General, Mental Health

Understanding Motivation

September 23, 2017

I’m sure we can all relate to struggling to get motivated. The times where you have lots of work to do, but sit and watch a season of your favourite show instead. There will be days, weeks, or even months that you put off going to the gym due to lack of what you think is motivation. Here’s the deal. Motivation isn’t your problem, there was evidently motivation there because you signed up for the gym. The problem is following through on that motivation.

Motivation is that voice in your head telling you that you want to be a vet, an author, a baker, etc. It’s that amazing idea you have for years, but never actually complete. This is because the follow-through takes time and energy which we often don’t have if we work full time, have families, etc. Motivation is of the mind meaning the only energy you take up with it is getting annoyed at yourself for not actually doing it.

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It can be hard to get things done in this world. You either don’t have the time or you do have the time but you need to rest. After a long week at work, your first thought is to take a break, not start your new career as a painter. We tell ourselves lies to get out of the things we’ve been meaning to do. “I’ll get it done tomorrow”, “One more episode then I start”, “I’m far too busy”. This is something we need to stop. Get up and do it. Long week at work? Fine. Pour a glass of wine (or drink the bottle) and start your new passion for knitting.

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Take it in steps. You don’t have to do it all at once. Take baby steps into completing what you need to do. For example, I’ve been talking about writing a book for years, but only recently have I started the process. I do this by writing the equivalent of 3 blog posts each time I sit down to write because then it doesn’t feel like a chore and I still have the time to settle in and get some relaxation time.

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Slot it in. Make time for it. Give yourself 1 or 2 hours a week to start off with and raise that time if need be. This means that you won’t have any excuses to get out of it. You’ll go and get it done because you haven’t scheduled anything else in that time. Along with this you should make a checklist of everything you have to do each time. If you’re going to the gym and want to fit a couple of different exercises in, make sure you allot time spaces to what you want to do and stick to it.

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Often all of this can take a lot of discipline, and that can be daunting. If you’re anything like me you put off studying and homework at school because no one was there to tell you to do it. Self-discipline is something that can only be learned through practice. If you don’t practice it you’ll never gain it.

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Do you have any more advice on acting on motivation? If so please share it down below!

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