How to Stay Motivated

It can be hard for many people to find and hold on to motivation. Motivation is a desire, willingness, ambition and drive to do things. Generally these things are actions towards reaching personal, professional or educational goals. Motivation is so interesting because there are a plethora of factors that can affect how motivated someone feels. Many people struggle with setting the same goals over and over, but are not able to come up with the motivation it takes to achieve them. In the state of being motivated it feels like things are easy to do and accomplish. Some people more enter this state more easily than others. Fortunately, there are some “hacks” and techniques that can help you “unleash” your motivation potential.

Mental health is a key factor in motivation. Motivation has a lot to do with being able to influence your mindset and set yourself to up to be open to motivation when it comes. Higher levels of  anxiety, depression and other mental afflictions can definitely dampen your capacity to feel motivated and inspired. So what’s a person to do? Sometimes, you can turn your afflictions into a driving force to get motivated. For example, a person can get so fed up with feeling overwhelmed that it freezes them and prevents them from getting anything done, that they become really determined to build stronger momentum and start to step away from that state. Some very inspiring public figures have been broke, or alcoholics, or really unwell in some way, and as they realized they were headed in a bad direction, they completely turned it around. They have been there, and they know it is not good.

It is helpful to focus on positive aspects and reward yourself to cultivate more motivation in yourself. You may want to give yourself encouragement using your internal dialogue. As you are dealing with hard work, say in your head, “You are doing great, you are trying your best right now and getting better at this every day. Sure, some things are not great yet, but that’s OK, you’re working on it.” When you know you’re going to have something really hard for you to get motivated for on your schedule, promise yourself a reward after you’re done with it. Maybe it’s, “I’ll grab my favorite Starbucks drink after I’m done with a good 45 minute workout,” for starters. Be gentle with yourself because self-criticism and self-punishment can start a downward spiral. You can figure out what works best for you as you experiment. The important thing is to focus on acts of positive reinforcement and rewards.

It’s very important to create a motivational relationship within yourself. This is so your motivation does not depend as much on others motivating you. There is nothing wrong with getting motivation and inspiration from others; it is actually really helpful when others can help to inspire us and keep us accountable for our goals. However, it is not good to let your motivation become dependent on others. Maybe one day the people or person who motivate you most won’t be in your life as much, or they will be in a bad mood. When that happens, you want to be able to support yourself and stay afloat, and maybe even be the one to support them.

Motivation is affected by so many things and is not always going to be high in real life. However, there are some things you can do to increase the amount of motivation you experience in your life. Stay positive with yourself and reward yourself in ways that you know motivate you. Working actively on your mental health can really clear the blocks you can experience that keep you from feeling inspired.

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