the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
"escape can be a strong motivation for travel"
motive · motivating force · incentive · stimulus · stimulation · inspiration · impulse · inducement · incitement · spur · goad · provocation · reason · rationale · ground(s)
the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
"keep staff up to date and maintain interest and motivation"
enthusiasm · drive · ambition · initiative · determination · enterprise · sense of purpose · get-up-and-go
When your motivation is high -- nothing can stop you! But when your motivation drops - the things you did yesterday seem almost impossible.
Let's assume that you don't have any physical reason (hormones, illness, grief, depression) for losing your motivation. Often it is a result of something small, like a weight gain after a holiday, a plateau because you have been dieting for awhile and you body is taking time to catch up, something bad happens at work and you just lose your mojo, your boyfriend or girlfriend dumps you, holidays came and went and took your reason to lose with it. So how do you get your motivation back?
If you have read any of my blogs recently you know that I have been working on reprogramming my brain. Guess what? Motivation can be reprogrammed into that brain, too. Here are the simple steps:
1. Make a plan for your day -- nothing too big or overwhelming - something like eat when I get hungry and stop eating when I am full. Take a 10 minute walk around the yard. Sit for a minute or two and think about what you have to be grateful for.
2. Write that plan down in a journal so that you can see each of these things separately and check them off as you do them.
3. At the end of the day - take a few minutes to review what you did. Give yourself congratulations, a little happy dance that you were able to finish your plan.
4. Make a plan for the next day -- put everything on the list that you had the first day and add one more little thing. You might just want to change the minutes of walking to 15, you might add drinking some water, or sitting at the table to eat your meal. Nothing has to be huge, but you do have to write it down, check it off, and review the list and give yourself congratulations.
5. Keep repeating this plan and after a few days you will see that you are looking forward to adding new steps, you will be excited to get up in the morning and get your day going. And without really thinking about it your motivation will be back again.
Why does this work? Our brains are pretty simple. When you feed it little bits of information and then visually write it down and check it off a list - a small neurotransmitter of good feelings get pushed through your system. So as you stack up little wins you are giving yourself little shots of dopamine which keeps you wanting to come back for more. As all the little wins collect and create something bigger our motivation grows bigger to the point that your self confidence knows that even if you have a small interruption, you are motivated enough to just look at that as a small event, and you continue on your plan.
Of course it isn't easy in the beginning and there can be plateaus where you motivation feels less strong. For those times you just have to push yourself to do something new or change things up a little bit to make your plan more interesting and add a bit of newness to it again.
The most important thing to remember is not to quit, and to make this commitment solid. I guarantee that if you know you are not going to give up your brain also knows that you mean business. Our brain is like a 2 year old that needs a very strong, motivated, committed parent to take charge. Don't worry, the 2 yr old quiets down after awhile and you will be free sailing for good periods of time. Then you may have another blip where you have to pay attention to that 2 yr old, but it will be worth it. Keep your Dreams Alive.