It’s that time again! A brand new year and with it resolutions made. Some kept but most broken. The motivation and willpower were strong when the resolutions were declared during the feel good celebrations of the festive season. Then the reality sinks in with the dark January days and suddenly that motivation seems to have gone on holiday; a holiday you are dreaming of with more good times. Then you start thinking about the beach body you said you would get as part of your resolutions and a burst of motivation comes back you. So what is motivation and how can we keep it long enough to achieve our goals and desires?
The word motivation is from the Latin word, movere, which simply means to move! To achieve any goal requires activity of some kind. Simply thinking and wishing for something, is not going to make it happen. Motivation is the key to success. Learn the building blocks for your own motivation and you will find yourself striding towards your goal(s).
Define your Goal
It is said that a goal is just a wish, unless you commit it to paper. The physical act of writing it down makes it a reality. Find your why for setting the goal and now you have something to work on! The next task is to break the goal down into sizeable chunks, making it more achievable. This in turns makes your motivation more accessible.
Finding and Maintaining Motivation
A good friend of mine recently encouraged me to find motivation, simply by taking some action with a small commitment. I had not been to the gym for several months and really needed to get back to it or cancel my membership. She said to me that all I had to do was go to the gym and do 10 minutes of low cardio activity. After those 10 minutes I was free to leave, having achieved what I had set out to do. However, if I felt like it, I could stay longer and do more. So, I put it to the test and did 10 minutes on the treadmill. I really didn’t feel like it at the beginning but the mere fact of being in the gym, surrounded by others working out, allowed my motivation to start reaching to the surface. Why go home after just 10 minutes? I was already there I might as well do a bit more. I ended up spending an hour there. Sometimes, the activity comes before the motivation itself.
Over the coming weeks, I found myself going to the gym on a regular basis and with it started seeing results. Results spurred more action and I found myself no longer finding it difficult to get myself to the gym; it was becoming habit forming.
However, lets be honest here. Nobody will feel motivated and positive, 100% of the time. The secret is to accept those moments and let them pass, before getting back to your goals in hand. Goals themselves are an ever-changing landscape. Your original goal and end result may look very different but by setting the goal in the first place, you have taken positive action.
It is important to remember that things do not always go to plan. It’s part of the process so rather than punishing yourself, learn to reward yourself as you make progress. Results will often take time to show themselves. In Jeff Olson’s book, the Slight Edge, he talks about how easy it is to do something but also how easy it is not to do it. The compound effect is a powerful one! When you find your motivation wavering, revisit the goal(s) you have set and look at the progress you have made. If that doesn’t work for you, give yourself the day off from it and don’t feel guilty about it. Just make sure you get back on the bike the next day, even if it is just committing yourself to 10 minutes like I did at the gym.
As always, an Internet search for motivation tools and techniques will reveal a plethora of ideas. Some lists short and some very long. Through trial and activity, you will find what works for you. As Nike says, `Just Do It!’
About the author: Stuart Dickson’s passion for personal development began in September 2013, when he joined a Network Marketing Company. Part of his development is increasing his spirituality and the many ways of doing this. His first blog, Happy Monday People was born from a project that came about from his personal development journey facebook.com/Happylifepeople
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