Previously I spoke about the different types of motivation and the importance of remaining motivated. This week I will be discussing different methods for motivation and ways to encourage constructive behaviour. Stress and anxiety are a controlling force in todays society which can cause a complete lack of motivation as well as confidence. The aim of this post is to not only encourage motivation but also to promote confidence and positivity which will further enhance the motivational thoughts.
To recap, there are four main types of motivation, all of which can be catered to different scenarios in life.
- Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation - Turning energy into performance.
- Motivational Confidence - Reinforcing your motivation with confidence building strategies.
- Motivating People - Motivating others using creative language techniques.
- Motivation and Reward - Keeping yourself and your team focused on the goal.
As well as the four types of motivation, there are also methods to help to encourage and maintain motivation that fall into the categories listed above. Some of which are small things that can be quickly incorporated into everyday life however some are methods that could take longer to take effect. Although some of the methods can show positive results quite fast, there is not always a quick fix, this will all take time and will need extended exposure to the methods to have lasting effects on everyday life.
- Visualise yourself achieving your goals:
One of the best ways to motivate yourself in preparation for tasks or goals is to visualise yourself completing the goals. By picturing yourself achieving what you are aiming for it will help to push you further towards that end result and also allow for a slight sense of achievement before the goals have been accomplished that will motivate you further.
- Plenty of sleep:
A good amount of sleep and a good diet can make a drastic change not only to your health but to your mind. When you are tired and hungry you will feel much less motivated and more sluggish, however with a decent sleep and a healthy diet you will feel much more refreshed during the day and open to more ideas, when you are feeling like this you may find yourself completing tasks quicker and feeling much more motivated and positive overall.
- One step at a time:
Do not rush into things. Take one step at a time. You do not have to immediately immerse yourself in a project, take it slow and handle one small part at a time. When trying to rush through a task or rush towards a goal you can become overwhelmed and your mind can become cluttered. Focus on small tasks and know that with every completed task you are moving closer and closer to achieving your goals.
- Reward yourself:
Another way to motivate yourself is to reward yourself for the things you have done. If you set yourself tasks to complete over a certain time frame then once they are completed you can treat yourself to further motivate you to complete future tasks. Another benefit to this is that you will have the choice of the rewards and these can be made larger or smaller depending on the size of the task but they will be personalised to you.
- Don't be self critical:
You are your own worst critic. It is one thing thinking about what you could have done better or giving yourself constructive criticism but it is another to doubt your abilities and negatively criticise yourself. Putting yourself down will discourage motivation and can be one of the hardest things not to do however by making a conscious effort to say "i could have done better and i will next time" in replacement to "i was awful at that" or "i could never do that" you will be able to think more positively about your abilities and feel much more motivated to complete tasks in the future.
- Set yourself a deadline:
An easy way to motivate yourself is to give yourself some deadlines for your tasks. Do not be unreasonable with this, pair this with the smaller tasks that are easier to complete and the sense of achievement that you will feel can be very positive. Knowing that there is a deadline usually encourages time keeping, organisation and hard work, all of which are skills associated with motivation.
- Clear your mind and focus only on the task:
A cluttered mind can be overwhelming and cause you to lose motivation completely due to stress and confusion. Spend some time clearing your mind so that you can focus on one task and complete that task much more effectively and efficiently. Drop the multitasking and just do one thing at a time. (for more information on clearing your mind please view the post about Decluttering the Mind)
- Declutter your environment:
To clear your mind you must first clear your environment. When you are working in a clear space you allow more room for clear thinking, you won't be sat there thinking about the mess around you and can instead completely focus on the task in front of you. When working in a decluttered environment you will feel like you can get more done and this will further motivate you.
- Allow for others to motivate you:
When you feel as though you are losing motivation, talk to someone. At times when you cannot motivate yourself you can open yourself up to motivation from others and allow for yourself to be encouraged by the people around you. When someone else is feeling down you are there to support them, this is a similar concept however rather then trying to improve your mood others will help to magnify your passion for the goals that you want to achieve.
- Take a break:
Sometimes taking a break can be one of the best ways to get your motivation back. Stepping away from your tasks for a moment to re-evaluate and re-consider your plan of action can greatly improve your ability to complete the tasks in a more efficient manner. Stepping away from a goal does not mean that you are quitting or failing, it just means that you need some time away before throwing yourself back into the tasks.
- Have realistic expectations:
Unrealistic expectations can completely discourage you from completing a task. You need to go into a task knowing what you are capable of and how far you are willing to push yourself. If you set yourself unrealistic expectations then you will bring on more stress and confusion than needed and will eventually need to either discard the goal or complete it to an undesirable standard. Another part of this is not comparing yourself to others, everyone has different capabilities and standards and you should only work to your own limits, do not try to compare or criticise yourself based on other peoples achievements.
- Don't be discouraged if things go wrong:
Things go wrong, it's the way of life, do not allow for yourself to be discouraged by a mistake. When something doesn't go as planned just work on resolving the issue in a calm and professional manner and continue, if it is beyond repair then take a break and start again. At times this can seem tedious however it is better to resolve the issues and progress than to give up and wish you hadn't.
Reading yourself affirmations can greatly improve a variety of things in your life, from positive thinking to motivation. Looking into a mirror and reading out positive things about your self, goals for the day and things you want to change can help to set all of them into motion because they act as a pep talk and hearing something can usually be digested better than simply just reading something, even if it is your own voice.
Think about a goal that you have tried to achieve in the past, have you succeeded? Or did you lose motivation? If the latter is the correct answer then reflect on the time that you lost this motivation, think about what caused it, think about how you would change that now. We are constantly changing as people and the way that we work and think changes with us. The way that you would have handled something 5 years ago, a few months ago even a week ago is always different in hindsight, go back to it and work on it the way you wish you had and picture the sense of achievement that you will feel when you finally finish this goal.
Motivation can be a difficult thing to achieve and an easy thing to lose however the act of working to keep your motivation surprisingly can encourage motivation, it is a strange thing but so incredibly effective. Positive thinking can have a massive effect on you motivated you feel so please give The Power of Positive Thinking post a read to help improve your motivation as well as your mind in general.
It is always good to remember that it is completely normal to lose motivation occasionally, just don't let that consume you or damage your want to take on new tasks.