There are several types of motivation, but most of them require some type of thought ahead of time. What does motivation do? It makes you get going. But in order to go somewhere, you need to know where that somewhere is. There are two ways to determine the direction you’re going in life: run towards something or run away from something.
Warning: Motivating yourself does take work. You will not do this by accident. You have to think of what motivates you and create a reminder of that thing. This can be sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, a video you watch every day while your coffee brews, something you see when you get in the car, a picture you keep at work, or whatever CONSTANT reminder of your chosen form of motivation happens to be. Here’s the warning: you have to do something, make something, write something down, tape something somewhere. It will not happen without a PHYSICAL reminder of your motivation.
Run away from something…
What You DON’T Want to Be
This is the stereotypical “put a picture of a morbidly obese person on the fridge” type of motivation. I’ll tell you up front that it’s not my personal cup of tea when it comes to types of motivation. Psychologically speaking, I think the pull of working towards a goal is stronger than that of running away from a hypothetical situation.
What You Don’t Want to Be ANYMORE
If you must run away something, here’s my recommendation. Pick a time in your life that you changed something, made yourself better, stopped a bad behavior, started a good behavior, got rid of a negative influence, etc. Put up a reminder that you overcame that thing, and you will be motivated not only not to go back to the bad thing, but motivated by knowing the inner power you must have because you did it.
Run towards something…
People You Want to Be Like
This is a fun one. You get to figure out what you want to do and find people that have done that. Want to lose weight? Check out some “after” pictures from other people’s journeys, look at pictures of athletes, fighters, trainers, etc. Want to stay motivated at work? Try researching people who have kicked butt at what you’re trying to do. Want to be a stronger person emotionally? Look at fighters, motivators, role models….listen to speeches, watch inspirational parts of movies, listen to music with uplifting lyrics. Emulating a person who has achieved what you want to do will not only motivate you, but give you a possible path of how to get there.
Where You Want to Be/Do
This is the fun part. Take a few minutes and picture yourself in 5 years. Picture yourself waking up. Where are you? What do you look like? What do you do every morning? Picture your work life. What do you do every day? What have you accomplished? How much money do you make? Whatever area you need motivating, picture how that area of your life looks once you’ve already accomplished. Then create a PHYSICAL reminder of that end goal and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Whenever you look at this, take a couple seconds to picture your life once you’ve successfully accomplished your goals.
Homework: Take 5 WHOLE MINUTES and brainstorm what actually motivates you. You'll know it when you hit it because it will make you want to go out and do something RIGHT NOW. That's motivation. That's what it does. Then take another 5 whole minutes to create a physical reminder (note, post it, video, picture, whatever...) that reminds you of this motivation and put it somewhere you'll see it AT LEAST 3x A DAY. If this doesn't make a quantifiable difference in your motivation level, I'll eat my dumbbells...