Dreams get you started, discipline keeps you going – Jim Rohn
What is Motivation? Motivation is made up of three components: Activation, Intensity and Perseverance. Put simply, Activation is simply making the decision to do something. Intensity is the amount of effort that goes into doing it. Finally, Perseverance is how long you can keep up the effort. You need all three to achieve your goals.
There are two types of motivation: Intrinsic and Extrinsic. The first, Intrinsic Motivation, comes from inside of you and is strongly related to your enjoyment and interest. This form of motivation makes it easy for you to concentrate and you will tend to accomplish your goals regardless of the reward. However, it can be easily swayed by your moods. Extrinsic Motivations comes from outside of you. This is when you are motivated by money or recognition. This form of motivation makes very difficult tasks approachable but it can be easily sidetracked by procrastination.
This begs the question: How do I find motivation? Unfortunately many of the things we should do we don’t enjoy and thus intrinsic motivation is not useful. Generally, if you are lacking motivation you can get motivation by eliminating excuses.
You just don’t feel like it
Are your good intentions halted by an immense feeling of laziness? This is usually a sign it’s time to get organized. You can’t plan your mood but you can plan your day.
When are you most productive? For many people it’s first thing in the morning or late afternoon. Make sure to organize your day around when you feel most productive.
If you’re still feeling lazy, take a queue from Nike and ‘Just Do It’. I know it sounds trite but often simply making the smallest step towards your goal will break the chains holding you in place. Do one pushup or a couple of jumping jacks – odds are you will then want to do more.
You have too much to do
It’s almost impossible to start something new until you let something old go. The simple reality is we are all close to being completely overbooked.
Take a good hard look at your daily commitments and see if the align with your goals. Odds are they don’t. Every commitment you make saps your finite amount of willpower. You have to learn to say no in order to find the time to say yes to what you really want.
Break large tasks into smaller ones and celebrate successfully competing even the smallest task.
You’re too tired
It’s almost impossible to find motivation when you are exhausted. You must make one of your goals the proper care and feeding of you and this means getting enough rest each day.
Sometimes tiredness can simply be inertia and quick walk around the block, cold water on the face or a few simple exercises can get you going.
It’s too boring
Feeling bored is closely related to feeling too tired or overwhelmed. If this is a constant for you revisit the previous two steps first.
make sure that you are always focused on what you need to do rather than how long it will take. Once you start checking of tasks you will find a greater sense of enjoyment in the process.
You’re afraid of failure
Everyone is afraid of failure. Successful people recognize that and push through anyway. A good way to do this is to simply looks at the worse case scenario. Often you’ll realize that even the worse case isn’t that bad. For example, let’s say you’re afraid to start another exercise program. Seriously, what is the worse that can happen if you do start and fail. The absolute worse is simply that, you didn’t finish it. No big deal.
You don’t know where to start
Our ability to make decisions is finite. When we make too many decisions we start to short circuit the process and revert to habits. Thus we need to make sure that our habits are the ones we want – i.e. going for a run instead of eating a pizza while watching a movie after having a bad day.
Take what you want to do and break it down into very small steps. Make sure you always know what the next step is and try to always do one more task when feeling overwhelmed.
Remember an object in motion tends to stay in motion.
You don’t know where to start
Always make sure, when building a new habit, to know what you want to get out of it. Write it down and review it everyday. It’s easy, while in the midst of a crisis easy to forget why you are doing something and revert back to your old habits.
Always think of the future version of yourself and ask what that person would do right now.