Previously we talked about our goals – what they should be like, how to set and achieve them. But all that is far from being all we need to succeed. Sometimes even properly articulated goals turn out to be impossible to achieve for a long time, and we find ourselves treading water. It would be easy if we could justify our lack of activity with simple laziness. Sometimes all we need is a magic kick in the butt from someone or… ourselves. Today let’s talk about motivation.
How can you motivate yourself?
You can arbitrarily divide self-motivation methods into two types: positive and negative. In simple words, you can help yourself act by using the carrot or the stick.
The basic components of the positive methods include stimulation, instigating motivation and sincere desire to act. These methods work great, but it does take quite a bit of effort to make yourself interested, as you may not be able to pinpoint necessary incentives right away.
Positive motivation involves visualizing the dream, gaining experience, co-operating with like-minded individuals, breaking up a large goal into smaller stages, and providing self-encouragement for every step made.
Negative methods can work better, but they can’t be considered long-term, as they put pressure on us. On the other hand, it’s never a problem to find incentives in order to start following the necessary course.
Negative motivation involves constant reminders and control, punishment and fines imposed on your own self, negative reinforcement of your own mistakes and failures.
Keep your peculiarities in mind
Right now we are talking about peculiarities of your temperament and mindset. You probably know that men and women motivate themselves differently. What makes a woman act does not necessarily motivate a man in any way. And vice versa.
For instance, women often resort to positive methods by rewarding themselves with sweets and nice things. For men sufficiently strong motivation can be another step up the career ladder or possibility to achieve a new stage of personal fulfillment, harsh necessity, great profit or a chance to prove their importance.
Golden rules of self-motivation
There aren’t too many of those, but you can help yourself a great deal by following at least a few ones from the list.
– Image of your goal – how soon you will be able to achieve your goal largely depends on how clearly and precisely you visualize it for yourself. Visualization basically means making a collage of the things that make up your goal.
– Praise and anchoring of even the smallest progress made. Making any progress, as is known, boosts motivation. Even the smallest achievements promote your desire to move forward. And such moments absolutely have to be anchored i.d. reinforced with praise or rewards. Those can be little things that in no way diminish the priceless effect of anchoring overall.
– Correct goal setting – you should never overcomplicate, trying to articulate your goals as simply as you can from the get-go. Then you will find it easy to make them happen, just as easy as it is to say them out loud. If the goal is great and large-scale – break it up into small easy stages so that every such step would be easy to achieve and motivate you to keep moving forward.
– Personal motivators – we all have our own magic bullets that help us achieve our goals. These may be books, movies or videos, or a personal example.
– Competing against yourself – this method can help you overcome the mundanity of any job with no exertion. Turn work into a game, a competition against yourself. It makes things so much simpler and more enjoyable.
– Ambitions – sometimes those work better than anything else. ‘Am I really worse than the others, or more stupid? Or weaker? Or lazier? No way! I will be the best in spite of them all and in spite of my own laziness’. Appealing to yourself and your own ambitions is arguably the best incentive to overcome difficulties.
– Past successes – often they are closely associated with ambitions. It can also happen so that you will be competing against you from the past. ‘I used to do much more difficult things. How am I any worse now?’
– Like-minded people – if you have friends moving in the same direction as you, it’s wonderful, as your emotional inflow increases manifold. Discussing successes and obstacles along the way not only helps you move towards your goal, it also peps you up.
– Surroundings – when your immediate circle includes goal-oriented active people, it’s like a virus that’s going around, you can’t help but catch it. Watching them you receive a powerful energy inflow and get infected with their optimism, will power and desire to act. When working individually, you can feel joy being one of them!
And finally, a bit about productivity
A quite long list of self-motivation principles can be supplemented with a few tips on increasing your own efficiency. By heeding this advice you can help yourself focus on the work process as much as possible.
Do not ignore your biological rhythms – there is a reason why most types of flowers unravel into full bloom in the morning, and this is when birds and animals are waking up. A human being is not an exception, he is also in sync with the bio rhythms of the wild nature and lives according to them.
All sorts of biological processes occur in our bodies all the time, practically directing our activities. For instance, throughout the day, our levels of testosterone, cortisol, melatonin and other hormones keep changing. Each of those hormones is responsible for specific processes that form part of our daily activities. Without delving into medical terminology, high level of testosterone in the morning hours helps us be active, creative and energetic. The stress-related hormone cortisol, which is at its peak in the morning, makes it difficult for us to control our emotions and act rationally. And when it starts to decrease – from 9 a.m. – you can effectively conduct business negotiations without worrying about your self possession.
Melatonin – the hormone of sleep – is at its minimal levels in the period from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. When its levels begin to increase later in the evening, it’s time for thinking leisurely and drawing conclusions.
– Move towards your goal with pleasure – there are people that “serve the time” at work, but also plenty of those working with a twinkle in their eye: they love their job, meet like-minded people at work, make friends and.. have no doubts about the value and significance of their job. Now guess who will find it easier to achieve a goal? You have got to love whatever it is you are doing, be sincerely interested in the process, achieve results and anchor them… And then you will be sure to grow a set of wings to overcome any obstacles on the way.
– Afford the luxury of daily napping – now doesn’t that sound a bit strange? The thing is, just 40 minutes of napping around lunch time can make a huge difference in your productivity. Daily napping reboots our brain and makes us more active, productive and efficient.
– Let your eyes rest – rebooting your eyes is just as important as rebooting your brain. Overstraining your eyes for several hours in a row not only affects your vision, increases your intracranial pressure and gives you headaches but also lowers your work efficiency. Catch a few minutes of break to reboot and give yourself the much needed rest. By the way, our Live Start Page will cope with this tricky task beautifully.
We hope our recommendations will help you head for the goals set with pleasure and a great deal of motivation. Just make sure you maintain the balance at all times without hitting the extremes – from doing nothing to working yourself to the bone. The latter can result in burnout, including professional.
We will address this issue next time.