How to stay motivated is one of the most asked questions on the internet. This is a very common question appears in mind when you feel low.
Motivation is the most important thing when it comes to getting things done. You must have to be highly motivated if you want to achieve your goals and aspirations in your life, no matter what and how big they are.
What is the motivation?
Some people call it the inner drive, some call it the invisible push, and some call it the secret ingredient to productivity. It doesn’t matter what you call it or which words you choose, the meaning remains the same. It is something like a hidden power which urges you to take action.
Definition of motivation
According to Business Dictionary, Motivation is internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal.
According to Swedish psychologist K. Anders Ericsson, motivation is the biggest and most significant factor of success in every field whether it is a sport, business, personal life, education, war etc. That’s the reason everyone wants to know how to get and stay motivated.
Where does motivation come from?
A very popular leadership coach Pepper de Callier teaches this concept very well.
See this formula given by him to understand motivation:
M = I x V
If you follow this formula, you can find the right motivation to achieve success in your life.
This is the thing which drives you to take on a challenge that others are afraid of. This is the thing which transforms a dream into reality and can change lives for the better.
Here, M stands for motivation, I stand for interest, and V stands for value.
So, you can see that the level of motivation is directly proportional to your interests and the values you put on it.
It’s quite simple. If you have a high level of interest and place a high value on something, you are creating a strong motivation within yourself to act.
There are two kinds of motivation:
Motivation is not the same for everyone. We can be categorized it according to people. In some cases, we get motivated by what we want to gain. In others, it is rather about what we have to lose.
Let’s tell me a story. It is a famous story popularly known as carrot-and-stick concept that will clear everything better than words.
There is a donkey. What is the way to make him move? There are two ways. The first is to put a carrot in front of the donkey in a way that it would move according to the donkey’s movement.
Fact is simple, seeing the something he wants, will keep him going. The second is to beat the donkey with a stick from behind.
In the first case, the donkey will move in order to gain what he wants.
In the second case, he will do the same to avoid punishment.
Let’s decide which type of motivation is more powerful.
It all depends on the situation and what kind of person you are.
Think about it in human perspective
Some people achieve success because they love expensive cars, suits, clothes, vacationing several times a year, business class flights, and all things luxury. The idea of having it all is what motivates them. For others, it works the other way around. They might be satisfied with the life they have today, but be afraid to lose it all one day. The fear of poverty is what makes them do their best at work.
Both motivation types do the same job. They act as a driving force behind our actions.
The Science behind Motivation
The good news is that you don’t have to understand how motivation works to get yourself going. If you are curious, though, get ready for the shortest neuroscience lesson ever:
In order for motivation to occur, we need to anticipate something important. When we feel anticipation, a neurotransmitter called dopamine spikes. Dopamine has a biological connection to our motivation. This chemical makes us maintain the level of activity required to accomplish tasks and goals.
As recent studies suggest, the major role of dopamine is to encourage us to act for one of two reasons that are paralleled by motivation itself: to gain something we want or avoid something we don’t.
Dopamine is necessary for both “getting” and “staying” motivated. At first, it will kick in as a response to our anticipation (that’s why it is important to set goals and imagine success as vividly as possible). Later on, a new portion of dopamine is released each time we achieve a sub-goal and get one step closer to the final goal (that’s why you should break big goals down into smaller ones and reward yourselves each time a sub-goal is achieved).
How to Get Motivated (And Stay Motivated Long-term)
By now you have got enough theory about what motivation is and how it works. Let’s translate our knowledge into action.
Following is a list of five actionable steps that will help you replace distractions and laziness with productivity and motivation.
Write your goals down and keep it in front of your eyes.
You can see that most of the life coach and experts insist on writing things down. Your goal must be clear and written. We have. The process of writing triggers certain reactions in our brain. Writing our goals down activates a particular area of our brain, which somehow keeps us more accountable. The moment we write our goals, we internally calibrate ourselves to stay on course. To keep it in eyesight is to serve as a reminder of why you started if you ever thing to quit.
Monitor your progress and celebrate small achievements.
Distribute your long journey into small parts and celebrate after every path completion. It will inspire you day by day. Monitoring your progress is very important. When you monitor progress, two important things happen. First, you realize how far you’ve already gone from where you started. Second, it gives you a reason to reward yourself (do you remember that rewards spike dopamine levels and dopamine is what fuels your motivation on a biochemical level?) Monitor progress; celebrate achievements.
Surround yourself with achievers.
People get a very strong impact of their surroundings. It will be better for you to spend time with quality people and achiever. Choose wisely the people you spend the most time with. It gets increasingly hard to get your goals if your roommates are party animals and your room is where every pre-game takes place. It becomes nearly impossible to maintain a clean diet if your family orders pizza every other evening. The bottom line is this: make sure at least half of your inner circle are motivated and inspired people. We all have ups and downs and when you are going through your down moment, you’ll need a go-getter friend by your side to remind you to keep going.
Set deadlines and micro-deadlines.
Prepare a deadline because deadlines are commitments. Commitments are signals to your brain to keep doing no matter what. Another good thing about deadlines is that they help you stay organized and resist distractions.
Micro-deadlines are commitments you make to complete your sub-tasks. These are made to organize your deadline properly efficient manner.
Promise and commit publicly.
This is a brave move. Not all have guts to take swear publicly but believe me it works. It is a tested truth that making a public promise to lose weight help people stick to a healthier diet and workout routine. There was a fascinating experiment, which showed that women with a long-term public commitment to their weight loss program exceeded their initial goal, while those who made no commitment at all reached only 88 percent of their goal.
The same pretty works for the other things also. That’s why online challenges and support groups are so popular these days. If you fear social disapproval or know that it will make you feel highly uncomfortable to admit failure, consider this option as a part of your motivation-boost strategy.
Keep your goals clear. Work hard, No matter what goals you have in mind, a little motivation won’t hurt. Motivation is what will help you get started. It will help you stay on course until you get what you want. Now you know how motivation works and what actions and behaviors fuel it. Make the most out of your knowledge and don’t forget to keep your eyes on the prize.