If you are anything like me your motivation level tends to vacillate from, “I’m super pumped, let’s do this!” to, “Can’t I just lay on the couch one more day?” It is important to understand the things that affect our motivation and how to overcome them. These six factors of motivation will help you maintain a consistent level of motivation while meeting goals and striving for self-betterment.
Step one: set a goal. [See our blog entitled Setting SMART Goals for more information about how to set goals.] Figure out exactly what you are trying to achieve and come up with a goal to keep in mind while you work toward it. Goals can be long-term or short-term or you can set both!
Step two: plan steps to reach your goal. Figure out what specific steps you need to take in order to meet your goal. Sometimes writing things down can help you visualize the process rather than trying to make sense of it in your mind.
Step three: overcoming internal blocks. It is important to assess for internal things that may affect our abilities to reach our goals. Such things may include a tendency to procrastinate, an inability to focus, or unwillingness for change. If you are honest with yourself about these internal factors you can come up with a plan to overcome them and reach your goal.
Step four: overcoming external blocks. Just as you have planned and prepared for internal blocks, it is important to plan for external ones as well. Things like the weather, amount of time a task requires, transportation, or limited monetary resources are just a few examples of external factors that can keep us from meeting our goals.
Step five: finding helpful people. Support is key when taking on new goals and making changes in your life. It is important to have people you can confide in to support you through the task you are undertaking. Accountability is also extremely important. Having an individual who can hold you accountable for meeting your goals is a useful resource.
Step six: anticipating future rewards. This is an important step to help with motivation. Sometimes just meeting the goal in the end is enough of a reward. However, there are times—especially when doing this with children or adolescents, or if you’ve set a goal you are hesitant to begin—when having rewards can drive you further than you would go otherwise. Setting up rewards and having things to look forward to can give you that extra push you may be lacking.
Maggie Futch, Intern