Motivation is a tricky thing.
On the one hand, it's simple.
On the other hand, get excited about something, and you're motivated to take action towards achieving your goals. But if you don't enjoy what you are doing and find it difficult to motivate yourself, you will be less likely to succeed. In essence, no level of difficulty can ever keep you from achieving as long as the desire is strong enough. However, while this may be true in an absolute sense, it's not always true in a practical sense. For example, imagine that whenever someone asked you if you were motivated to do anything in life, your immediate response was, "Yes! I am so excited about everything I want from life that I would happily do anything to ensure I achieve my goals!" That might sound like a great answer on paper, but the practice is probably not the best way to go about things.
In fact, it could be argued that this response would actually be detrimental rather than helpful instead. Why? Because when we think or say something like this out loud, we tend to expose ourselves and others close to us to our insecurities and fears. This makes us much more likely than not to not pursue action toward our goals for fear of failure. Ultimately prevents us from genuinely succeeding rather than simply giving up before we even try.
Habits are all around us. Think about what you do in the morning. What is your routine? What happens when that routine is interrupted by something? Motivation is nice, and it's helpful in a lot of circumstances but can be overruled in many cases by habits. No matter what habit, most people agree that they like to control what they do nearly every day. But what happens when your motivation gets knocked out of commission? Motivation is a great thing, but without the habit, motivation is pointless. So, how do you find the motivation to stick with a habit? Well, let's break this down.
Let's Define Motivation
Motivation is a feeling or attitude. The word comes from the French mot à ment, which means "to move the mind." Motivation is when a person desires to do something based on internal thoughts. Motivation is difficult to define because we all have different ideas of what we are trying to motivate ourselves to do.
Another way to look at this is motivation is the species' ability to act. It helps individuals survive and reproduce and, in turn, allows organisms to survive and reproduce. For organisms to survive and reproduce, they must provide offspring with a good environment. Humans are social animals with complex needs that move us to do things other than what is strictly necessary to survive (Higdon, 1997).
If the above sounds like desire, you'd be on to something. Motivation is a lot like a desire but a little less specific. Desire is something you actively strive for, while motivation is a desire that is actively pursued. Both require effort. Both lead to action and be powerful tools for self-improvement.
The Danger of Excessiveness
Motivation is a tricky thing. Working too hard at anything can be detrimental to your progress and success. There are two reasons for this: the first is that you may become over-committed and start neglecting the work necessary to keep you on the right track. Second, overexertion can drain your energy, preventing you from focusing entirely on what needs to be done.
For example, imagine that whenever someone asked you if you were motivated to do anything in life, your immediate response was, "No! I am so unmotivated by everything that I want nothing more than for things to just stop happening!" That might sound like a great answer on paper, but the practice is probably not the best way to go about things. In fact, it could be argued that this response would actually be detrimental rather than helpful instead. Why? Because when we think or say something like this out loud, we tend to expose ourselves and those we care about to our insecurities and fears. This makes us much more likely than not to pursue action toward our goals for fear of failure, which ultimately prevents us from genuinely succeeding. Rather than simply giving up before we even try rather than putting in all the necessary efforts upfront when it's easier said than done.
The Importance of Habit Forming
If you're not already motivated to succeed, it's time to start thinking about the best way to build some habits. Habit-forming is a personal process, and you must find a system that works for you. Unfortunately, not everyone succeeds at the same pace and simultaneously. That said, anyone can do some good things to form good habits, leading us to our next point. Habits are surprisingly easy to set up and maintain if they are created with the proper knowledge. If your goal is health or fitness-related, it's important to remember that there is no one size fits all approach to achieving your goals. So the key is figuring out what works best for you and then sticking with it until it becomes a habit.
More recent research suggests that good habits are hard to maintain in the short term, and new habits take more effort to build on than break. What's more, the ones that do change require a lot of conscious effort. After some time working on it and intertwining it within your daily activities, it'll become much easier to maintain. Simply put, with consistency, it'll become easier over time.
So, How Do You Motivate Yourself?
Suppose you are struggling with motivation and wondering how to motivate yourself. In that case, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Everyone is different, and we all have various reasons for wanting to succeed in life, so there's no single way of ensuring success. It's important to remember that ultimately, your success depends on your ability to find the motivation within yourself rather than relying on external or external factors. So, what can you do? If you are having difficulty motivating yourself, try these methods:
Motivation is essential, but you need to know what motivates each individual. Motivation is a tricky thing. It can help us succeed but also trap us in failure if we don't know how to use it properly.
Another way to look at this is habits are the key to self-improvement. Many people set goals for the new year, but those goals can easily be forgotten in a few months. On the other hand, forming healthy habits can lead to a lifetime of success, and you'll need to rely much less on motivation. Not to mention that motivation is fleeting and way less controllable.