I have the privilege of working with clients who represent different occupations, and one term that is common amongst all, is motivation. Motivation involves the drive guiding our behavior. We are all motivated by different factors, and there are so many theories and views surrounding motivation, some of which you can find here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5113774/. As an educator and life coach, this term plays a major role in helping my students and clients achieve their goals.
In today’s post, I want to provide some general ways for increasing motivation!
Understanding the purpose-this will be very clear in some situations, but not others. For example, your boss gives you a project and a deadline, the purpose is clear, right? This is part of your job, you know, the thing that is paying your bills-but even with “obvious” tasks, reminding ourselves of the greater purpose can be helpful in staying motivated. Using the above example, more than just, “this is my livelihood,” what other purpose does the project serve? Chances are that you are impacting a greater cause by completing this project.
Establish meaningfulness-You have a better understanding of the purpose, now, attach more meaning to it. I have learned that we can find meaningfulness in even the most mundane tasks. Understanding the benefits and the worth may help fuel motivation. For example: regardless of how one might feel about doing the laundry, remembering the “why” (i.e. having clean clothes, not one less chore to complete, etc…), that may help to refocus on the task at hand. It may seem silly, but it can work! Whether it’s your personal, professional, or academic tasks, if you are feeling de-motivated, take a moment and remind yourself of the benefits of the meaningfulness behind completing them.
Set specific, measurable goals- “I want to be successful” is a great goal, but is very broad. What does success mean to you? What steps do you need to take, now, in order to get there? Break them down into specific goals, which can be measured. This does not have to be complicated.
Not being solely extrinsically motivated-Being extrinsically motivated means doing something because there is a reward attached to it. That backfires because every task may not bring a direct reward of some kind, but that does not mean they are not important.
Support-this may come in the form of having an accountability partner. They are not doing the work for you but merely holding you accountable for what you set out to achieve. Support may also be in the form of valuable feedback, which can help you evaluate as you move forward.
“It always seems impossible until it's done.” ~Nelson Mandela