How to Find Your Motivation

How to Find Your Motivation

How often do you leave your house without brushing your teeth?

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I am going to guess your answer is never, or “I have had that one time I forgot to.”

Why don’t you?  Because leaving the house with dragon breath is not something we want to do.  We do not want everyone to cringe when we speak to them because our breath is horrible.

The consequences of that dragon breath are the motivation to keep you brushing your teeth every day.

This is the kind of motivation you want to have when working toward any goal.  You want motivation that will make you do it no matter what.

Every time people talk about achieving goals or creating new habits, they always seem to slide right on past the word, “motivation” like it is no big deal.

Motivation is a big deal!  It is what drives you to achieve those goals or create those habits.

Motivation is that one thing that will get you to do what you need to do to be successful.

Every time you set a goal, you need to determine your motivation for achieving it.  Make sure you look deep, because not all motivation is the same.  And, not all motivation will give you the same results.

It is particularly important that you determine your true motivation.  If you have multiple goals, you may also have multiple motivations.

Take a moment to think about what things motivate you.

Write them down.

Keep the list for when you set your goals.

Were most of your motivators extrinsic motivators? 

There are two groups of motivators – intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic Motivators

Intrinsic motivators are those motivators that create the desire to do something because it is personally rewarding to you.  Sometimes it is referred to as internal motivation because it is a motivator that encourages you to do something without the expectation of receiving something in return.

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These are the motivators that cause you do an activity because it is satisfying and enjoyable.

Examples:

  • Spending time on a hobby because it is fun
  • Relaxing in a quiet room
  • Volunteering because it makes you feel good and connected
  • Completing a challenge for the sole purpose of feeling challenged
  • Spending time with a loved one because it is enjoyable
  • Going for a run a because you like doing it
  • Sitting outside because it is satisfying and relaxing

Extrinsic Motivators

Extrinsic Motivators are the motivators that create the desire to do something in return for a reward or to avoid a negative consequence.  These are often the rewards you set for yourself when you are trying to achieve a goal, however some of the rewards may be intrinsic in nature.

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These are motivators for accomplishing goals and tasks for reasons outside of you.

Examples:

  • Money
  • trophies
  • A new car
  • A massage
  • Avoid getting hurt
  • Coercion

How Do I Choose a Motivator?

There are several things that you want to keep in mind when you choose reasons for achieving your goals.  I will go through several here, but the most important thing to remember is whether it genuinely interests you.

Your motivator needs to be something that you will strive for and be slightly disappointed if you do not get it.

You will have friends, neighbors, support groups, and family all suggesting things that you could use.  However, you need to think about each of those options and determine whether it will really work for you.  The same motivators do not work for everyone.

Take some time to do a little self-discovery before you find the right motivator. 

Think about the following, the answers will help you determine the right motivator for you.

Is there a quote that speaks to you?  I am not talking about that funny quote you saw in the bathroom, or your friends favorite quote.  Is there a quote that when you read it, you feel empowered to achieve your goal?  If so, this may be a great tool to keep you motivated.

Do you listen to, or watch a motivational speaker on a regular basis? If you do, chances are they will keep you motivated.  Surround yourself with them.  Download their audio files, pick up their books, find their videos and keep them handy.  You could schedule time every day to spend with your motivational speaker, or you can get their advice as you need it.  Let them inspire you along your journey.

Find a way to have a constant reminder of the success you desire.  You can schedule an appointment in your calendar to check in daily or you can post something on your bathroom mirror. Maybe you need to put a sticky note with the reminder on the dash of your car or set it as your background on your computer or phone.  Put it somewhere helpful so that you can see it every day.

Fake it until you make it.  If you are not feeling like working on whatever it is you need to do, just do it anyway.  If you are supposed to write 750 words every morning, get up and start writing, even if it is “I can’t think of anything.”  If you are supposed to go for a walk, put on your clothes and your shoes and walk out the door.  Chances are, if you can get yourself to get started, then you will be able to follow through with the whole action step.  You just need to get yourself started.

Small goals lead to huge successes.  Sometimes our hunger is too much.  Try to keep your goal as something you can actually attain.  If it is a large goal, break it down into smaller goals that you can achieve on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.  This will allow you stay motivated and have celebrations along the way.  You will feel much more accomplished by seeing yourself complete small steps along the way instead of having a huge step to take that you can never quite make.

Share your goals with others.  It is great to tell yourself that you are going to achieve something, but how often do you follow through?  Now, think about how often you follow through when you tell someone else that you are going to do something.  Telling someone else your goals gives you a higher chance of success.  They can hold you accountable and make sure you remain on track.  Most friends, families, or support groups want you to succeed.  You just have to let them know what you want to succeed at.

Allow yourself to make mistakes.  You may not be perfect at achieving your goals, or even staying on track – that is okay.  Give yourself permission to learn from your mistake and improve yourself.  You may have to skip that workout, you may not be able to get that writing done, and you may not be able to finish that project you were working on.  Tell yourself that it is okay, take some time to reflect on what was going well and what went wrong; then allow yourself some time to figure out ways to improve.  Then, pick yourself up and keep going.  Do not let one missed action derail you from your success.

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