We all have 3 choices when it comes to taking action. We can make things happen, watch things happen, or ask, “What happened?” In the end, it is entirely up to us. The only thing that changes is the outcome.
Since you are reading this post, I have a feeling that you are a person who makes or wants to make things happen. You set goals and try to stick with them. But at times you might hit a wall and just don’t seem to find the motivation to get back on track.
Well, you are not alone. I feel that way too from time to time. It is enough to skip a few days of exercise, stay up late watching a movie, have a couple of really busy weeks at work and your resolutions to get fit, to wake up early, to eat healthy are seriously challenged.
Once the habit is broken, it becomes hard to motivate yourself into starting over.
Good news is that it does not take much to spark inspiration and make a tiny effort towards rekindling your motivation. Bad news is that there are a few factors that make it difficult to feel excited and enthusiastic about anything.
When we confront and eliminate these factors, it becomes much easier to stay motivated, boost your productivity and actually enjoy what we do.
Four Factors that Make You Hard to Motivate
Factor #1: Negative attitude
Your mindset is a major factor in your motivation. The way you perceive the situation will determine the kind of action you take on it. If you believe that you are not talented/ young/ pretty/ interesting enough than your mind will stay focused on supplying you with the data that confirms this belief.
I recently read an interesting study that described the connection between negative thoughts containing words such as “never”, “can’t”, “worried”, “tired”, “sad” and the production of chemicals that weaken our body and even lower our immune system. A negative attitude does not just hurt our sense of self-worth and performance. It drains our energy, making it hard even to think about making positive changes in our life.
The key to regaining your mental strength and motivation is to start with small changes in your attitude and your language. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, make an effort to find at least 3 positive things about the situation or another person.
Factor #2: Wrong goals
When I first got into the field of goal setting, I was surprised that so many programs taught you how to achieve your goals, but no one talked about choosing the right goal.
As strange as it may sound, a lot of our efforts and motivation is wasted, because we work hard on the wrong things. Instead of analyzing our goals and planning our time, we prefer to be doing something. As a result we spend an inordinate amount of time doing unimportant things and then have no energy and motivation left to work on the goals that truly matter.
The way I see it – if you are going to work hard, you might as well spend this enthusiasm and effort pursuing the right goals. That’s actually the essence of SMART Goal Setting.
Factor #3: Lack of self-knowledge
Motivation is an emotion and as any emotion it comes and goes. What helps me to stick with my goals is a realization that if I don’t feel motivated to do something now, it does not mean that my intrinsic motivation is gone forever. It is kind of like smiling, when you feel down.
If we start smiling even when we don’t feel like it, our brain starts to release feel-good hormones and our mood actually improves. The same goes for motivation. If you make an effort and begin working on a task that you do not feel like doing, soon you may discover that your motivation is back.
Factor #4: Comfort zone
Most of us feel inner resistance when we approach a situation that challenges our inner beliefs, requires us to break our habitual thinking patterns, or is new to our experience.
The unknown is always uncomfortable.
Each time we are presented with a new opportunity, idea or experience, we check if it fits our comfort zone. If it does not, we simply dismiss it. No second thoughts and no questions asked. But what if the ideas we have dismissed so easily were brilliant, the opportunities life-changing and the experiences truly gratifying? The problem is that we will never find out until we challenge our comfort zone and give them a try. I know that it sounds obvious – we know that we have to keep our mind open to new opportunities and say “yes” to new ideas more often.
But do we really do it?