According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, motivation is a force, stimulus or influence, i.e. incentive or drive. Motivation is what causes us to act, whether it is to get a glass of water, do work, read a book, or drive to work every day and do your best. It seems that some people have more motivation than others, and many clients have come to my office asking how to increase their own motivation. Here are some tips.
The first thing to do is set a goal. It helps to post the goal somewhere you will regularly see it. Write it on a sticky note, make a memo, leave yourself a message on your phone. Try to set only one goal at a time and work on that goal until you have accomplished it. The feeling of accomplishment will help you set more goals in the future and will in itself become a motivator. If you take on too much at once, you can become overwhelmed and start to feel a drain on your energy.
Second, get excited about your goal. Some goals are easier to get excited about than others. If your goal is to do a better job at work, perhaps your excitement has to come with the sense of achievement you know you will feel when you have accomplished it. Another way to get excited is to talk to people about your goals. Sometimes just talking about what you want to accomplish motivates you.
Third, think about the benefits, not the difficulties. When you dwell on how hard something is, it almost becomes harder. You dread doing it. You are afraid you will fail. When you think about the benefits you will achieve from your hard work, it motivates you to stick with it. Focus on the positive, not the negative.
Finally, engage in positive thinking. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Recognize negative thoughts and stop them before they get a chance to start. As the old saying goes, “you can’t stop a thought from running through your head, but you can keep it from building a nest there.”
Resources that can help improve motivation include two books: I Dare You, by John Danforth, and Motivation and Goal Setting, by Jim Cairo.
The experienced consultants at BJC EAP can help you deal with issues relating to motivation. For more information, contact us or call 314.747.7490 or toll-free 888.505.6444.