Time is the raw material of our lives. How we use it shapes our lives accordingly. So having the motivation to use it to achieve our goals is important for creating the life we want.
What is motivation?
The Oxford Dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something, our willingness to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopaminergic pathway of our brain. When we do something pleasing, it’s a dopamine kick. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (good feelings).
The author, Stephen Pressfield, explains the motivation more practically. He says we have reached a point where the pain of not doing something is greater than the pain of doing it. He believes that motivation exceeds a threshold that makes it easier to take action than being idle. It’s like choosing to feel disappointed with the loss of bank accounts and feel awkward when making a sales call.
Even if you choose to think about it, we all want to use our motivation to reach our goals.
How to get motivated
James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, says most people misunderstand motivation. They believe that motivation is what drives us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause. Once you start a task, it’s easy to keep going. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: moving objects remain in motion.
This means that most of the resistance in tackling your goals comes just before we start. Motivation occurs naturally after the start, so you need to focus on making the start easier.
4 ways to get started easily
One of the reasons people can’t get things started is that they don’t plan when to do it.
They are prone to roadside when things aren’t scheduled. You may want your motivation to fall to your knees, or you may want to gather enough willpower to achieve it.
According to an article in The Guardian, “Waste resources to decide when and where to work hinders your ability to work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel unstimulated when you don’t even know if you’re making progress or what you’re heading for. Therefore, we need to be able to measure success in some way. It’s easy to get started if you know exactly how close your current actions are to achieving your goals.
3. External motivation
This kind of motive is due to external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motives consist of incentives such as money, prizes and grades. Negative motivations consist of deterrents such as dismissals, fights and fines. Exogenous motivation doesn’t work well in the long run, but it works well in the short run and you can start something.
Take responsibility for yourself by sharing your goals with friends and family and sharing them on social media. This puts pressure on you not to disappoint others, making it easier to get started.
“It’s often said that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither baths-that’s why we recommend it every day.” – Zig Ziglar
How to stay motivated in the long run
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be forced to work or sin. We are very attracted to and want to be attracted to the idea that we cannot resist taking no action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation for consistency.
These are five techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in the Gold Rock Zone
Gold Rock Zone is when the task is at the perfect level of difficulty. Not too difficult, not too easy. Motivation and concentration peak in this zone.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match with a 4-year-old kid. At this level of difficulty, you won’t want to get bored and play right away. Now let’s say you’re playing a full-fledged tennis match against Serena Williams. At this level of difficulty, the match is so difficult that you quickly lose motivation.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of the spectrum. You want to face someone with the same skills as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus on the challenge. Stay engaged and motivated in the long run by adjusting your workloads and goals over time to stay within the Goldilocks zone.
2. Pursue essentially motivated goals
The essential motivation for achieving a goal is when you want to achieve it because of what it is. There are no external factors such as compensation or risk of dismissal. The driving force behind your actions comes from the inside.
For most essential goals, we pursue them to enrich our lives and bring them closer to achievement. It makes it very sustainable in the long run as these goals have a direct impact on our quality of life and what we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is a technique for breaking down goals into smaller short-term goals. By doing this, you will achieve multiple successes in the pursuit of your main goals. This triggers the brain’s reward system and keeps you going.
Traditionally, you may set goals that you expect to achieve in a year. It takes a long time to commit without displaying the result in the middle. By splitting your goals into monthly or quarterly goals, you get the consistent and positive enhancements you need to stay motivated in the long run.
For example, instead of losing £ 50 a year, lose £ 4 a month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We are all victims of the situation. In the middle of our journey, it happens that we can adapt or stop because of it. That’s why it’s important to have some leeway and flexibility in achieving your goals. Inevitable failures can free you and frustrate you if you expect everything to go perfectly. When you plan things to go wrong, you make sure you can catch up with long distances.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable way
If you don’t succeed overnight, don’t lose hope. Overnight success is 1%. In most cases, success does not exist. What we consider to be an “overnight success” is, in fact, the countless behind-the-scenes work that has finally reached a turning point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, tenacity, and invisible effort.
Do not compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for reducing self-confidence and satisfaction. It also fosters ideas that you think you are not doing enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is meaningless as it takes time to be worth achieving. So when we start, we obviously don’t compare to those around us.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can reach your goals and shape the life you want to live in.