External factors of motivation come from outside sources such as friends, family, teachers, role models etc. Offering prize money and material rewards can also help to motivate people on an external level. These types of encouragement can be good at times but because we have no direct control over them, as a source of motivation they can be fairly inconsistent.
Providing an internal reason to follow through on your goal is a much more powerful type of motivation. Having an inner flame to constantly spark the fire is the most reliable form of motivation one can have. Desire for self improvement, a vision, a dream or working towards some sort of personal achievement are all types of internal motivation.
Using outside influences can help to motivate a person initially but at the end of the day it is the internal factors, the inner desire that will keep the motivation sustained in the long run. It is the inner passion that will drive you to the end. It is the inner fire that is the key to your success!
Defining A Goal
The first step to getting motivation is to define the goal, the purpose, and the desired outcome. When you have a clear picture in mind it is easier to set the path to where you need to go. Without this goal and insight it is easy to float around mindlessly without direction and with a lack of motivation to do much of anything.
It can be of great help to write down your goals, figure out your whys, and predict any potential setbacks. This is an essential exercise for motivation and success that should be done on a regular basis. Goals change over time as does your place on the path toward achieving them, it is important to stay open to the process and review your goals as needed.
Losing weight is always a common example... say you want to lose 20 pounds. Great you have a goal, now what? Break it down into smaller steps like this:
- Join a gym
- Make commitment to go at least 3-4 times a week (be specific with days and times and try your hardest not to break these "gym dates")
- Clean out cupboards of junk and learn about healthier food choices
Identifying A 'Why'
Next it is important to identify a 'why'. Why is it so important for you to achieve this goal? Having a good reason to follow through on your ideas and reminding yourself of it daily can act as a source of motivation on those days when you are feeling a bit under the weather.
- Why am I currently unhappy with this situation?
- Why did I get to this place?
- Why must I make the changes to get back on track?
Knowing that taking a step, no matter how small, is going to bring you one step closer to your goal can often be enough to kick start the engine and get you out the door. Some questions to consider:
Not only do you need to consistently follow through on your goals but the act of getting into motion can be another unexpected form of motivation in itself. When results can be seen and felt motivation only gets stronger.
- Have I hit a rough patch before that I have managed to overcome?
- What will happen if I do choose to give up now?
- How will I feel in a week if I let go of my goals once more?
The more you can discipline yourself to follow through on your actions, regardless of your mood or any external factors that may arise, the easier keeping yourself motivated will become. You will no longer have to consciously think about it, it will become part of your daily lifestyle.
There will be setbacks on the way so it is important that you can begin to learn from these and move on quickly (hopefully stronger than before).
It is easy to be bumped off course and let your goals and dreams fall by the way side.
To stay motivated it is essential to learn from each mistake and get back on course straight away. This is the only way to ensure success.
Use your setbacks and challenges as lessons, not as obstacles on the course. When you are having a bad run stop and think:
Some days motivation is stronger than others and the desire to "get up and at 'em" waxes and wanes. In such times it is helpful to review you goals, your purpose and to acknowledge how far you have already come. But most importantly, "just do it!" You know how good you will feel at the end.