I often get asked “ How can I improve my motivation?”
It’s a strange thing, as if motivation is an actual thing that exists in its own right. I mean if it did, and I could sell it, then I would be super rich by now!
Heres the thing..
Motivation is not a thing that you can just get more of as if by magic.
Some scientists believe that motivation is similar to an emotion. So in the same way that you can be in an angry state, or a happy state, you can be in a motivated state.
When you understand motivation like this is can become easier to consider how to put yourself in that state.
Say for example that you want to feel joyful, you might choose to spend time with friends whose company has tended to make you feel joyful in the past.
In general we know what things cause us to experience different emotional states, both positive and negative and we choose to participate in, or avoid them accordingly.
Now considering motivation in a similar way, here are 5 tips to boost your motivational state:
- Who Do You Know Who Is Highly Motivated?
We have already mentioned that spending time with happy friends will lift us into a similar state. If you have friends who seem to have high levels of motivation then arrange to spend some time with them. The more time that you spend with them then the more their motivated state will ‘rub off’ on you.
- Remember When You Did Feel Motivated.
Think back to a time that you remember feeling really motivated to do something. What were the circumstances? Can you recreate them? I worked with a client who recalled that she had visited the gym every morning when she had made her packed lunch for work and packed her gym bag the evening before. If she didn’t do this she felt rushed and overwhelmed in the morning and would skip the gym as a result.
- Why Do You Want To Be More Motivated?
What is it that you actually want to achieve? Or avoid? Be clear and specific with yourself. Some people want to get fit because they want to experience feeling super fit whereas others may want to avoid being unwell. Neither is right or wrong, they are just different. Use statements or images to remind you of what you are wanting to achieve, for example a picture on the fridge door that represents health.
- Set Small Targets.
If your targets or goals are too big you can easily feel overwhelmed and become demotivated! You may want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro at the end of the year but if you rarely move from the couch then this might seem a tad daunting. Break your big goal into smaller steps. So, If you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next year, break this down into 20 smaller steps along the way. Your first few weeks might just involve walking around the local park but you know that you are heading towards something bigger in an achievable way.
- Reward Yourself Along The Way.
This is so important. We all love being rewarded and feeling acknowledged for our hard work and achievements. Well this works for the hard work we carry out for ourselves. Once you have set your smaller steps along the way, plan how you will reward yourself as you achieve each one. Imagine that towards the end of the week, you are tired and don’t feel like going to the gym BUT you have promised yourself that if you do go on all the planned days then you will reward yourself with a massage at the weekend, or a piece of your favourite cake, or an evening at the cinema… whatever works for you!
Introduce these five tips and you will notice a difference.
You are able to experience a motivated state when you need to, but learning to access it when you want to will make a huge difference to your ability to make positive changes in your life.
If you would like support to access your motivational state then contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.