8 Tips to get and stay motivated
8 Tips to get and stay motivated
Motivation is the fuel behind our actions. Without the drive to take action and make things happen, nothing would be achieved. It is very common to set goals in our lives but then to lose the motivation to see through our positive intentions.
The following motivation tips are based on Positive Psychology strategies to help you build the momentum to achieve the goals you set. These strategies are quick, accessible and practical and the advice can be digested and applied with ease.
They have been written by Chartered Psychologist Sam Kotadia, whose work (now available in several languages) has been used by individuals worldwide to improve their mental well-being. Read and apply one strategy daily to give your drive and motivation a boost.
Our energy levels have a significant impact on our motivation levels. A natural way to keep your energy levels and consequent levels of motivation high is to exercise regularly. Exercise will build up your physical endurance and strengthen your drive to be productive. Devise a weekly fitness plan to help make exercise a healthy habit and protect against low motivation.
Motivation levels suffer when our goals seem too large to achieve. When you set a goal, identify several simple tasks that you can accomplish immediately to start making progress. The 17th Century scientist, Isaac Newton noted: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion”. Take action, because if you start moving towards your goal it may become harder to stop than to keep going!
The magic of music
Listening to music is a powerful way to generate motivation. Create a compilation of motivational songs on CD, smartphone or your iPod. Listening to music before sleep, during work (if appropriate) and whilst travelling will compel you to be positive when your motivation is tested.
Push outside the comfort zone
To keep your motivation high, push outside the comfort zone. As a rule of thumb, commit to doing one difficult thing every day. Being adventurous day-to-day will inject zest into your life and keep you hungry and motivated for more.
In Sun Tzu’s classic book “The Art of War”, successful leaders of armies talk about how, during important battles, they burnt their own escape routes, so that they would fight more furiously. At the same time they deliberately chose terrain that created the option of retreat for their opponents. If you are determined to achieve your goals limit your own escape routes, by making choices in which success is only option!
Strike while the iron is hot!
Our energy levels naturally ebb and flow during the day. Make a note of the times during the day when you feel most energised and reserve these times for more intense tasks. When your energy levels naturally dip you will be left with the tasks that are easier to complete. Directing your focus onto the right tasks at the right time is important in maintaining your levels of motivation.
Setting too many goals may lead to disaster; even if it doesn't, the stress of constant effort will reduce your effectiveness and make you miserable. Prioritise your goals and complete the high-priority tasks before attempting anything else. Focusing effort in a systematic way will ensure that you meet life methodically and without stress.
Learn to say "no"
Learn to say no to other people's requests, if appropriate, in order to reserve enough time and energy to live calmly. Think twice about giving into the wants of others and avoid sacrificing your own quality time by over commitment. It will strengthen your sense of identity and help you to maintain a calm and well-grounded sense of wellbeing.