“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
Motivation is our driving force to do anything. It’s the fuel for our fires. Without that constant fuel, our fires tend to flicker out over time. Fortunately, there are many things we can do to keep our motivation up and continue to kindle that fire.
Motivation is Key #2 in our 7 Keys You NEED to Unlock a Better Life NOW
Motivation – Your Daily Shower
There are two types of motivation; intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic Motivation – Intrinsic motivation is derived from the pleasurable feelings one gets from what it is they are doing. This could be pride in a job well done, a sense of accomplishment for completing a task or happiness in the work they are doing.
Intrinsic motivation is more likely to drive behavior over a longer period of time. If an individual can tap into the pleasurable feelings and associate them with the tasks at hand, they are more likely to willingly stick to those tasks.
Extrinsic Motivation – Extrinsic motivation occurs when there is some benefit for the behavior that lies outside of the internal feelings of pleasure directly related to the intrinsic motivation. For example, helping an old lady cross the street is intrinsically motivated by the feelings of happiness you receive by helping out. Being paid to stand at a cross walk and help people cross is extrinsic motivation.
There is some discussion as to whether or not extrinsic motivators inhibit intrinsic motivators that may have existed. For example, giving blue ribbons to children for a good performance, diminishes their intrinsic motivation of feelings of pride for a job well done. If this is the case, long term use of extrinsic motivators may have a strong negative effect.
Identify Your Motivation
Whenever you set out to do a specific task or reach a specific goal, it is critically important to identify your motivation. Why are you doing what you are choosing to do? It is necessary to find the intrinsic motivation first. If you are, for example, losing weight because your doctor, spouse, family, society tells you that you should but you really don’t get any pleasurable feelings from losing weight then you are likely to fail in the long term. However, if you identify losing weight as being something that will allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment with every pound lost or have pride in the healthy eating choices you are making, then you are intrinsically motivated and will more likely experience long term success.
You might be able to identify many regular occurrences when you determined extrinsic motivators that got you to a small goal but failed at sustaining for the long haul. When was the last time you decided to go on a vacation for completing a big project or get a massage for making x number of sales in a week? Once you achieved that short term goal, there was no longer incentive to keep moving forward to your long term goal.
That’s because you may have lacked intrinsic motivation.
Now this doesn’t mean you have to eliminate rewards or extrinsic motivation from your repertoire of motivators. It simply means that extrinsic motivation should play a supporting role rather than the starring role in your motivation show.
It’s time for that daily shower. Even intrinsic motivation requires some form of daily reminder. We have somewhere in the range of 45 THOUSAND individual thoughts in a given day. It’s not likely that our motivators will be at the top of that list unless we make them a priority.
Success Step – Intrinsic Motivation
- Write down your intrinsic motivator for each of your goals. What are the pleasurable feelings you will receive from this goal? Your WHY may have to do with being a good provider for your family, but the pleasurable feelings are a sense of pride and worth that you receive from being a good provider. Your WHY may be to travel but the pleasurable feelings may be associated with a sense of freedom or adventure that you experience from traveling. Find your intrinsic motivator and write it down on a note card or somewhere you can regularly reference it.
- Review your intrinsic motivators every morning. This is your reminder for the day of what you have to gain to sticking with the plan.
- When temptation strikes, take 8 deep, long breaths and review your intrinsic motivators. The breathing will help your willpower center in your brain to reconnect and the review will serve as a reminder of why it’s important for you not to fall to temptation.
Success Step – Extrinsic Motivation
Because there are times when a little nudge can be beneficial, here are a few great tips for extrinsic motivation.
- Motivational Quotes – set yourself up on a service like Quote of the Day to get inspiration every morning.
- Inspirational Movies – watch movies related to your goal or even just that inspire action when you need a boost.
- Read – I read Success Magazine or a book meant to inspire me every morning for at least 20 minutes.
- Listen – play some great music that moves you to action.
- Communicate – with others in the same situation that can encourage you to keep going.
There are many levels to motivation, of which I’ve only scratched the surface. When you have the right motivation, it will “magically” strengthen your will power and help you avoid the pitfalls we so desperately want to avoid.