With so many choices and options available to us today, instead of being more motivated each day, it is not uncommon for many of us to feel sluggish or deflated.
The strange thing about motivation is that is short-lived. We can be totally motivated after an event or experience and commit to doing things differently, only to find that our motivation wanes after a period of time. The late, great motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, once said, “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”
We can be either internally or externally motivation. They are better known as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. We all know that the more motivated we are, the more focus and energy we will give to the things we are doing. And more often than not, we do a better job when we have a high level of motivation for the things we are doing.
The good thing about motivation is that it can be cultivated and harnessed towards specific outcomes we want. We can deliberately do things every day that will boost our motivation so that we can be more productive, make better use of our time, and ultimately feel better about ourselves and our lives.
Here are 10 things we can do each day to get the motivation we need to do what we want to do. We don’t have to do all of them everyday however it is important that we do something daily to maintain a healthy level of motivation.
- Be conscious of your posture. The way we engage our bodies moment to moment has an effect on our motivation. Amy Cuddy, author of the book, Presence, suggests that our posture affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. In her TED talk, Amy shared how when we stand in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident, it has an effect on our motivation level.
- Become aware of your thoughts. Having a higher level of self-awareness is what will ensure we sustain our motivation for longer periods of time. In order to have continued levels of high motivation, we must become aware of our thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, and what triggers the emotions we experience.
- Set small new challenges daily. We love new experiences because it has a positive effect in our brains. New challenges does not have to be anything that involves a lot of time or effort. It can be as simple as taking a new route to work, deciding to speak to someone new daily, trying out a new food, etc. The more we challenge ourselves, the more excitement we will feel which fuels our motivation.
- Be clear on what motivates you. Some of us are motivated by reward whereas some of us are motivated by negative consequences. By knowing what motivates us, we can use it to our advantage in order to maintain a consistent level of motivation.
- Imagine the end result. We do things because we want to get a certain result or outcome. By imagining the end result ahead of time, it will help us be emotionally connected to that end result. Remember, no emotional connection, no sustained motivated!
- Visualise yourself taking the next action. At times, our motivation suffers when we’re unsure or unclear on what we need to do next. Also, we can scare ourselves into not taking action because of some negative imagined outcome. What is more helpful is to picture ourselves taking the next action, whether it is big or small, and then actually doing it in reality. We can also ask ourselves daily, “What’s the next smallest or simplest action step I can take that will move me closer to what I want?”
- Mentally prepare yourself to be discouraged, disappointment or even defeated. We will suffer setbacks. We will find it difficult from time to time. The key is to know that we will go through such phases ahead of time and have strategies in place to deal with them. For example, one strategy could be to call someone we trust and ask for support when we encounter a challenge we are struggling with.
- Find a role model you can emulate. Whatever we want to do or achieve in life, chances are someone has already done it. When we find people who have done what we want to do, we can shorten the learning curve and the actual time it will take us to achieve a similar outcome. That can be extremely motivating. We can use our role models to help us get through tough times by asking questions like, “How would they respond to what I am experiencing right now?”
- Stop comparing yourself to others. We often find ourselves looking at other people’s achievements or success and comparing it to what we have achieved, which results in us not feeling good about ourselves. A better approach is to compare ourselves to where we were, where we are and where we want to be.
- Ask yourself empowering questions in the morning. Our inner dialogue has a lot to do with our how motivated we are each day. Instead of dreading the day, what if we practiced asking better quality questions? A simple set of questions we can ask may include:
- What am I ( _ ) about my life right now? (For example — excited, grateful, appreciative, etc.)
- What about it makes me ( _ )? (As above — excited, grateful, appreciative, etc.)
- What is something I can do today to maintain it?
There is a cost to having low levels of motivation and they can lead to sadness, anxiety, stress, depression and not loving the life we have. But the good news is that if we have healthy and sustained levels of motivation, life becomes so much easier and effortless.
Question: What is something else we can do to boost our motivation daily?
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