We all need motivation in order to do things. Sometimes it’s self-motivation, and sometimes it comes from outside of us. But if you haven’t got it, and you need it, here are 7 ways to kickstart becoming more motivated.
Sometimes the motivation is positive, in order to achieve something. Sometimes it’s negative, and we’re moved by avoiding a possibility or an outcome. But internal or external, positive or negative, sometimes we need more motivation, and here’s how to spark it and keep it going.
1. Know what you’re doing – It’s hard to be motivated to do something when you’re not clear about it. At work you might be given a shakily described task to do. Or a goal you set for yourself might be described too loosely – “Get fit and healthier”. If you aren’t clear about what you’re supposed to be doing you’re at a loss straightaway. Understanding what you’re supposed to do is the first step in becoming more motivated.
2. Know why you’re doing it – Knowing what you’re doing is one thing. Knowing why you’re doing it is another, and is also essential in becoming more motivated. If it’s in work then the ‘why’ of work should be obvious, or at least explainable by someone else. If it’s a task you’ve set yourself, as part of a personal goal, then you should be able to see it yourself. If you can’t perhaps it’s time to question why you’re asking yourself to do it in the first place.
3. Start doing it – People often sit and wait for motivation to strike before they start something. At best that’s a recipe for procrastination, and at worst it’s one for disaster. Actually starting the task can be what kickstarts the motivation – to carry on, to complete it, to tackle it a different way. The main thing is that you don’t wait passively for motivation to blow in through the window.
4. Be consistent – Once you’ve started to do something make sure that you do some work towards it every day (or every working day if that’s more appropriate). This is the idea of “No Zero Days”, where success comes from the steady accumulation of results over days, weeks, months, and years. Whatever your goal commit to doing something practical towards it every day. Seeing progress continually build over days, and weeks, and months, is much more likely to see you stay more motivated.
5. Mix it up – As far as possible make sure that you mix up your tasks, whether at home or at work. Moving between blocks of work that need different skills will do wonders for your motivation. And if that’s not possible at work then switch your tasks round at home. And if that’s not possible then start doing something that stretches your skills in a different way – either learning something, like a language, or developing a practical skill, in a craft or a sport.
6. Recognise achievements – We all need positive strokes. When you have done well then congratulate yourself. Don’t discount what you’ve achieved because it’s too small, or it’s what you should be doing anyway, or it wasn’t perfect. Self-praise may be no recommendation but it can help you to be more motivated
7. Get feedback – An even better positive stroke is good feedback from other people. This can be in work or in your personal life. The important thing about feedback though is that it’s honest and constructive. It can also be a great way of helping you to see what you’re meant to be doing, and why you’re doing it – which is where we came in.
Now you’re getting there do you want to keep yourself more motivated? Check out 7 reasons to ditch to do lists.
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