Saturday 7 January 2012

Motivation by Glenda Myles

People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar

What motivates you to great heights?

Motivation is the psychological feature that arouses a person to action toward a desired goal or the reason for the action.

So, what’s your daily motivational ritual?

Do you have a visual reminder of your goal around your house and office? Have you made changes in your life to support this new goal? Have you talked to your friends and family about it so they can support you? Do you have the partners you need to be successful? You have to first have the elements of success. You then have to remind yourself of your goal daily or weekly to keep it top of mind. The goal has to be intrinsically linked to something important to you. And you have to keep positive about it as there will be times when fear, anger, and other negative emotions will try to take over.

Do your rituals change when you are riding the creative high to the dragging your behind low?

It’s easy to stay motivated when you are pumped up and things are going well – think first two weeks of January at the gym. It’s packed because everyone has made New Year’s resolutions and are still motivated by the resolution itself to keep going. But those that go to the gym regularly know, by mid to late January it starts to peter out and by February it’s back to normal. You do have a few new faces who have stuck it out though. They have managed the highs and lows and have remained committed.

What is it that keeps those few people motivated long enough to make a new habit with the behaviour?

It’s always a WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) state of mind. You won’t be truly successful if your motivation isn’t about what’s in it for you not someone else. Remind yourself of the why. Why are you doing this? What will it do for you personally or professionally? Why is that important to you?

Besides commitment to the goal, those that are successful are motivated intrinsically or extrinsically by other factors. Most would say that extrinsic factors are the easiest but not always long lasting. If I … go to the gym, lose weight, insert goal here – I can get a … new outfit, indulgence, trip, insert reward here.

This is a great idea for those times when you are just dragging and don’t want to do something, but you know you will feel better if you do it. It won’t necessarily help maintain long term motivation if you haven’t made other changes intrinsically, but it can help you out in certain situations.

Consider that it takes:

  • 40 days to change a bad habit into a positive one;
  • 90 days confirms the new habit in you;
  • 120 days allows the new habit to become who you are;
  • 1,000 days ensures you have mastered the habit

Ideas for visual reminders:

Big calendar with the X’s through the days to show how far you have come while keeping an eye on the ‘deadline’. This is good when there is a deadline. If you don’t have one you can create one. Take the 90 days as a deadline.

Make sure to put time in your schedule for the activity and protect it. Learn to say no. You don’t need to explain yourself, feel guilty, or anything else you feel compelled to do. If this is a major goal in your life, carve out the time and protect that time like nothing else. Make sure you find a time that works with your schedule. If you get really busy at work and end up working late a lot – go in the morning. Get up 30 minutes earlier than normal and do what you need to do – exercise, write, read, paint, etc.
I started to get up at 5:30 am to run a few mornings a week. It was fine in the fall and I was making a regular habit out of it, but then winter arrived and my motivation dropped. It has been hard since it is cold and dark out. I had to find new ways to keep myself motivated. I have a sign on my clock so when I roll over to turn the alarm off I see it. It reminds me to get my butt out of bed and go running.
Have your visual cards/index cards near where you get up in the morning so it is the first thing you see. On the cards have not only your goal but a visual representation of what it will be like when you reach that goal.

What other visual reminders could you create that will help you stay motivated?

Glenda at Myles Ahead Studio is a professional marketing strategist working to bring more creativity into business and make more ideas come to life.

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