Motivation is defined as “1.The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. 2.The general desire or willingness of someone to do something”. Motivation helps us set and attain goals and can be the difference between success and failure. Research has shown that you can determine your own levels of motivation by means of discipline and self-control. If you want something bad enough the motivation comes easy.
So you might be asking, “How can I find ways to motivate myself? How can I light that fire?
The answer to this question is “why?.”
Ask yourself why you should do something.
Why should you workout? Why should you go to work? Why should you do a good job? Why should you beat that deadline? Why should you make that sale? What should you write that paper? Why should you start that project? Why should you eat healthy? Why? Why? WHY???
Whatever questions you have about the reasons for motivation, the answers must be adequate enough to light the fire that causes you to take action.
Why should I workout? “Because I want to be in great shape and lose weight” might be good enough for one person and “because I want to be muscular beast who can deadlift 500 lbs” might be a more appropriate reason for another.
Motivation is very personal. Different things work for different people. However four main principles apply to everyone, the first one being:
Ignore your feelings!
Don’t let your feelings determine your actions. You may feel tired and lethargic and don’t feeling like making that sales call, writing that paper, going to the gym, getting up early to make that appointment. Ignore the feelings and just do it. Push thru the pain of leaving your comfort zone. Detach yourself from your feelings and run thru the fire so to speak. If you overcome those feelings that are holding you back and complete that project, dominate that workout, make that sale or finish that paper early, whatever feelings that were holding you back will be replaced by a feeling of proud accomplishment. Just think of those negative feelings as that little devil on your shoulder, whispering in your ear and telling you to take it easy on yourself.
This leads to the second principle of motivation: Avoid procrastination!
Every minute you put off a task causes you to delay even more. “Action inspires more action” Get started and finish part of the task and you will start the snowball of motivation. The next thing you know you will have completed the task and that snowball will have swollen into a big head full of pride in yourself for getting things done! Great job!
The third principle would be task management. If you have a large project that seems overwhelming, break it up into small bites. By taking one bite at a time the next thing you know you will have eaten the entire thing and all that’s left are the crumbs to clean up. Put aside time slots during the day or over a period of several days in order to get the task accomplished before the deadline. The same goes for a hard workout. Make a strategy before you start. Don’t try to do to many reps or run too many meters at once break it up or scale it down so that it is achievable and then record it so you can see how much better you do next time.
The fourth principle and one that I think is the most important, “Bad association spoils useful habits” or in other words if you hang out with unmotivated, lazy negative people you will become an unmotivated, lazy and negative person. Hang out with motivated, positive and awesome people and you will become a motivated, positive and awesome person. It’s a very simple and common sense concept. Humans are creatures full of energy and that energy can radiate to others whether it may be negative or positive. This is a fact. A smile is contagious but so is a bad attitude. More and more studies are discovering the effects negativity can have on mental and physical health and guess what? Surprise! They aren’t good.
So, the next time you are having a rough day and just cant seem to work up the motivation to get out of bed, start writing that paper, call the customer who might make that purchase or hit the weights, take the following steps:
1. Ask yourself why you are doing it and come up with the best answers.
2. Jump off that emotional cliff and ignore the fear of feelings.
3. Eat it one bite at a time.
4. Call the awesome friend who always knows how to psyche you up.
Congratulations! You are on your way to a more productive life. Enjoy!