5 Ways to Nurture Your Motivation
Motivation is key to succeeding in life – personally, professionally, physically, and emotionally. But motivation is a tricky thing. Not only is it extremely powerful, it can also be hard to maintain—especially when it feels like everything is piling up. Here are five tips to help you nurture and maintain your own motivation.
Tip #1 Motivation is Internal
People look for motivation in external sources, and while powerful people (past or present) can play a role in jumpstarting your own motivation, it’s important to understand that your motivation lives inside you. Motivation is really a constant state of agitation—of motion—that keeps you excited about the progress you’re making and the end goal which you’ve set. You have to work to feed that fire—to stay excited, to maintain the desire, to recognize the gains. In the end, no amount of external pressure will maintain your drive if you don’t buy into yourself.
Tip #2 Remember What Motivates You
Motivation can stagnate when we forget what we’re working towards. Long term goals (a promotion at work, a life-changing move, a weight loss journey) aren’t reached in a day. Sometimes the best, healthiest goals we set for ourselves take months or years to achieve. That is plenty of time to forget what you’re working for when everyday life piles on. Therefore, constantly remind yourself of your end goal—the very thing that got you motivated in the first place.
Some people use vision boards, some people make notes on calendars, some people post daily updates on social media, others establish new daily routines (like decreasing your daily caloric intake)—all of which are great ways to keep that goal at the top of your mind.
Tip #3 Challenge Yourself with a Daily Goal
Long term goals started us on this life-improving journey. Short-term daily goals are more achievable and a great way to feel successful every day. Pick a handful of milestones you can reach on a daily basis that lead you toward your long term goal. Maybe it’s “walk two miles a day” or “take 20 minutes for meditation and mindfulness.” Maybe it’s something more complex. Regardless, when you reach achievable goals on a regular basis, the joy you experience will fuel that internal fire and stoke your motivation.
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Tip #4 Motion Creates Emotion
Your mind and body are intimately connected in ways that even neuroscientists are just now starting to understand. It may seem simple, but one of the easiest ways to improve your mood, boost your motivation, and stave off negative emotions is to get up and get active. Maintaining a physically active lifestyle will help maintain motivation because it generates a sense of mental, emotional, and personal progress.
The reason this works is complicated—blood flow, creation of certain biochemical, mental stimulation, physical exertion—these all play a part. But the truth is simple – it really works. If you want to change your life and need to stay motivated, keep moving forward.
Tip #5 Reward Yourself
One of the most detrimental things for your personal motivation is “The Daily Grind.” If you’re constantly working toward a goal but get stuck in a boring routine, you’ll find your interest failing and your excitement level dropping. You need to inject a little spice in your life and that’s where rewards come in. They are the proverbial carrot at the end of the stick!
These rewards can be anything you personally find valuable and exciting.
- They can be physical items (a new book, a new tool, jewelry)
- They can be experiences (a trip to the beach, a dinner at a fancy restaurant, a night out with your loved one)
- They can be personal (a day of rest, a long weekend away from work, a night of Rom Coms)
The important thing is that these rewards are important to you—something you’re willing (and able) to work for.
The best thing about these five tips for maintaining your personal motivation is that you can fall back on them any time you find life getting in the way of your personal progress and your internal drive slowing down. Keep them handy and use them often. Read them again and again and find new ways to interpret them as the journey you’re on improves your personal view of the world and where you fit in it.