Goal striving and achievement contribute to our happiness and life satisfaction. Maintaining the motivation despite the obstacles and unplanned influential factors that come in our path is somewhat challenging to everyone.
These 4 tips can help you maintain your motivation easier.
1.Focus on what you can control and especially on the process – There are many factors that play a role and can influence your goal achievement. Some are within your control such as your behavior, decisions, attitude, appraisals and some are not, like other people’s reactions, preferences and motivation to collaborate or participate (e.g. career goals), genetics, hormones, body’s reaction (e.g. weight loss) etc.
The factors that are not within your control are still influential on your goal achievement. Focusing only on the specific what or how much you want to achieve and not taking into account the factors, which are out of your control and slow you down, will lead to loss of motivation, anger and frustrations when you do not achieved the goal completely and/or according to your time planning. However, if you focus on your process , the journey, your actions and efforts to achieve the progress as you come another step closer to your goal, then you will feel more motivated to keep perusing that goal, as well as, more in control and confident in all that you can do, your improvements and the undertaken personal growth.
2. Make plans– define your goal in a specific and measurable way. Make a plan that specifies every little step that you need to take and the time you set for yourself to obtain it. Noting the details, the resources that you require and making it into a collection of small goals will make your plan feel more achievable and less daunting. Be realistic with your expectations and deadlines. If you tend to procrastinate, set for yourself right from the start some countermeasures. Achieving each little step of your plan will raise your motivation, self- efficacy and fortitude.
3. Focus more on concrete action taking- We sometimes get caught up in daydreaming or fantasying about what life will be like should our goals be achieved. The expression” I can taste it” is often being said when it comes to goal achievements. But we need to realize that dreaming about it will not make it happen and in reality challenges, unplanned circumstances and negative things occur that can make the goal achievement not as rosy and easy as we see it in our fantasies.
Thinking about the benefits that you will enjoy should the goal will be achieved can boost your motivation but with it you also need to define your goal, take action and brainstorm how you will cope and problem solve potential obstacles. It is also beneficial to think about your strengths and weaknesses and on what you need to do in order to overcome these weakness and strengthen your resources (e.g. seek advice, hire a professional, gather information, learn new skills by taking a course, practice to get more experience before you start, observe others etc)
4. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation– In the beginning we often feel energized, excited, enthusiastic and bursting with motivation but with time these levels can drop. It is a natural process. It is up to you to keep it up and persevere. Motivation is kept up by intrinsic reasons such as joy, pleasure, need to learn, fulfillment, satisfaction, alignment with your values along with external motivation such as money, status, material gains, what others will think of us etc. Extrinsic motivation is also related to a need to avoid punishment or negative situation/ outcome. To keep your motivation up you need to be in touch with your true motives.
In the long term intrinsic motivations are more efficient, helpful and rewarding when it comes to goal achievement. That is not to say that you should not indulge and give yourself small extrinsic rewards with each small achievement. Celebrating and embracing your small achievements also contributes to increased efficacy and motivation.
What do you do to preserve and keep your determination and motivation levels up?
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