Time is the raw material of our lives. How we segregate to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford wordlist defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our momentum to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our deportment are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation increasingly practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take whoopee than it is to be idle. Like choosing to finger worrisome while making sales calls over feeling disappointed well-nigh a diminishing wall account.
However you segregate to think well-nigh it, we all want to harness motivation to unzip our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the tragedian of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the rationalization of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to protract making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This ways most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right surpassing we start. Since motivation naturally occurs without we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster unbearable willpower to get it done.
An vendible in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your topics to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to finger uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re plane working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current deportment will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like stuff fired, having a fight, or stuff fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work powerfully long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself subject by telling friends and family your goals, or plane sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something considering you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to finger motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too nonflexible and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match versus a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly wilt bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match versus Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly wilt demotivated considering the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to squatter someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a endangerment to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to unzip a goal is when you want to unzip it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of stuff fired. The momentum overdue your deportment is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them considering they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term considering they directly stupefy our quality of life and the things we superintendency about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking lanugo a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you unzip multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to pension going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to unzip in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results withal the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the resulting positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen withal our journey that we can either retread to or quit considering of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can pension up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is unquestionably myriad hours of work overdue the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a waif in self-confidence and satisfaction. It moreover cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t washed-up enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put increasingly pressure on yourself.
This is pointless considering things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things virtually us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that worthiness at your fingertips, you can succeed your goals and shape a life you want to live in.