The sources of motivation or de-motivation are tremendous! Although motivation is considered to be an internal factor, it can also arise from outside factors as well. It could be as simple as completing a task or project by a certain time or date. Here is a key point: If motivation is internally generated, you may be able to avoid outside frustrations and aggravation. On the positive side, you could feel a sense of well-being and tranquility. As you move toward your goals, you may be able to arrange your work so you can employ your best skill and effort at the right time.
With respect to motivation, many studies have been conducted and books written on the subject. I suggest five (5) habits that will help you to increase your motivation through a more focused sense of purpose.
Here are my suggestions:
- Don’t compare yourself to others – As you associate and communicate with friends and colleagues, conversations always contain stories. Often these stories are about the feats, accomplishments and attributes, as extolled, by the members of your group. The anecdotes often tell of how much of a pay increase someone achieved; the stock market “killing” someone made; or the mansion they just bought for “pennies.” These tall tales can often make you feel like you are not achieving your full potential. A major part of the solution is to compare your efforts today to your efforts yesterday. So, you should begin to “chunk” your goals into small pieces so you can actually see and measure your progress on a shorter term basis.
- Create a simple diary – The main reason for this suggestion is that noting even small steps or increments toward your goals is uplifting. Recording your progress along the path to your goals is empowering and helps you to be ready for the next day or the next step in accomplishing your goals. This is highly motivational and does not depend on any external stimulation.
- Seek feedback – This is necessary because when we make our decisions they are usually based on our own knowledge and experiences. The value of input is that you may discover some facts that were not included in you process or evaluation of your methods. So, instead of barreling ahead and later discovering that you did not have all of the facts, you may be subjected to criticism. On the other hand, seeking input or “bouncing ideas” off those who may have the knowledge and experience, offers the opportunity to consider whether or not to accept the input. A secondary benefit, is that you will become known as someone who seeks and is willing to accept feedback.
- Reflection – This is an underappreciated necessity. I am sure that all of us say that we must take some time to “think things over.” In this instance, my meaning of reflection is to allocate some time, maybe just fifteen minutes, to think about and consider the daily “chunk” of your goals. Set aside some time with your diary to evaluate if you achieved the steps you planned for the day and if not, why not? Develop a plan to get back on track or maintain your pace.
- Success habits – OK, sometimes you are just too tired to be motivated. The solution to this problem is to begin to develop some habits to reinforce your desired behaviors. The idea is to develop a habit of keeping a diary of your progress toward your goals, reviewing your progress on a regular basis and recognizing when you should seek some feedback. Another reason that habits are helpful is that you do not have to summon the will power to exercise them. You will simply do what you need to do without thinking about it. Finally, find a way to reward yourself for maintaining the success habits.
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