by Danielle Faith
Motivation is one of the most important psychological features because it commands us to act out of want or need. Without motivation, there would be no incentive to strive towards our deepest inner desires, wishes and goals. If motivation is necessary for our survival and happiness, you ask, then why is it so easy to become unmotivated? Fortunately, motivation is a basic part of who we are, and can never leave us completely. Instead, our motivation can sometimes become lost, and is often particularly difficult to find again. Losing motivation can happen for a number of reasons which include psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression; losing motivation can even be a subconscious coping method from anticipating failure. No matter how far your motivation has gone, you can find it again. With some of these motivational strategies, it won’t be long until you have enough motivation to complete everything that you’ve been wanting and more.
Set Reasonable Goals
It’s easy to get discouraged when you set high goals that are impossible to reach. When you try to do everything at once, or try to do everything too fast, you will burn yourself out. No one is perfect, so if you don’t reach your goal in the time period you set for yourself, the worst thing to do is give up. Giving up on goals is one of the easiest ways to lose motivation. When you set smaller, more reasonable goals for yourself, the satisfaction of achievement will give you that boost of motivation you need to keep going until you eventually are able to reach the bigger goals that you were striving towards all along.
One of the easiest ways to keep feeling motivated is to stay active. Staying active doesn’t necessarily mean staying physically active and exercising. Instead I mean staying active in pursuing your goals. To increase motivation, you must also increase your momentum. If your goal is to run a 5K, then you have to run or jog every day to force yourself closer to your goal. If you want to write a novel, write every day! Doing the things associated with your goals, and starting them instead of procrastinating, is one of the simplest things you can do to increase motivation.
Share Your Goals
Everyone wants to achieve their goals, but if no one else knows about that goal besides you it’s easy to shrug it off and accept defeat. However, once you tell friends and family about that goal, you’ll be so much more motivated than before. Who doesn’t want to look smart, talented and motivated in front of those we care about? We all want to feel like our accomplishments are noticed, and we never want to look like a failure in the eyes of others. This is a huge and crucial step in working toward achieving your goals and staying motivated, but it can seem a little scary. Try only telling one person who will wholeheartedly support you at first, and then you’ll be willing to open up for others. Once you have a solid support system, failure isn’t an option anymore, and you will stay motivated to achieve.
Set Up a Reward System
Sometimes the feeling we’ll get once we achieve a goal is a big enough motivator in itself. Sometimes however, the goal is a long way away and the big reward at the end isn’t enough to hold our motivation. When this happens, that doesn’t mean you should give up! Motivate yourself by creating a smaller reward system along the way. Make sure the reward system follows your goals, and you choose a reward that will keep you motivated. If you want to get in shape, it might not be the best idea to reward yourself with cupcakes or sweets. Instead, your reward should be getting that athletic shirt you’ve been eyeing, or finally buying those new running shoes. This will not only get you motivated for the reward, but motivated to actually achieve your goal.
Once motivation becomes lost, it’s hard to remember why you started the goal in the first place. Don’t let yourself give up because you’ve hit a rough patch. Rough patches happen to everyone, and you will climb out eventually. Prevent this by posting motivational quotes or pictures on doors, mirrors or by your bed so you will be reminded of your goal every day. You can even get creative and make a motivational cork-board or a motivational collage. These strategies will inspire you to become motivated, and will remind you of that inspiration constantly.
Motivation can be hard to find, but it’s never impossible. Rather than waiting for your motivation, sometimes it’s better to start working toward your goal anyway. Motivation will come eventually, but you don’t have to waste time by waiting. The most important step for become more motivated is the first one: starting.
Image Credit: Henrik Mundal – http://www.flickr.com/photos/7283903@N02/5892715491