Motivation: how to build and maintain it?

Important | 2021-02-09

Motivation covers more or less most of our actions. Sometimes we have a misleading image on what is motivation and consider it as enthusiastic, satisfying feeling to complete the goal. However, it is only one of the types of motivation. Motivation influences our daily decisions in the same way, when instead of exercising, we decide to lie on the couch and watch Netflix while eating crisps. Only in this situation we feel more motivated to rest than to do sports. Since motivation is the process that stimulates us to meet our needs, desires, and goals. And if some days we feel more need to stay home, relax and pamper ourselves … we never manage to get up from the couch.

In addition to the hope that motivation will bring enthusiasm and will to complete work, study, exercise, etc., we often hope that it will come by itself. One morning we get up and – oh! – we are absolutely determined and ready to run 5 km, despite the terrible weather outside. Sometimes this happens, but not so often – it is worth learning how to build and maintain the motivation ourselves, instead of hopefully waiting for it to appear. Some insights and tips that could help in this process to build and maintain motivation are given below.

Understand why you are doing it

First, start with the simple question: “Why it is important for me to do X?”. Especially when it comes to learning a new skill, creating a habit, or self-improvement, we have to admit that it is not an easy task. How often do we tend to do hard work just for no reason? Exactly – not very often. We rather invest our time and energy in those activities that seems important and meaningful to us.

Set your goal

It is in particularly important to set your own goals in order to maintain motivation! First, these goals should be realistic. Excessively complex goals (far beyond our capabilities) simply demotivate us – it comes to our mind that it is waste of time to try to do the impossible to task. Meanwhile very easy goals (requiring minimal or no effort) might be too boring. Thus, the goal should be one that pushes you a little out of the comfort zone and requires more effort, but doesn’t scare you off.

Define your goal

Afterwards break down the goal into smaller tasks. When and what little steps should you take to move towards the goal? These little steps are crucial  to our motivation, because when we complete something, we are filled with joy and accomplishment. This feeling keeps us motivated to continue the activities that we are successful in.

Celebrate your accomplishments

Finally, don’t forget to reward yourself for your hard work! Who doesn’t like gifts and treats right? Many studies claim that – we are more motivated to complete tasks when we know that we will get a reward after completing them. So don’t forget to think about the possible treat for yourself after making a significant progress towards or reaching your goal.

#KTU Psychologist

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