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In or Out? Forwards or Backwards? How Are You Self Motivating?

Updated: Feb 13, 2021

Understanding how we are motivated can help us when we get ‘stuck’.

The beginning of a new year is a time we are often focused on what we want from the year. It is often the time when we feel most motivated.

What happens when the motivation starts to wear off?

When life takes over, and our motivation dips?

As part of setting goals, we need to understand what, and how, we are motivated, as this will be a contributing factor towards staying on track and achieving success.

Taking weight loss as an example, let's look at the above model.

(These are made up for the purposes of this blog).

Positve <<>> Negative

Positive – Motivation towards a goal.

“I would like to be healthier and more active with a varied diet so that my weight is healthy.”

Negative – Motivation away from something

“I don’t want to be overweight and feel like this anymore”

Focusing on what you want to achieve with a clear goal can help increase motivation as you get closer to achieving success.

Visualising what that looks like, how it feels and how this will impact your life means that you have a clear vision of what you are working towards.

As you get closer to achieving your goal and you can see yourself getting closer to how you want to look and feel then that can help increase motivation.

Focusing on moving away from something can be less impactive on motivation as it is not as clear.

The brain doesn’t comprehend ‘don’t want’. The brain needs something specific to work with so that it can have a clear vision of future goals and so it can recognise how close you are getting and when it has been achieved.

Extrinsic <<>>Intrinsic

Extrinsic - External factor

“If I lose this last stone I’ll be slimmer of the year at my weigh-in club and win the award”

Intrinsic – Internal factor

“I would like to be healthier so that I am not so unwell all the time but feel good with lots of energy”

Both factors can help motivate, only one you have full control of. Extrinsic factors can change, or even be removed, these are better for your short-term goals and will often help you discover the intrinsic motivation.

Being motivated by you, how you think and how you feel is all within your control. It is also more sustainable as you will discover more ways to be motivated as you achieve smaller goals and work towards the bigger achievements.

Here are 5 tips for helping stay motivated:

  • Consider setting goals that hit all four points

  • Set tasks and small steps with a goal date, that will help you reach each goal so that you achieve ‘small wins’

  • Check that every goal is something that you want to achieve not what somebody else wants for you

  • Be honest about how much of a priority each goal is and allocate time accordingly towards it.

  • Share your goals with those around you who you can rely on for support and accountability

If you are struggling with motivation and would like to have a chat then I would love to have a chat and see if I can help you. You can book a call here.

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