Motivation is a tricky thing… sometimes it’s our best friend right there with us keeping us going, and at other times it’s so elusive we wonder if we’ve ever known motivation at all!
The lack of motivation in my life often results in procrastination and all the ugly that goes with it. But, the presence of motivation – ah, when that fickle friend is around – what great things we do!
But what is the essence of motivation? Experts have said it’s the will to do something, and all the thoughts and intents and psychology that bring you to act on that “something.” Yet, that will have to cross a “pain point” to ignite motivation. When the pain of doing “something” is greater than the pain of not doing “something” we are motivated to do it! So, in reality, motivation is a choice, a decision regarding the pain of doing something or the pain of remaining the same, and we will stay in that no man’s land of indecision until a choice is made regarding which is greater.
Get Started: Motivation Inspired
My thoughts immediately went to past experiences, and I asked myself what I’ve done in the past that helped to get me out of the barren land of procrastination. Of course, I’ve tried books, listening to inspirational podcasts, chatted with friends, and watched helpful youtube videos. Each of these reinforced my knowledge that I needed to do something, but did they motivate me? In the end, motivation required action. My action. I love this quote “Motivation is the result of action, not the cause of it.” Getting started, putting that one foot forward, taking action actually produces motivation and of course momentum for carrying on! We all know once we’ve gotten started it’s so much easier to keep going!
Get Intentional: Motivation Simplified
We talk a lot about being intentional in the homeschool mom world. Why is this any different? If so many other areas of life require us to be intentional then this definitely should. Motivation – requires us to be intentional. Just like target practice if we have no bullseye we will never hit the target. Set schedules, make an appointment, do what it takes to help you take action on the “something” that needs to be accomplished!
Get Consistent: Motivation in Action
Everyone in the mom club has said it – consistency is key. Truthfully, that doesn’t just apply to childrearing it should apply to our personal lives as well. It’s so important to establish consistency in the “behind the scenes” of our life. So, you’ve taken the step to be intentional, and you’ve created a schedule, set reminders, made appointments, now take the step and follow through. And, don’t stop! Keep on following through until your efforts become a habit. You’ve then removed the necessity for a decision in the areas where you’ve lacked motivation. You’ve made it simpler to do the task and keep doing that “something” even when there is no energy, when it’s difficult, and when you are not motivated.
The goal is to make it easy to start and easy to keep going. Remove all know obstacles, and be intentional about setting yourself up for success.
We understand how important it is to just get started – put action to the need – and we know we have to be intentional if we are going to get anywhere, but getting consistent with our schedule and our actions is the key to throwing open the door to motivation. However, there are a few additional ways to fan the flames of motivation in your life.
- Make the tasks appropriately challenging. If it’s too easy you’ll get bored – if it’s to difficult you’ll be discouraged. But just out of reach is just right to motivate us!
- Find your zone. My husband is a runner and as he begins his run he calms his breathing, gets quiet, focuses, and finds a rhythm. Once, he finds that zone he experiences a boost in happiness and a feeling of achievement. The key to finding your “zone” is doing the things that bring you to that place. Maybe it’s music – maybe it’s quiet – whatever helps you find your zone do it!
- Remind yourself that what you are doing is good and you’ll feel good about accomplishing it later!
- Every task has an endpoint. It may be a tough one – but remember anyone can do something for an hour or two!
- Build in rewards. So, you’ve taken that first step, build a schedule, became intentional, and followed through. You’ve even made it a habit – great job by the way – now reward yourself with something that brings you joy!
Every day is a battle against what we “want to do” and what we don’t. I know in my life, I’m my own worst enemy. I am tempted to listen to the lies and accusations my own mind hurls at me… but you don’t have to! Rise above sweet friend, and take that first step!
with grace and joy,