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Jan. 1, 2023

Let's Get Motivated!

Let's Get Motivated!

From Merriam-Webster . . . What is motivation:

The act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something; the act or process of motivating someone; the condition of being eager to act or work; the condition of being motivated; a force or influence that causes someone to do something.

So, what is your force for doing whatever you want to do?  Maybe you say you want to lose weight.  Maybe you want to improve your flexibility or your balance.  But why?  What are the real reasons?  Just saying you want to lose weight is generally not reason enough.  Maybe you want to keep up with your grandchildren.  Maybe you want a new job. Maybe you want to keep running or skiing or doing any of the things you did years ago.  Whatever your reason, how do you keep that level of eagerness as you deal with the negative impact of tough days. We have many things that impact our attitude daily.  Whether it be stress from work, the pandemic, finances, health or any of an immense list of life’s obstacles.  What makes the difference between the person who keeps the end goal insight and those who let those issues foil their progress? 

What can we do to keep our spark ignited?  What do we do to keep ourselves on track on the days when everything is a huge effort?  Get out a piece of paper or a note pad app on your phone or computer.  Try these steps:

  1. Ask yourself: what do you care about? Family, relationships, career, hobbies? For this exercise just pick one topic right now.
  2. Set an objective. Based on what you care about most, set an objective for yourself and own it.
  3. Make your objective super clear. What change do you want to achieve and why?  Can the result be quantified and qualified?  Consider creating SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound).
  4. Imagine you have achieved your objective. What does that look like, feel like?
  5. Set small targets. What can you do today to progress one step closer?
  6. Keep track of the small targets. How will you keep track of it?  (Journals, spreadsheets, vision boards).  Could be different for each of you.

This gives us a framework.  But what do you do on those days when you don’t want to get out of bed?  How do you keep the spark alive when all you want is that piece of chocolate cake or to stay in that bed?

Motivated people are driven.  How do they stay in that state on demand?  To keep that spark alive, it is fed by self-sustaining and consistent behavior.  Motivation is not on or off.  It is more like a flow.  Internally think of it as a law.  We (most of us) follow the rules of the road because we know they are designed for our safety as well as the safety of others on the road.  Think of your goals at the same level of importance. Your motivation toward your goals is going to get you closer to your destination each day because you are following those rules.

Do you self-identify yourself as one who procrastinates.  Do you feel lazy?  How do others stay motivated?   No motivation means no action.  True Motivation is a force that drives you toward a positive goal.  One simple key.

Value is the currency of your result.  What makes your end result have value? Generally, it needs to contribute to something or someone that matters to you. Clarity in your result will make the value clear, the motivation strong.  There is no question of your action.  Like needing to pee.  Excuse the comparison but it is something we can all relate to. Goal gradience is the term.  You are laser focused on a specific action and it becomes more focused as you get closer to that goal.

Clear Value = strong motivation – no question on your action.

Fuzzier the value – the weaker the motivation

It is not that procrastination is necessarily your problem.  It is your ability to focus on the value of your end goal.  The result needs to be clear.  Long term positive drive versus negative experiences

Money from a motivational perspective has clear value.  The brain understands its value.  Money can buy you things.  It is a medium that allows you to own things, go places, have power over your own destiny.  The money is not the key it is what it can bring you.

You can shape your brain’s perception of value for other things other than money.

Think about what you want - name the struggle – I want to lose weight, get a new job, learn how to ski, ride a horse. That end result is your value.

Have a clear intention.  What you want and why.  What is the value in that decision?

Identify your top 3 reasons.  Clear intention – Concrete answers.

  1. Make the reasons clear.
  2. Make them high value.
  3. Make it a positive statement.

Make it relevant to now.  How do you link it back to now?  Whatever you want it to look like in the future, how do you break up the steps to create your start today.

Reframe your perception.  Write it positively rather than negatively.

Look forward to that perception rather than dreading it as work.  Reword your perceptions. 

Master these three steps and your motivation will be stronger than the drive stopping you.

Convert into meaningful actions.

Make it sustainable.  You can duplicate it day after day whether you are having a good day or bad day.

Create Crystal Clear Intentions

Unstoppable Inner Drive – motivate from within.  Failure is not an option. 

Create Actionable Motivation - Say goodbye to procrastination.

Make it last.  Take control of your circumstances.  Put yourself on autopilot. 

Motivation is comprised of different levels.  Your participation is key to those levels.  Briefly there are 3 levels.

Core – which is your purpose, the meaning and force of your goal.

Support – which represent your Enablers – those people around you who can provide feedback whether that represents guidance or people traveling in a similar path whether the goals are similar or not.  This group is part of that support system.

Acknowledgement – the external recognition you receive that can fuel your motivation whether they be compliments, praise, awards, any recognition of your progress. 

This is not a one-shot experience. Go through this exercise regularly.  Feel free to update your focus from time to time. Your goals can change.  Life changes.