Get more motivation.....
“ I am demotivated” is something that I hear time and time again. In this blog I will take a look at what motivation means and, the ways which you can get more of this magic potion. We refer to our motivation as our reason to do something, complete a task, or reach our goals. The word motivation comes from the word “Motive”- to have motive is to have a reason to do something.
The Cambridge dictionary sites motivation as: “A willingness to do something, or something that causes such willingness .” So, lacking a motive is the same as being demotivated. The reasons for this are many, below are some examples for why you feel this way- AKA without motive.
No clear goal:
If you don’t know what success is for any given task, you will never be able to celebrate. The celebration of completing a task is an important reward for your achievement. Without a clear goal, there is no success. For instance, if you tell yourself to “eat well” the boundaries are very unclear and there’s no success. It would be much better to set the goal as: “Today I will eat 3 portions of vegetables”. As you review at the end of the day you’ve either done it or not! Remember, the best goals follow the SMART principles, they are:
Setting this sort of goal is likely to succeed, so don’t set “fluffy goals” set something that is specific!
The task feels too big:
The saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” works with this one. Setting goals which are too big or too hard, means you are unlikely to embark on them, let alone achieve them. If you want to build Rome, a house or even a better way of life, it will take many actions or stages. Breaking any task into manageable “bite size” pieces makes climbing Everest do-able. When I wanted to change my lifestyle. I had no idea that I would go on to lose 8 and a half stones. I knew I had to concentrate on daily, sometimes hourly tasks. Professor Teresa Amabile’s research, showed that a feeling of progress is motivating. So focus on “small wins.” Break big challenges down into smaller achievable chunks. Instead of attacking massive problems head on by engaging in gruelling, warfare, which makes it hard to feel like you’re getting closer to your goal.
Motivated to do other things:
Think of each task as having a gravitational pull or reward. For example: The gravitational pull to do something I enjoy (drink coffee) is greater than the gravitational pull to complete my accounting spreadsheet (which I don’t enjoy!). The best thing to do in this case is move the motivation (or reward) for the enjoyable task. Move the coffee till after you've made X amount of progress on your accounts. That will get you going!
Lack of challenge:
The task is too easy, creates no meaningful or reasonable challenge/ reward. This may be the case for someone who has been in the same work role for many years and has no opportunity to progress. Why would they try harder? The solution? Create your own rules. For example: A sales executive who does 10k of sales a month (on target) would make a personal target of 12k.
When Stanford GSB Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer studied successful executives. He found that they all had one thing in common. It was not intellect, talent, or people skills. It was energy levels. If you’re tired it doesn’t matter what other strengths you have, you don’t have the energy to do the things you want to do!
Lack of time:
This one is a biggie! Getting to the route of your “why” is important. If you want something enough you can find time for it. My favourite way to “find time” in our day is to list everything you need to do, and split it into 3 headings:
1. Do it (yourself): This is something important which is time critical.
2. Delegate it: This is an important job but you can give it to a friend or family member.
3. Dump it: This item is neither important or enjoyable- get rid of it.
Internal/intrinsic motivation VS External/ extrinsic motivation:
Intrinsic motivation, is doing a task because it is rewarding / meaningful for you. Having intrinsic motivation for a task means it’s important to you and your personal values. You believe in the goal or task, rather than performing an activity for its own sake. A task driven by extrinsic motivation, is doing something because of external force. This is often a performance related bonus or target, or an instruction from a Manager, for example.
Why do intrinsic motivators matter?
If you focus on losing weight for aesthetic reasons, you are seeking an external reward. This might be someone passing a compliment. Or you may diet hard Monday to Friday so that you can gorge on crap food at the weekend. These rewards are fleeting, rarely do they create sustained success or satisfaction.
Changing shape to play ball with your kids, because it will help them develop, is intrinsic. The motivation comes from inside of you, because you have belief in the goal and passion.
Summary: There are many reasons why you may feel demotivated. It’s important to understand why you are feeling that way. Is your reason listed above? What can you do about it? Is the task you are struggling with forced on you, or is it something you believe in? If the motivation in extrinsic, work to create belief in the longterm benefits of the task! Very often we can control the intrinsic motivators but not extrinsic!
"Motivation by an external force such as money, will never pay well. Align your motivation with your beliefs"- unknown