Motivation is something we all need in our lives. However, most people aren’t even aware of the fact that you can consciously build it. Most of the time, people get motivated – without knowing why – by watching a video or reading an article, until motivation eventually fades away. I will share with you some ways you can use to not only motivate yourself in the moment, but also in the future.
1 – Know your “why”
As obvious as it may seem, some people forget it and focus on the results. Don’t overlook the reason you’re doing all of this for. Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing is very important as it will lead you towards your goal. If you don’t have any compelling reason then you won’t succeed. Human beings are all driven by why’s, but most people don’t even realize it. You can’t get motivated if you don’t have any reason. You could just use your willpower but it will without a doubt fade as willpower isn’t as strong and consistent as motivation. In short, you must define what you really want. Human being are much more productive when their acts bear a meaning.
1 – Review it regularly
Once you find your purpose, this is not the end, far from it. You must constantly remind yourself of that reason so that you never let it go. Don’t just find your reason and forget it: you must think about it everyday so that each time you take action, you know why you’re doing all of this. Make sure you review everyday what this means to you. A compelling reason is a why you can’t stop thinking about.
2 – Adjust it as time goes by
Sometimes we set goals and as time goes by we realize that we’re not as motivated by that goal as we used to be, it happens. This is why you should adjust your reasons throughout the year. Let’s say that January 1st, you decide that you want to lose 10 pounds driven by the desire of having your dream body. By March, your definition of “dream body” might have changed and so your goal might have as well. Maybe your dream body isn’t this fit body anymore, but just the way you are.
Constantly challenge your goals so that you immediately notice when there’s nothing to be done. You can’t force motivation upon you, if there isn’t any reason for you to pursue your goal, then it may be time to let it go. Our tastes can change as we grow, this is normal. If you lack motivation, you must first ask yourself if you have strong reasons to be motivated in the first place.
2 – Think about the benefits and the consequences
Humans beings are mainly driven by two things: pleasure and pain, as well as inspiration and despair. You’d want to use those to your advantage. Whether your source of motivation comes from a benefit or a consequence doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you get motivated. Use them to your heart’s content for each goal that you have.
1 – Use pleasure as a source of motivation
What will happen if you do do it? Say that you want this big house. In what way will that help you in your life? For instance, maybe you’d love to buy tons of physical books and this house will allow you to dedicate an entire room to store your books. Maybe you’d want all of your kids to have individual rooms. You could even dream about the place where your future house will be, like next to the sea and always dazzled by a glowing sun. This is pleasure-based motivation. You’re only thinking about what pleasure doing something will bring you.
2 – Use pain as a source of motivation
On the other hand, you could use pain to motivate yourself. If I were to take the example above again, I won’t concentrate on the good aspects of buying that house, but I’d rather focus on why I should quit the house I’m actually living in, right now. Maybe it’s always raining where you live, and it makes you tired. The thought of living there your whole life would disturb you enough to motivate you to take massive action towards buying your dream house. In short, you’d think about the consequences of not doing it.
3 – Reward yourself
Rewarding is a principle that’s been working for decades. For instance, animals are best trained when rewarded. It doesn’t mean that you should reward them all the time, but only when they did their best. If you were training your dog to sit, you would give him something after he tried as a reward. The dog will associate the fact that he did an action with the reward he received, so guess what? He will do it more often.
1 – Rewarding yourself as a way of getting motivated
Just like animals, we work best when we know a reward’s coming. If you plan to do something, you might want to prepare a reward for the end. Let’s say that you wanted to work on a huge project, adding a reward will motivate you to take action. Pick a reward that motivates you, and one that you really care about so that if you don’t work, you don’t reward yourself. This may be the hardest part, you might ask: “How do I make sure I’m not rewarding myself anyway”? You could, but you would throw off the principle of motivating yourself with rewards. If you think you’d have trouble keeping this engagement alone, then you might want to ask someone to take you accountable. So, If your reward includes going on a trip with your partner, then tell them not to allow you to do that trip unless you do work.
2 – Reward yourself for at least trying
Rewarding only for the result is never a good way of doing things. Think about it this way: if you were to tell the dog to sit but he didn’t quite sit, would you deny him? Not rewarding your tries is similar to not rewarding your actions, your brain won’t want to work anyway if the result has to be perfect. Not succeeding is not bad, the most important part is to actually take actions. As long as you do work and give your best, you should reward yourself at the end. Would you throw away your baby if he wasn’t capable of walking properly? Of course not, you would be happy he actually took action and tried. You should treat you the same.
It was my tips on ways you can use to get motivation. I find it to be very effective so use them at leisure. Motivation is definitely a state you can induce, so never try to work using your willpower as it’s never a sustainable solution.