It’s very exciting when you set your sights on something you want to do or achieve! Yet, many of us find that after the initial flush of enthusiasm our energy and enthusiasm can run out. What helps you stay on track and helps you achieve your goals is being clear on your motivation. There are many facets to what motivates each of us. In this article Midgie Thompson explores these and shows you how you can maintain and even increase your motivation.

What is motivation?

Motivation is the fuel that drives us on to pursue and achieve a particular goal. It is the reasons why we do things. It is the force that inspires, excites and creates the spark that makes us do what we do. Motivation provides the focus and direction and is what keeps us striving towards desired outcomes.

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Knowing what your motivation is before you set out to achieve your goal will make a difference to your preparation, efforts and self-discipline. And this all makes a difference to the results you achieve … whether you succeed or not.

To help you explore your motivation, ask yourself a few questions:
*What will it mean to me to achieve the goal? What is its significance? What will happen when I get it? How will it look? How will it feel? What will I see or hear?
*How will achieving this goal affect other aspects of my life?
*In what way is the outcome worth the time, effort and energy?
*What are the benefits, to all areas of my life, once I achieve my goal?

Reminding yourself of your answers will boost your motivation when you need it the most. Now, to help you understand your answers in more depth, let’s explore motivational drivers.

Motivational drivers

Motivational drivers are like magnets – either pushing you away from something (an ‘awayfrom driver’) or pulling you towards something (a ‘towards driver’). Understanding what your drivers are can make a difference to keeping your motivation high and achieving your goal.

You can call upon the magnetic pull of a towards motivational driver to help you keep going, when the going gets tough. A person who is driven by this type of motivation is normally attracted by success and is committed to doing what it takes to achieve their goals. They rarely settle for less than success and are often striving to achieve many things.

A person who is driven by an away-from type of motivation is normally driven by discomfort, stress or pain. They take action to achieve a goal when a situation becomes uncomfortable. Once this discomfort has diminished, their efforts diminish as well. They might even return to their old behaviours and patterns.

Losing weight motivation

Let’s take an example of an individual who wishes to lose weight. A towards-type of person would focus on all the benefits they will reap when they achieve their desired weight. They will do whatever it takes to get there in the end. However, an away-from type would focus on losing a number of pounds. Once the target weight was achieved, or even as they approach their target weight, they may return to their old habits and routines.

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Both types of motivational drivers can achieve the same result. However, the towards-type drivers are stronger in that they continue to draw individuals forward towards their goals, rather than push them away. So, what are your motivating drivers? Are they acting like magnets drawing you towards something positive, or are they acting like a repellent pushing you away-from a situation you do not want?

Even if you have away-from motivational tendencies, you can still achieve what you want to. In addition to all the reasons that are driving you onwards, away from that uncomfortable place, you can also tap into the power of some towards drivers. Take some time to explore the benefits you will get when you achieve your goal. Explore how else your life may be positively impacted once you succeed.

Maintain strong motivation

Once you are clear on your motivational drivers, you may still experience highs and lows with your motivation. Life is full of ups and downs. We will all be distracted from where we want to go from time to time and our motivation will ebb and flow as we pursue our goals. Here are some tips to help keep your motivation high.

“When you achieve the smaller milestone goals, take some time to give yourself a pat on the back and do something special to reward yourself”

Find a supporter: Ask a friend to hold you accountable for your actions – they should remind you of all the reasons why you are doing what you are doing. Report back to them on your progress weekly and ask them to challenge you if you get off track.

Reward yourself: Acknowledge that you have done well, and reward yourself along the way. Perhaps when you achieve the smaller milestone goals, take some time to give yourself a pat on the back and do something special to reward yourself.

Get the big picture: Maintain your perspective of how your goal fits in with other things in your life. How does achieving your goal impact and influence other areas of your life? Perhaps something has come up and you have other priorities. This will help to put things into a clearer perspective and will impact on your level of motivation.

Key Points

*Understand your motivation – why you want to achieve a particular goal and the benefits you will get once you achieve it.

*Identify your motivational magnets – understand the towards-type drivers that will help draw you forwards towards your goal.

*Have a few tricks up your sleeves – find a supporter, who will hold you accountable and to keep you on track and celebrate your achievements with you.

Finally…

To combat the potential decline in our motivation that many of us will experience in pursuit of our goals, it is important to remind ourselves of all the reasons why we are pursuing a particular goal. Understanding all the benefits we will gain when we achieve a particular goal can help keep the momentum going.

Focus on the towards drivers, acting like magnets, that pull us towards our goal. Reminding ourselves of what these towardsdrivers are can provide a powerful pull to keep us going. Overall keep life in perspective. Yes, there are strategies to maintain peak motivation, but we should also take a look at the big picture and consider what else is going on in our life.

There may be very valid reasons why your motivation has slipped from a particular goal. Focus on the positives and benefits you will gain when you achieve what you want to achieve and keep on going! With peak motivation, you can achieve anything you set your mind to!

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