Motivation? Start with yourself!

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Motivation is useful to every person - first of all, to achieve success. It is the driving force behind taking challenges and actions, instead of being constantly in the sphere of comfort and safety. Thus, motivation allows you to achieve successive - bigger and smaller - successes. If motivation seems to have only advantages, why is it sometimes so hard to make the effort and start developing? Why is it so hard to motivate yourself?

Motivation and its level

Most people know what - even in the ordinary sense of the word - motivation is. This term is defined as the physical and mental attitude of a person, which directs him to action aimed at achieving a specific goal.

Motivation very often intensifies at moments that are considered breakthroughs - that is why so many people make, for example, New Year's resolutions. However, most of them fail to survive the test of time - either they are forgotten or they are postponed to the next week or month - and so on indefinitely. It is not accidental - the level of motivation is not constant, but higher or lower, depending on many factors. Its inheritances are natural and are intended to serve the good of man. Living in high gear could quickly lead to exhaustion and permanent discouragement.

However, to achieve your goals, it is sometimes necessary to motivate yourself, not just rely on these natural tides. It is not always easy, but fortunately it is possible.

A habit for success

It will not be revealing to say that the most important thing is the beginning. The most important and - often the most difficult. So how do you start a specific action to achieve the desired effect and not stop at the first sign of discouragement?

It is worth considering what activities are performed effortlessly. Most often, apart from the obvious pleasures and physiological functions necessary for life, everything that is done automatically can be indicated here. Examples include brushing your teeth every day, checking your e-mail or making your bed. Everything you do on a daily basis is called habits. When something becomes a habit, it is most often done automatically and without much focus or effort.

According to research, in order for an activity to become a habit, it should be performed every day for a period of 21 days. After this time, it ceases to be new and becomes routine. Unfortunately, most of the provisions do not pass this relatively short test of time. Therefore, when undertaking a new activity, it is worth assuming that it will be performed for the above-mentioned 21 days. This time is so short that it will be easier to force yourself to act than if there were no time limits. At the same time, 21 days is a long enough period, after which you can achieve something (e.g. say a few sentences in a foreign language or improve the appearance of the body) that you will not want to waste.

Gradually and with rewards

Success - this is the goal of the undertaken activity. It can therefore be expected that achieving it will allow for further motivation and subsequent development. But what to do at the beginning of the road, when there is not only no success yet, but even no small reward?

Setting yourself big, ambitious goals is, of course, a very welcome activity. However, it is worth remembering that if something seems distant and requires a lot of time and work, it will be difficult to convince yourself to start working on it today (one day will not make a difference).

Therefore, yes, it is worth setting ambitious and effortless goals, but in a form divided into smaller stages. Going through each of them and achieving a smaller goal on the way to your dream success gives you a reward that makes it easier to keep going. You can also plan an additional reward - in addition to just achieving a small goal.

However, it is extremely important in this case not to rest on our laurels. The passage of a fragment of the road to the assumed end is not the final success, but only a part of it. Therefore, the ultimate goal - although distant - must be attainable. What other features should a well-set goal have? They may result, for example, from the popular technique ...

SMART - a smart goal

The SMART concept is derived from the field of management and is used in corporations. However, also in terms of self-motivation, it is worth using this method - you do not always have to stick to its assumptions, but treat it as a kind of template.

The name SMART is an acronym from the English names of features that should characterize a well-set goal. So, according to the SMART method, the goal should be:

  • Simple - simple, understandable, concrete, detailed and clearly presented, leaving no room for any interpretation,
  • Measurable - measurable, i.e. such that it is possible to determine when it will be achieved, it would also be good to be able to specifically indicate progress in achieving it,
  • Achievable - achievable, realistic, that is, one that can be achieved even if it will take time and work,
  • Relevant - important, important - the goal must be a step forward, allowing for development, but one that the person who sets a goal cares about,
  • Timely defined - setting time limits increases the probability of achieving the goal.

As you can see, the characteristics of a well-set goal are not fancy or difficult - in practice, most of the tasks people set for themselves can be rearranged and formulated as such.

The methods presented are not the only ones that can be found among the various motivational theories. They are, however, one of the simplest. In practice, they can be applied immediately, without any special preparation, and tested as they work for individual goals and intentions.