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I think that motivation is a very interesting subject. Much like inspiration, I feel like a lot of people are waiting around for it to drop out of the sky and hit them on the head. However, I think that reality dictates that we take responsibility for generating our own motivation every single day. And I want to share some of my techniques for doing exactly that.
Firstly, motivation is not a self-perpetuating resource. I believe that it needs attention, nurturing, and fuel to keep going. One of the best ways to generate motivation is to clearly define the “why” behind whatever endeavor you’re choosing. Too often, we do things and choose actions without being clear about exactly why we are doing them. Answering the “why” not only provides clarity regarding your motives, but also provides a touchstone when you want to give up. And like any worthwhile undertaking, you will likely want to give up at some point.
Beyond answering the “why” for yourself, I also think it’s important to anchor yourself in a deeply compelling answer to your “why.” For example: if you want to lose weight to look good for bikini season, that’s a very temporal and fleeting motivation. Conversely, if you want to lose weight to extend your longevity, feel better in your body, have more energy, and live longer to spend more time with your family, that is a much deeper, more sustainable and soulful answer to the question. Henceforth, when you feel unmotivated or stuck or want to give up, having deeper connections to your “why” can pull you through even the most frustrating moments.
I’m also a big fan of setting up reward systems to generate motivation. When you have a clear intention to take an action and you keep your word to yourself, giving yourself a reward is a great way to celebrate and keep the positive momentum moving. For example, if I intended to write 500 words for my new book today and I hit that goal, I’m going to treat myself to a movie or a float tank session. The reward is something that celebrates my commitment, my positive action, and that continues the flow of creative energy.
Sometimes, when we feel stuck, calling on a trusted friend or colleague can be a great way to generate motivation. The people who truly see you for who you are, who believe in your vision and your talent, can remind you of how glorious you actually are, even when you don’t see it in yourself. Having a cheerleader in your corner can provide a boost of energy and motivation to get you back on your feet and taking consistent action again.
Finally, there is truth to the statement “move a muscle, change a thought!” Physical movement can generate feel-good chemicals in your brain, including dopamine (a potent neurotransmitter linked to motivation), and help you feel more energy and stamina. Sometimes, taking yourself on a short walk, to a yoga class, or on a midday hike, or exercising on your lunch break at work – can make a massive difference in your levels of confidence and motivation throughout the day!
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