Motivation is our enthusiasm or reason for doing something. It can get us out of bed early, have us working late on something, and can be a very powerful driving force for change.
Motivation is not constant, it comes and goes. None of us are motivated all the time. So what can you do when you’re motivation dips. Here are some tips which may help when you have 'One Of Those Days' and your motivation is lacking.
Whatever your ambitions, whether you want to be more physically active, or you’re studying for a tough exam, try digging into why you're doing this to help find your deep motivation.
For example your reason for being more active might be to lose weight. But even that probably has a deeper motivation, such as improving your self-confidence, living a longer life or setting a good example for your children.
Thinking about your deeper motivation will help you stay true to your goals when the going gets tough.
Whether it’s a star chart, ticking off sessions on a calendar, or using Active Teams to chart your activity progress, being able to see the work you've done and how much progress you've made can be a great motivator for carrying on.
Break a big goal down into smaller goals to stop it feeling overwhelming. If you want to run a 5k, or a 10k or a marathon, you don’t start by just trying to achieve that right off the bat.
Start small and build up over time. Even if you don’t feel naturally talented at something, showing up and doing it is what gets everyone across the line in the end.
If you have setbacks, don’t be too hard on yourself. Be willing to adjust your goals and approach as needed to stay motivated, it’s better to do less and build back up than to give up!
This one really can’t be underestimated! Many famous writers recommend just writing something every day, knowing much will be edited out. But the 'Just Do It' slogan is true to many pursuits in life. You won’t get better if you don’t do it.
For those wanting to be more active but who lack motivation, just get your workout clothes on and do one minute of activity. If you can’t be bothered with more, just try again tomorrow. At some point you’ll be doing 5 and then ten minutes.
If you live with your family, you may have to work with them to carve out a time that’s for you, but setting a time when you work towards your goal will help you stay true to it.
Although some goals can’t be done with other people, many can. Exercising or studying with a friend means you’re more likely to show up, and you’re more likely to have fun.
Working with other people also means you’re likely to get more positive affirmation about your progress and achievements, which data tells us makes a significant difference for many of us. If you haven’t got a friend who fancies doing the same thing as you, why not try to find a local or virtual group that does?
Varying how you approach working towards your goal will help to keep things interesting.
For those wanting to be more active, you may not get on with running or swimming, but there are loads of activities which you might enjoy more. Have you tried dancing or weightlifting or climbing or a team sport? Can you listen to music or podcasts, or wear something you love while you’re getting after it?
Pay attention to the good feelings which you may have during, and almost certainly after, your activity.
Setting achievable goals and completing them makes us feel good because our brain rewards us with a natural dopamine hit!
For those who have goals around physical activity, scientists tell us that regular exercise increases serotonin levels in our bodies too, which is a natural 'feel good' chemical.
There are lots of ways we can help train our brains towards positivity, here are just a few:
Be thankful – Remember that not everyone has the capacity or ability to work away on their personal goals.
Learn how Active Teams boosts workplace health and performance using 'The Miracle Cure' of activity.