Motivation - the persistence of our will
In life we often tend to aim high, but sometimes we get scared of the amount of work and effort we will have to put in to achieve our goals, so we give up. The solution lies in motivation. Motivation can help us persevere in following our will power and achieving the impossible.
Some of the most common reasons why people lose their motivation
1. Wrong goal
We need to ask ourselves what is the most important thing for us? Why we are pursuing that particular goal in that moment? What do we hope to gain from reaching that goal? How does our desire to reach that goal affect our immediate surroundings?
2. Poorly set goal
When we talk about a goal that was poorly set, we most likely refer to a goal that was too ambitious or the one that would take too much of our time. There's nothing wrong with losing 20 pounds in a year, though it may not be the right mark for you or me. We want to achieve too much, too quickly.
3. Lack of patience
Once we have decided to lose weight, quit smoking or change our diet, we expect results immediately even though we know it's impossible. We are too focused on the goal and not focused enough on the process itself. This way of thinking won't lead us any closer to our goal. It’s often the case where we lose motivation and it's only a matter of time before we go back to our old ways.
4. We don't trust our abilities
"I can't do it."
"I don't know how to do it."
"I'm not going to succeed anyway."
"There's no point."
Perhaps this rings a bell. You are setting yourself up for failure!
5. What will others say if I fail?
Fear of failure and what the neighbours might say. Please, pardon my French, but: "To hell with them! I'm doing this for myself, and if I fail that's no one's concern but my own!"
6. A negative experience
This often spells our doom. Something bad that happened in the past usually becomes our limiting world-view, even if it happened once or it happened to someone else. We get scared, we start to worry, we arm ourselves with negative thoughts and start looking for excuses. And we don't have to go far to find them, either.
7. Too much comfort in our comfort zone
Your comfort zone gives you a sense of security. You know the people, places and objects, you can predict other people's reactions, connections and events, even if you don't like them. This form of life doesn't require you to make great effort, spend extra time or even money. We often forget that life only begins when you take that first step into the unknown.
How to stay motivated right to the end?
It's better to break down a big goal that will be obtained sometime in the future into smaller, seemingly insignificant changes in your everyday habits. Here are a few examples:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Instead of coffee with cream take coffee with milk.
- Start with one piece of fruit per day.
- Make sure you eat a salad with your lunch.
- Instead of baking muffins with the children, we could make a vegetable soup.
- I could go running. I'm going to run two kilometres over the weekend. Then I'll see if I can do more or not.
In everyday life these tips sooner or later lead to a fitness program and regular exercise, regular and more healthy diet, etc. But first you need a bit of encouragement, which you get as soon as you see a change in your own behaviour. Even if you can't see change in your body - how you feel is the most important thing.
J as motivation
Once you're headed to your goal, it helps to know that the road ahead isn't straight, or that it shoots only up or down; it is rather shaped like the letter J. What happens to someone who decided to quit smoking? In the beginning their well-being takes a hit, accompanied by anxiety, weight change, uncertainty, etc. This is a period when the curve of the letter J goes down. It takes time before the former smoker starts feeling better.
* Adapted according to http://www.businessballs.com/nudge-theory.htm.