What Gives You Motivation

For me, it could be as simple as a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning or the fact that my mortgage payment is due this week so I must force myself to go to work today.  However, true motivation is much more than that.  It is something deep within that drives us to do what must be done even though we may not have the desire at that moment.


There are times when we are driven, focused and determined to accomplish the task at hand.  However, we will also experience slumps or times when we lose focus and direction.  It is during these slumps that we must find what motivates us to change direction or focus our energies toward a positive goal.  When you find that it is hard to get started again, try breaking out of your slump with one of these motivational methods.


Focus on one goal – Having too much on your plate can zap your energy and make you less motivated to work on any of your projects.  When you are trying to divide your energy and focus between too many projects, you may feel as if you never accomplish anything.  Setting and attaining goals is one way that we remain motivated.  Narrow your goals to one specific goal, accomplish that goal and then move to the next goal.  This will help you find renewed motivation as you succeed in accomplishing one goal after another.


Accountability – Tell others about your goals and what you want to accomplish.  By committing yourself publicly to a task, you are more likely to go the extra mile to make sure that you accomplish what you have publicly stated that you will do.  Nothing motivates us more than being accountable to someone else (i.e. this is one reason Weight Watchers works for so many people or working with a Life Coach).  We do not like to fail in front of others, give yourself someone to be accountable to and you will find a renewed motivation that will keep you moving toward your goal.


Focus on the “who” rather than the “why” – “Why” I go to work each day is to pay the bills but the “who” is really my family.  If you focus on the people who benefit from your effort and hard work, you will find a deeper motivation to continue working toward your goals.  Sometimes we lose site of the true reason we work hard.


Replace negative thoughts with positive reaffirmations – Negative emotions and thoughts will squash motivation as quickly as a hard rain can wash away grass seed before it has time to take root.  Each time you have a negative thought, replace that with a positive reaffirmation.  For example, if you begin to focus on the fact that you are behind on a deadline, stop where you are and think about how much you have already accomplished and that you are closer to your goal than you were yesterday.  Positive thoughts create more energy and that energy turns into motivation.


If you are experiencing a slump, take one step – just one step.  You cannot begin moving until you take that first step.  After that, it becomes easier to keep moving toward your goal.


Image credit: photosteve101