Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Motivational Strategies

How can you motivate yourself to achieve your goals?  What motivational strategies can you use?

Before answering this question perhaps it would be a good idea to remind ourselves why motivation is so important in the first place.  Without motivation it is not really possible to do anything purposeful at all.  Without motivation we would simply give up at the first obstacle, no matter how small that obstacle may be.  If there is no real reason to continue, then why bother?  This argument also reminds us of the need to have really powerful motivation.  If it is not very powerful, then again we will probably give up the moment the first difficulty arises.

The first step in your motivational strategy must therefore be to recognize the need for motivation.

The next step is to look very carefully at each goal.  Why exactly do you want to achieve this goal?  How different will your life be once you have achieved it?  How will achieving it make you feel?  If you do this properly, one of two things will happen.  Either you will become highly motivated to achieve the goal, or you will realize the goal is not as important to you as you first thought.  Either result is good.  Eliminate goals which will never highly motivate you and you will be able to focus far better on the more important goals and will be more highly motivated to achieve them.

Once you have eliminated the "bogus" goals, look at each goal and start listing the steps you need to take to move closer to that goal.  Remember the old adage "Rome was not built in a day".  If your goal is worthwhile it will probably look very challenging if all you can see is the big jump from where you are now to where you eventually want to be.  Dreaming about that final achievement, basking in the warm feelings those dreams give you, is extremely important and is something you must keep doing, but if that is all you do that will gradually diminish your motivation rather than increase it.  Think about the steps you need to take and write them down.  Then focus particularly on the very first step.  If you have done this properly you will find that first step is not so difficult to take.  Remind yourself that the journey to your end goal is comprised simply of small, achievable steps just like this first step.  Also remind yourself of the way you will feel when you reach the end goal and then link that feeling to achieving the first step.  Now you should find you have a very powerful motivation to take that first step.  Actually taking it will then be very easy.

Once you have achieved that first step towards each of your goals, maintain an attitude of "happy but not satisfied".  You should be very happy that you are now one step closer to your goal.  Luxuriate in this feeling.  Reward yourself for your achievement.  But at the same time you should feel that you are not yet satisfied, as there are still other steps to take.  Do not count those steps or start worrying about how far away the end goal is still, as this will be very demotivational.  But recognize that it is great you have come this far on your journey and now you can focus on the next step.

Treat each step in exactly the same way.  This next step is such a small step, so you can easily take it.  But it is also one more step closer to your ultimate goal.

Follow this motivational strategy and you will find you can achieve all the goals you have set yourself.  Don't wait for the right opportunity, deluding yourself that the time is not right yet.  Take that first step and bring yourself closer to the dreams you want to realize.

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