Editors Picks Need Help With Motivation? Do This Instead

Need Help With Motivation? Do This Instead


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Have you ever wondered why that initial rush and excitement when beginning something seems to diminish over time? As if you somehow lost all motivation to keep trying, even if logically you know it’s what you want? 

Motivation is a tricky one because it’s short-lived. It doesn’t matter what piqued your interest initially. Like any other emotion we experience, it passes with time. So what do we do when we need to refocus?

I look at the research behind it and then develop a system of tools and activities that works. By understanding the components behind motivation, you can monitor your motivation and refocus on pursuing your goals.

If you feel lost, don’t worry. Keep reading below for our recommended tips to help you regain your motivation.

1. What is motivation?

Sometimes motivation is mistaken as the critical factor for success and personal development. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard, “Oh, if you’re not motivated, you’ll never be successful…”

Free Photo Of Woman Standing On Sunflower Field Stock Photo

Motivation is the initial spark of physiological desire and is the driving force behind human behavior. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary defines motivation as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” The term initiates action and describes why we do something, it inspires us even, but it is not the ingredient that delivers completion. 

In his book, Oathbringer, author Brandon Sanderson writes, “the most important step a man can take. It’s not the first one, is it? It’s the next one. Always the next step.”

Motivation only inspires us to take the first step. To make subsequent steps, we need to look at the why behind what we’re doing and prioritize accountability for support.

2. Finding Your Why Behind Motivation

Everyone is fueled by something, whether it is by internal rewards or external incentives. Intrinsic motivation arises from within yourself, is not dependent on others, and is completing activities or goals satisfying to you. Internal rewards produce natural joy for things that are in your control. Therefore, I would limit comparisons to others and outside distractions to focus on what fulfills you internally.

In contrast, Extrinsic motivation often involves external, tangible rewards such as praise, recognition, money, and social status. This motivation is handy at work, in social clubs, or teams. I recommend networking, meet-ups, joining a club, or learning a skill that can be useful in your career. Either way, both can be used simultaneously to help keep you focused.

Here’s a quick activity. Write down your goal.

  • Example: I want to make an extra $500 this month.
  • Then ask yourself, and then what would that do for me?
  • Example: Less stress, and I can pay my bills off.
  • Then ask yourself, and then what would that do for me?
  • Example: More time spent following my passions and with friends and family.
  • Then ask yourself, and then what would that do for me?
  • Example: I would feel confident in myself and my relationships and happy exploring what interests me.

The why: I want to feel confident in myself and my relationships and happy exploring what interests me.

If you keep questioning why you do the things you do, you will eventually find your own personal “why” in life. I use this as a reminder when I feel lost or distracted.

3. Setting the table for accountability

You need to define a clear goal.

A lack of planning around our goals is a leading reason we lose motivation. You need to know where you’re going to figure out a route. On the other hand, clear goals can give you tremendous momentum and confidence.With clarity, you can understand what you want to achieve, and it’s easier to distance yourself from feeling discouraged.

Take a moment and brainstorm questions such as:

  • Who and what is important to me?
  • Where would I like to be in 3-5 years?
  • What are some things that would get in the way?

Additionally, I’ve adopted the “small-win mentality.” I look for small wins to feel victorious in moments to keep me thrilled about my work. When we create abstract goals and only use the destination as fuel, we tend to turn away once adversity shows. It’s easy to lose sight of your why and purpose. Negativity creeps into our minds, and judgment and rationalizations become evidence for abandoning something so important.

So, it is essential to establish a timeline with short-term and long-term goals. Come up with objectives you want to meet in a week, month, and year. Then, review and re-evaluate often, leaving room to make changes that align with the same plan. This process builds confidence and is a primary instigator of the happy chemical dopamine. 

To learn more about setting clear goals, visit here.

Too much emphasis on the results, but not the process

Confucious once said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

Completing short-term goals takes focus, planning, and dedication which often is challenged by situations outside of our control. We can quickly become overwhelmed and discouraged if the only success we see is the end. This perception is how we transition from being fired up about something to losing motivation.

The truth about achieving goals begins with changing your perception onto recognizing small wins. Consider the old tale of the tortoise and the hare. We learn that we can be more efficient by completing things patiently rather than fast and impatiently.

So, when developing goals, break them up into what you can achieve daily. Focus on what can be completed today and celebrate that win.

Share with the person you trust the most

Free Men's White Button-up Dress Shirt Stock Photo

There is power in sharing your goals with others that you trust. Speaking your goals aloud is vulnerable and takes a great deal of trust. However, conversations with others may help you clarify and sharpen your plan when stated out loud.

Also, sharing with a friend or family makes the goal more realistic and is no longer something that was a thought or had been written down. The truth is that when you open your goals to others, they can hold you accountable by checking in about your progress.

So, in summary: unmotivated? Get an accountability partner.

Visualization: Think about the life you dream of

Free Man Jumping during Sunset on a Beach Stock Photo

You’re only one positive thought away from a more desirable outcome. Likewise, what becomes real in your mind presents real in life. Your mental state becomes your reality. Visualization is creating an experience or intention in your thoughts before you have it.

By setting clear, achievable goals, establishing support, and picturing yourself accomplishing those goals, you put yourself in a much better position to succeed. Vividly imagining yourself completing “small wins” onto your long-term goals will help you shift your focus toward what’s possible. This process is a powerful motivator for confidence and stamina.

Develop a System

As I stated earlier, motivation alone will not make you feel successful. It’s the spark that develops the first step. To remain focused and aligned with what you want to achieve, we must incorporate planning, goals, and support. You need to develop a system that works for you.

Author Darius Foroux states, “to be truly productive, you can’t rely on hacks, apps, or new technologies. Instead, you need to develop your own sustainable system, a set of routines and practices that serves as the foundation of your work.” He follows through with this system using daily habits, priorities, and small but essential tasks to complete.

Take Home

Motivation is a vital force needed to propel us to action. Without it, we may be stagnant. However, motivation alone is not enough. If you need help staying motivated or maintaining steam, consider using some of the information I shared today. In addition, some useful books and blogs can help you on your journey.

As always, thanks for reading.

MindFixes Staffhttps://mindfixes.com
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.


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