Enthusiasm and motivation are key principles for getting anything done. If we are motivated and committed we find ways to get round obstacles. If we lack motivation then we easily find difficulties and excuses to give up. To increase our motivation we really need to be clear what we want to do.
These are some tips to Increase Your Motivation
Be Clear What You Wish to Achieve
It is important to know what is important to you. Think carefully about what really matters. If you consciously give something a high priority, then this is half the battle for gaining motivation. We often struggle to gain motivation for an activity / issue because we are not clear in our mind about what we wish to achieve.
- For example, we may go through life with a vague idea it would be good to get up earlier in the morning, but, only if we really see benefits will we have motivation
We can only be fully committed to a certain number of things; we need to prioritise what is important. However, whilst it is important to be aware of life’s priorities, we don’t want to spend too long just thinking. If we sit around planning and thinking, the mind will find innumerable problems and complications which reduce our motivation. The best thing is to get started and through yourself wholeheartedly into a project. Once you get started and focus on a project it develops a certain energy which is self reinforcing.
I teach Economics and many of my students say how worried about the exams they are and how they haven’t time. But, their real problem is just to get started with work and revision. The worst is just sitting around saying how little time they have.
Don’t Rely on External Praise
Often we lack motivation because we feel our efforts are not fully recognised. To be willing to work without praise is a real boon. The secret is to feel the satisfaction from doing the right thing and giving ourselves the opportunity for our self-improvement. We shouldn’t just be motivated for the end result, but, for the challenge of getting there. Be kind to yourself and notice the satisfaction you gain from doing the right thing in the right attitude, this will always be worth more than the fleeting praise of others.
Lasting motivation will come when we get joy from doing something. The problem is we often feel worthwhile changes of projects require self-discipline, sacrifice and difficulties. It is this which discourages and de-motivates. We need to change our attitude, rather than thinking of the sacrifice or discipline we need to undergo, focus on the lasting sense of achievement we get.
To increase our motivation to do something useful, we often need to avoid the distractions that pull us away into insignificant things. After sitting in front of the TV for one hour flicking through channels or surfing useless internet sites, it is remarkable how much motivation can disappear!
Be of Service
If we just think of ourself then it is hard to do difficult things. However, if we really try to emphasise with others then it is much easier to be motivated to make difficult changes. See: Helping an alcoholic.
Understand Costs and Benefits
We have a tendency to stumble from one crisis to the next. If we get stomach pains we reach for the stomach pills rather than looking at our diet. Often we need motivation for activities where benefits are long term and costs are short term. But, looking after our health, for example, will give much benefit in the long term. We just need to remind ourselves of the costs and benefits.
Look After Your Energy and Health
A fit body is very helpful for any change we wish to make. See: How to Cope with low energy levels
Photo from World Harmony Run site