fact is important if you wish to get what you want in life. Expect things to go wrong! Keep the big picture in mind and deal with any setbacks in a positive and constructive way. If you have a good plan with sound strategies in place, you will find ways to overcome disappointments along the way.

Create good habits

Creating good habits means that you no longer need to “get motivated” to carry out tasks. They become a part of your daily routine, and just something that you do. For example, if you want to lose weight, you may decide to go for a run every morning. Just as your previous routine was to get up, have a shower, have breakfast and go to work, your new routine may be to get up, go for a run, have a shower and go to work. For the first couple of weeks, you will need to motivate yourself, but once it is cemented as a habit, you won’t even think about it – it becomes just a part of what you do.

Reward yourself

It’s also important to recognise your own success. Reward yourself for milestones achieved along the way. This will help you to see what you are capable of, and give you confidence and optimism around what you can do in the future.

Don’t beat yourself up

Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. We’re only human after all, and sometimes we fail to follow through on the tasks we set ourselves. At times like this, it’s tempting to throw the baby out with the bathwater and quit altogether. Instead, make it a habit to say to yourself “I let myself down on this occasion, but now I’m ready to get back on track”.

Designing sound plans, creating good habits, and taking consistent action beats temporary motivation every time.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. Agreed Kris and well put. To illustrate your point; in October 2016 I was challenged to do 22 push ups everyday for 22 days to raise awareness for PTSD (Post Tramatic Stress Disorder) – no easy challenge (and very worthwhile). Completeting the challenge was just the beginning. By committing to completing the challenge I had within a few days unwittingly established a routine of doing an unpleasant activity (push ups) on a daily basis. This routine is now a well established daily habit I look forward to because it makes me feel good, look good, and pleases my wife (and let’s be honest at 43 years years of age and 14 years of marriage is really kinda cool)…

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