What is Motivation, and How Do You Achieve It?
What is motivation, and how do you use it to reach treasured goals? How do you tap into that deep part of yourself to activate that special drive to achieve specific goals, to turn dreams into reality?
It is natural for human beings to have dreams, aspirations, and goals. People may tell you that what you are reaching for is impossible, but you don't have to listen to them. If you want to do something, utilize the tools you have - both externally and internally - to strive toward your most treasured aspirations. If you want to do something, just do it. Don't listen to anyone but your own internal voice.
The topic of motivation is important to me because I am on my own journey of reaching goals in my next life stage. There are plenty of people who think I am on a fool's errand, but I have always believed that if a person is passionate about something, if (s)he is truly driven, anything can be accomplished. I believe that to be true of everyone - including each and every one of you reading this article. The sky is truly the limit if you are motivated enough.
What is Motivation to YOU?
Without a doubt, you have been motivated at one time or another to do something, be someone, or any manner of things. Whether it's motivation to get good grades, be a more compassionate person, or earn a raise at work, something drives you. But have you actually stopped to think about the question: what is motivation? Let's break down the nuances below.
What is Motivation?
Merrium Webster defines "Motivation" as "the act or process of motivating," "the condition of being motivated," or "a motivating force, stimulus or influence: Incentive, Drive."The psychologists at Very Well Mind describe motivation in more concrete terms:
"The term motivation refers to factors that activate, direct, and sustain goal-directed behavior... Motives are the 'whys' of behavior—the needs or wants that drive behavior and explain what we do. We don't actually observe a motive; rather, we infer that one exists based on the behavior we observe."(Nevid, 2013)
However, you have to define that word for yourself in order to activate it in a real world sense. The answer to the question of "What is motivation," aside from the dictionary definitions, is unique to each and every one of us. So, you have look inward and answer that question for yourself.
How do you define motivation for yourself?
What is motivation? Well, the first basis for an answer is to consider what drives you. So, your job is to figure out your "why." It is different for each of us, but you can reach your personal answer by answering just a few questions:
- What is it that makes you want to put in the effort to reach your goals, whatever they may be?
- What is it inside YOU that drives you?
- What in your life has activated you to set certain goals in the first place?
- Where do you see yourself once the goal has been reached, and in what time frame are you hoping to achieve it?
You have to find that internal spark that we all have. Answering these questions can help give you your "why." It is different for everyone, but you will be well on your way once you take that first step.
Tips for Activating Your Motivation:
Once you've answered the question, what is motivation, it's time to set yours in motion. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. If this is the case for you, we've compiled a few tips top help you in your question to find out: what is motivation?
1. Identify the Goal You Want to Achieve
So, you have decided you want to improve yourself and your life. How you do that is personal to you, and different for each individual. The important thing is that you have taken the first step and decided that you want to make positive changes. So, in order to identify a goal, you first have to try to understand what it is that has made you want to make changes. What do you see as being wrong in your life? Once you figure out the answer to that question, you can set a goal to correct it.
Firstly, you have to make sure you are looking to achieve this goal for all the right reasons. For instance, let's say your goal is to lose weight. Why are you doing it? Are you doing it to feel better about yourself? Are you doing it to improve your health? Are you doing it so you like what you see in the mirror better? Only you can answer this question. The answer should always come back to doing this for some reason that is for you only, rather than to please others. We are always sure to fail in our goals if the motivation does not come from within. In short, make sure you feel empowered by your goal.
When answering the question of "what is motivation" on a personal level, you have to identify not only what you want to achieve, but why you want to achieve it. Without a clear cut set of principles in this direction, you will not get off the ground in your quest to begin with.
2. Set a Plan to Begin Meeting Your Goal
Now that you have identified what is wrong in your life and set the goal that you believe will bring improvement, it is time to set up a plan to figure out how to execute it. If we stick with the goal of losing weight, then you will need to take steps to make the lifestyle changes that will help you achieve that goal. The following generic steps will work while trying to achieve any goal:
- Set reasonable expectations for yourself. For instance, if you want to lose 60 pounds, set a reasonable time frame of 6-8 months.
- Find something that works for you and fits into your existing life. Do not worry about how others are doing, or what they are thinking.
- Figure out ways to keep yourself motivated, such as motivational quotes reminding you to love and be kind to yourself.
- Remember that changing your life is a journey. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not beat yourself up or give up just because you hit a bump in the road.
- Get excited! Remember, once you reach this goal, your life will have changed for the better.
3. Envision Your Life Once Your Goal Has Been Met
Now that you have figured out what your goal is, why you want to achieve it, and executed a plan to achieve it, here comes the fun part. Whether you are looking to drop a few pounds, save some extra money for a vacation you've always wanted to take, or get that promotion at work, you can now picture yourself at the end of your journey. Take it all in. Fantasize. Have clear pictures of yourself in your new office, or on the beach in Hawaii, or at your goal weight. Whatever your goal is, you now have the tools to meet it.
Stay motivated, remember your "why," and understand that a bump in the road does not mean you have failed. You now know what you want and why, and have a reason to stay motivated. Keep going, persevere, and most of all, believe in yourself. You deserve whatever improvement you are seeking. You will thank yourself when you look back at this day, and you are on the other side.
The Bottom Line
Motivation is personal for everyone. There is an infinite number of goals that people set for themselves, and an equally infinite number of reasons they do so. However, sometimes people just need to flesh out the reasons for what they are doing, what kinds of improvements can help with their problems, and figure out how to do it.
Life is a journey. Sometimes we identify issues, and need to find ways to make changes to make things better. That is where personal motivation comes in. Remember, once you find your "why," to quote the people of Very Well Mind, you are well on your way. Remember, love yourself. Empower yourself. Your motivation will come, and it will remain. You will come out on the other side, feeling better than ever.
Should you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below. If you loved the piece, and have found empowerment and motivation herein, feel free to tweet or share it on Pinterest, Facebook, or otherwise share on social media. Thank you for reading!
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