Achievement Motivation

Over the years, behavioral scientists have noticed that some people have an intense desire to achieve something, while others may not seem that concerned about their achievements. This phenomenon has attracted a lot of discussions and debates. Scientists have observed that people with a high level of achievement motivation exhibit certain characteristics. Achievement motivation is the tendency to endeavor for success and to choose goal oriented success or failure activities.

Achievement motivation forms to be the basic for a good life. People who are oriented towards achievement, in general, enjoy life and feel in control. Being motivated keeps people dynamic and gives them self-respect. They set moderately difficult but easily achievable targets, which help them, achieve their objectives. They do not set up extremely difficult or extremely easy targets. By doing this they ensure that they only undertake tasks that can be achieved by them. Achievement motivated people prefer to work on a problem rather than leaving the outcome to chance. It is also seen that achievement motivated people seem to be more concerned with their personal achievement rather than the rewards of success.

It is generally seen that achievement motivated people evidenced a significantly higher rate of advancement in their company compared to others. Programs and courses designed, involves seven “training inputs.” The first step refers to the process through which achievement motivation thinking is taught to the person. The second step helps participants understand their own individuality and goals. The third assist participants in practicing achievement-related actions in cases, role-plays, and real life. A fourth refers to practicing of achievement-related actions in business and other games. A fifth input encourages participants to relate the achievement behavior model to their own behavior, self-image, and goals. The sixth program facilitates participants to develop a personal plan of action. Finally, the course provides participants with feedback on their progress towards achieving objectives and targets.

Achievement motivation as a branch of study has greatly established its prominence. A number of companies are now training their employees in the same.

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Motivation Strategies That Work

Whether in a business place, school classroom or in the home, motivation strategies that work the best are those that work the longest. Many seminars and classes are held for the purpose of motivating, but only work temporarily. There are ways to achieve long term motivation that will serve to continually reach mutual goals.

It can be said that there are several motivation strategies that are used to achieve goals. These are:

1) Team Work. Peer pressure is often seen as a negative force, but when applied in a team work situation, it can work in an opposite manner. Teams are often formed to accomplish a goal with the idea that peer pressure within the group will result in every member putting their best foot forward; each operating at their optimal levels.

2) Personal Involvement. Enabling an individual or group to set and announce their own goals often has positive results. Verbalizing the intentions is an important aspect of this method, as a commitment to the goal will be realized. Making the goals publicly known creates additional drive, most likely because it is seen as a promise.

3) Job Augmentation. Styling a job so that it has more interest and appeal is one of the motivation strategies not often implemented in the US but common overseas. Performing the same job over and over again results in a monotony that can hardly be counted as motivating. Form a group of individuals who all play a part in the completion of a job cycle, say assembly, where each person rotates jobs in a “cross training” exercise, and motivation increases because interest has now been piqued.

4) Incentives. The idea that providing rewards for a job well done is sound, but can become difficult if the employer’s idea of a reward differs from that of the employee’s. As each person has their own needs that drive motivation, it could be hard to hit upon the right incentives.

5) Exchanges. Exchanges provide one of those motivation strategies that can become convoluted. It is quite similar to offering incentives, only on a more temporary basis. For example, completing a specific job within a time frame could reward the employee with an extra day off. This is often used in the workplace, but there are frequent disagreements as to what a fair exchange actually is.

6) Competition. Sales oriented business use this often. “Be the first to sell 15 cars per week and win a trip to the Caribbean!” Healthy competition is embraced, but not if goals are set too high.

7) Fear. Sadly, motivation strategies employed by a company often include fear of loss of benefits, money and even jobs.

Implementing motivation strategies such as these can help to improve goal achievement. Which type works best is dependent on the type of company, but each has great merit when applied pro

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Proven Strategies That Decrease Distraction and Increase Self-Motivation

WHY IS KEEPING YOURSELF MOTIVATED SUCH HARD WORK?

We live in a busy world with so many distractions, making it easier for us to get sidelined and lose track of what is important to us. We lose sight of what we want and what we should be doing. If there are a lot of distractions that keep you from doing what you need to be doing, then you need to make some changes.

WHAT DOES SELF-MOTIVATION MEAN?

Remez Sasson, founder and owner of Success Consciousness: Mental Tools for a Great Life, says the following about motivation:

“Motivation is the inner power that pushes you toward taking action toward achievement. Motivation is powered by desire and ambition; if these two principles are absent then motivation is absent too. You may want something or feel that you want to achieve a certain goal; however if the desire and ambition are not strong enough, you lack the push, the initiative, and the willingness to take the necessary action, your chances of success are limited because your motivation is weak. When there is motivation, there is initiative, direction, courage, energy, and the persistence to follow your goals.”

KEEPING YOURSELF MOTIVATED:

Being motivated means that you are aligned with your goals and values so that you are clear on what is important to you and why it is important to you. This helps in maintaining discipline and focus. In order to do this successfully, take the time to determine those values and prioritize the ones that are most important to you.

Keeping yourself motivated means that you have a clear vision of how you and your life will be different once you achieve your goals. More importantly, you use the visualization to generate the powerful feelings associated with successfully achieving the goal. Developing this important skill will allow you to see yourself implementing those important action steps that you need to take in order to achieve your goal.

Rehearsing, preparation, breaking things down into smaller more manageable steps; becoming more organized, determining what is urgent and non-urgent, and what will become urgent if not addressed, will go a long way towards reducing distraction and embracing the hard work that is needed to get you where you want to go. Using the power of visualization with any one of these steps will keep you focused and enhance your self- motivation.

Keeping yourself motivated requires a high level of self-discipline, self-honesty and self-monitoring to deal with the distractions that can get in your way. In monitoring your thoughts, actions and behaviors you accept the fact that you alone are accountable and responsible for the outcome of your success.

Motivated people are able to do what needs to be done, without influence from other situations or people. They do not give up when challenged, as they are able to rely on their own strength, reason and resilience. Although you can certainly benefit from encouragement and support, at the end of the day your achievement of success will come down to your inner abilities. To be self-motivated means that there is no outside force or person pushing you to become what you want to. The locus of control is within you and not based on others.

MAKE THE EFFORT TO GET MOTIVATED:

Take the effort to make sure that you are completely absorbed and laser-focused in what you are doing by following these important principles:

  • Take care of your distractions – pay attention to what trips you up and gets in the way of you achieving success
  • Take the time to find ways to quiet the mind; slowing down and listening to the voice within goes a long way to helping you to know what is important
  • Mirror and copy role models. The fact is that success leaves clues and guidelines for you to follow. Implement and do what successful people do.

JUST A FEW SELF-MOTIVATION TIPS:

Here are a few tips to aid you in staying motivated:

1. Fill your mind with positive information, visual aids, pictures, words of encouragement and quotes; read, listen and view information that feeds your mind and helps you to stay focused on what you want to achieve.

2. Surround yourself with positive people and protect your vibrational energy. Stay away from energy vampires – those negative people who pull you down, drain your energy and deflate your spirit.

3. Pay attention to your self-talk. Ensure that your inner dialogue is positive, supportive, encouraging and stays connected to your wise mind

4. Cultivate laughter and play in your life. What you do with your down-time (scheduling down-time) is just as important as what you do when you are working towards your goals.

5. Hire a Coach or connect to a Mentor – someone who has achieved what you aspire to who can show you the steps to get what you want and where you want to go, as well as hold you accountable.

The whole concept of self-motivation and success lies within you. There is no external force and power that can MAKE you stay motivated. Motivation comes from within you and no one else. We all lose our ability to concentrate and focus from time to time; address those motivational slumps and eliminate the things that distract and take away your focus by making your self-motivation a priority. When your self-motivation is a priority you enhance your overall state of mental health and general sense of wellbeing. You become more self-sufficient and self-reliant, both of which go a long way to boost your confidence and enhance your self-esteem.

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Motivation For Achievement

What makes the difference between those people who are very inspired to achieve something and those who are not so determined? Those who do almost everything to excel and succeed by putting in a lot of effort and those who don't work as hard and for whom it is not that important?

The difference lies in the motivation for achievement.

What is Motivation for Achievement?

It can be defined as

o Having a strong desire to accomplish something

o Striving for a standard of excellence

o Expending effort in order to excel

o Having an appetite to accomplish a difficult result

o Being driven to outperform others

According to research by David McClelland it has been found that people with a high motivation for achievement work harder, are more future oriented, more innovative, more persistent and they desire success much more than they fear failure. An interesting point is also that they attribute success to internal factors (like optimists do) as opposed to external factors (as do pessimists). In terms of choosing their challenge they have the ability to distinguish a suitable task as being challenging but not impossible. This means that they choose their task wisely and therefore experience the satisfaction of reaching their goals. People with a low motivation for achievement interestingly either choose tasks that are too challenging, in which they are more prone to fail, or tasks that are too easy, in which there is not enough stimulation.

Can you train Motivation for Achievement?

Experiments have shown that humans indeed can learn to become more achievement motivated. You can even learn and teach it to yourself.

As with any behavioral change it is a process over time. Firstly, practice choosing tasks or set goals that are at a suitable level: challenging and yet achievable. Secondly you put more focus on and celebrate your successes rather than being focused on and frustrated about your failures. Thirdly you need to practice being persistent.

Which one of the three steps mentioned here do you want to focus on and in which way is it achievable and still challenging for you?

Like the Japanese proverb says: 'Fall down seven times, get up eight.'

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Three Factors Of Leadership Motivation

Leaders do nothing more important than get results. But you can’t get results by yourself. You need others to help you do it. And the best way to have other people get results is not by ordering them but motivating them. Yet many leaders fail to motivate people to achieve results because those leaders misconstrue the concept and applications of motivation.

To understand motivation and apply it daily, let’s understand its three critical factors. Know these factors and put them into action to greatly enhance your abilities to lead for results.

1. MOTIVATION IS PHYSICAL ACTION. “Motivation” has common roots with “motor,” “momentum,” “motion,” “mobile,” etc. — all words that denote movement, physical action. An essential feature of motivation is physical action. Motivation isn’t about what people think or feel but what they physically do. When motivating people to get results, challenge them to take those actions that will realize those results.

I counsel leaders who must motivate individuals and teams to get results not to deliver presentations but “leadership talks.” Presentations communicate information.. But when you want to motivate people, you must do more than simply communicate information. You must have them believe in you and take action to follow you. A key outcome of every leadership talk must be physical action, physical action that leads to results.

For instance, I worked with the newly-appointed director of a large marketing department who wanted the department to achieve sizable increases in the results. However, the employees were a demoralized bunch who had been clocking tons of overtime under her predecessor and were feeling angry that their efforts were not being recognized by senior management.

She could have tried to order them to get the increased results. Many leaders do that. But order-leadership founders in today’s highly competitive, rapidly changing markets. Organizations are far more competitive when their employees instead of being ordered to go from point A to point B want to go from point A to point B. So I suggested that she take a first step in getting the employees to increase results by motivating those employees to want to increase results. They would “want to” when they began to believe in her leadership. And the first step in enlisting that belief was for her to give a number of leadership talks to the employees.

One of her first talks that she planned was to the department employees in the company’s auditorium.

She told me, “I want them to know that I appreciate the work they are doing and that I believe that they can get the results I’m asking of them. I want them to feel good about themselves.”

“Believing is not enough,” I said. “Feeling good is not enough. Motivation must take place. Physical action must take place. Don’t give the talk until you know what precise action you are going to have happen.”

She got the idea of having the CEO come into the room after the talk, shake each employee’s hand, and tell each how much he appreciated their hard work — physical action. She didn’t stop there. After the CEO left, she challenged each employee to write down on a piece of paper three specific things that they needed from her to help them get the increases in results and then hand those pieces of paper to her personally — physical action.

Mind you, that leadership talk wasn’t magic dust sprinkled on the employees to instantly motivate them. (To turn the department around so that it began achieving sizable increases in results, she had to give many leadership talks in the weeks and months ahead.) But it was a beginning. Most importantly, it was the right beginning.

2. MOTIVATION IS DRIVEN BY EMOTION. Emotion and motion come from the same Latin root meaning “to move”. When you want to move people to take action, engage their emotions. An act of motivation is an act of emotion. In any strategic management endeavor, you must make sure that the people have a strong emotional commitment to realizing it.

When I explained this to the chief marketing officer of a worldwide services company, he said, “Now I know why we’re not growing! We senior leaders developed our marketing strategy in a bunker! He showed me his “strategy” document. It was some 40 pages long, single-spaced. The points it made were logical, consistent, and comprehensive. It made perfect sense. That was the trouble. It made perfect, intellectual sense to the senior leaders. But it did not make experiential sense to middle management who had to carry it out. They had about as much in-put into the strategy as the window washers at corporate headquarters. So they sabotaged it in many innovative ways. Only when the middle managers were motivated — were emotionally committed to carrying out the strategy — did that strategy have a real chance to succeed.

3. MOTIVATION IS NOT WHAT WE DO TO OTHERS. IT’S WHAT OTHERS DO TO THEMSELVES. The English language does not accurately depict the psychological truth of motivation. The truth is that we cannot motivate anybody to do anything. The people we want to motivate can only motivate themselves. The motivator and the motivatee are always the same person. We as leaders communicate, they motivate. So our “motivating” others to get results really entails our creating an environment in which they motivate themselves to get those results.

For example: a commercial division leader almost faced a mutiny on his staff when in a planning session, he put next year’s goals, numbers much higher than the previous year’s, on the overhead. The staff all but had to be scrapped off the ceiling after they went ballistic. “We busted our tails to get these numbers last year. Now you want us to get much higher numbers? No way!”

He told me. “We can hit those numbers. I just have to get people motivated!”

I gave him my “motivator-and-motivatee-are-the-same-person!” pitch. I suggested that he create an environment in which they could motivate themselves. So he had them assess what activities got results and what didn’t. They discovered that they spent more than 60 percent of their time on work that had nothing to do with getting results. He then had them develop a plan to eliminate the unnecessary work. Put in charge of their own destiny, they got motivated! They developed a great plan and started to get great results.

Over the long run, your career success does not depend on what schools you went to and what degrees you have. That success depends instead on your ability to motivate individuals and teams to get results. Motivation is like a high voltage cable lying at your feet. Use it the wrong way, and you’ll get a serious shock. But apply motivation the right way by understanding and using the three factors, plug the cable in, as it were, and it will serve you well in many powerful ways throughout your career.

2004 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: [email protected]

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How to Increase Motivation

Motivation is an important factor that plays a very important role in enhancing efficiency and boosting productivity. Motivation drives people to perform their best in all the activities carried out by them. Lack of motivation hampers productivity and damages growth prospects. Managers and leaders are required to increase employee and team morale. They may use various means or incentives to increase motivation. This differs from person to person and from situation to situation.

Attending personal development workshops can increase personal motivation. Seminars, training programs or vocational courses can help people boost their personal levels of motivation. People are also advised to read or listen to inspirational material. This plays an important role in increasing their personal level of motivation. Another significant way by which people can increase their personal motivation is by associating with positive people.

In order to achieve organizational goals and objectives, managers and team leaders are required to increase the morale of their employees and subordinates. They are advised to constantly stay in touch with their employees and improve modes of communication in order to facilitate adequate feedbacks. Appropriate allocation of authority and designation of responsibility also helps in increasing motivation level among employees. It is commonly seen that financial incentives and perquisites offered also prove to be the most effective motivational tools in the hands of employers. Recognizing talent and giving due praise when required also helps in boosting employee motivation.

A number of theories have been compiled keeping in mind human psychology. "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" and "McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y" are the most famous theories that have been developed. These theories have immensely helped in understanding human behavior. They have analyzed human wants, which has made it easier to develop new and improved means of motivating employees and individuals.

Analyzing human behavior and accordingly satisfying wants can help to increase the level of motivation in a person.

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Motivation – Internal and External Motivators

Internal / Intrinsic Motivators:

Your motivation to accomplish your goal comes from within. It is determined by your personal values ​​and goals. The drive to do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing is essential for high levels of creativity. Enjoyment based internal motivation is the strongest and most pervasive driver as is a belief that it is a good or right thing to do. Often it is something we pursue even without a tangible result.

• Examples: Reading a nonfiction book because you are curious about the topic, or playing chess because you enjoy effortful thinking are internal motivation examples.

With internal motivation, it is much easier to stay motivated. Trying to find some internal value in everything you have to do can improve your overall performance and pleasure.

External / Extrinsic Motivators:

Your motivation to attain your goal comes from a source outside yourself. It reflects the desire to do something because of external rewards such as awards, money, and praise. People who are extrinsically motivated may not enjoy certain activities but engage in them because they wish to receive some external reward.

• Examples: The person who dislikes sales but accepts a sales position because he / she desires to earn an above average salary or selecting a major in college based on salary and prestige, rather than personal interest in the major are samples of external motivation.

It drives one to do things for tangible rewards or pressures, rather than for the fun of doing it. Performing tasks to look good or to please others can be difficult to maintain. It focuses people on the reward and not the action. In effect, extrinsic motivations can change something pleasurable into work.

When are you most effective? When are you so engaged that hours feel like minutes? What is the balance for you?

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Two-Factor Motivation of Direct Support Professionals

Motivation of Direct Support Professionals (DSP's) can be a daunting task. To examine ways to motivate DSP's we can consider the two-factor theory. The psychologist Frederick Herzberg studied and theorized the motivational theory or the two-factor theory. The Motivational Theory further refines Maslow's hierarchy of needs and applies to organizational motivation of employees.

The basic idea of ​​the theory, however, is that there are various factors in our workplaces that increase satisfaction, as well as an equal amount of dissatisfaction. These two causes are independent of each other. Hertzberg conducted an experiment where employees were asked what made them happy and sad at work. Analyzing the list, he found, that the two factors were unconnected. In order to explain this further, he developed the motivation-hygiene theory. Here, the motivational factors were the ones that satisfied the employees, while the hygiene factors (one that involves maintenance) were the dissatisfactory ones.

Leading to satisfaction (motivation) were listed as the achievement, personal recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement and growth needs. While the ones leading to dissatisfaction (hygiene) were: supervision, company policy, relationship with supervisor, work conditions, salary and relationship with coworkers. However, just because they are completely different from each other does not mean that they are opposing elements. Thus from analysing all these factors, he found that an individual can satisfy the needs such as achievement, competency, personal worth as well as status. However, the absence of these factors needs not necessarily lead to dissatisfaction or unhappiness.

That is why the theory divides the factors into two separate sections. Hertzberg felt that when an individual performed a work related activity by his choice, when he wants to, it becomes "motivation".

To answer what motivates DSP's, we need to take a look at the hygiene factors listed out by Herzberg. If those issues are tackled by the management in the company one-by-one, then it automatically translates into an increased sense of motivation. Amongst these, pay, working conditions and job security and the overall job satisfaction feature as some of the most important factors that motivate employees within an organization.

Hygiene factors may not lead to increased motivation, but the absence of these factors will lead to dissatisfaction. Dissatisfied people leave employment in an attempt to meet their hygiene factors. Take, for example, pay. Organizations often say that pay does not motivate employee's. Achievement, status and recognition is well known as motivating factors, but if hygiene needs are unmet, people will not likely be motivated. Reasonable compensation helps to provide for financial safety and security. Supervision, company policy, relationship with supervisor, work conditions, relationship with coworkers are important to employee satisfaction and money is just one part.

On a national average, DSP turnover rates exceed 70%. Pay hovers around federal minimum wage. Supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be a challenge, but it can also be a rewarding experience. Considering hygiene needs as means to stimulate motivation, just makes good business sense. Organization can accomplish this by applying a human perspective and emotional understanding.

DSP's often end employment at one agency and hop to another. Obviously, they enjoy the type of work, so what are they searching for?

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Understanding Motivation through Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

In 1943, American psychologist Abraham Maslow published a paper called A Theory of Human Motivation. In this paper, Maslow contended that human beings are motivated to fulfill basic needs and once those needs are met, they seek to satisfy successfully higher needs in a set of progressive hierarchies. It was previously believed that humans were only motivated to seek physiological needs such as warmth, shelter, food, water and sex, or in other words, the "animal needs" of the person. Maslow, however, contended that mere physiological needs were not enough to motivate a person completely as a conscious individual. Maslow contended that an individual's biological and safety needs represented only the basic underlying level of needs and that there were additional needs that the individual was motivated to pursue during the course of their lives. This was described by Maslow as the Hierarchy of Needs, also known as Maslow's Hierarchy.

The Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The theory behind Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is that there are five motivating layers of progressive needs that drive human behavior. Biological needs, such as the need for food and water, are at the bottom, because as we know, if we don't drink water, we will die. But once we meet all those biological needs, then it no longer becomes a driving force in our lives, and we rise up to a new layer of needs which we are motivated towards. Imagine a pyramid with five different layers. For the sake of this article, let's reference the bottom layer as layer # 1 and the top of the pyramid as layer # 5.

Layer # 1 – Physiological Needs

Physiological needs consist of the basic nutrients needed to support the biological existence of that individual as an organism. These include the need for oxygen, food and water, elimination of bodily waste, sleep, and body temperature. Arguably, the need for sex is also a physiological need in this category. Physiological needs represent the foundation of the hierarchy from which all other layers are built upon. Anytime when one of these physiological needs are threatened, all other needs will be inconsequential and the physiological needs will take priority.

Layer # 2 – Safety Needs

The second layer of the hierarchy is the need for safety and security. In order for this need to be fulfilled, a person needs to experience a sense of security in their lives and to live without fear. In the caveman days, this usually meant having a nice secure cave-dwelling that would protect him and his clan from the harsh environment, as well as other predatory animals and human enemies. Safety and security needs can include physical safety from violence, security of employment, financial security, security of good health and security of family.

Layer # 3 – Love & Belonging Needs

Belonging needs require that the person feel that they belong to a particular group, association, club, or team and that they are loved and shown affection by persons of their choosing. People have a need to be accepted and to belong in the groups that they associate with. These can be work groups, family groups, clubs, religious groups and even gangs. All people have a need to feel loved both sexually and non-sexually by other people and to be genuinely accepted by them. When these social needs are not met, people are susceptible to loneliness and depression as a result.

Layer # 4 – (Status) Esteem Needs

Esteem or status needs is having a need to be respected by others and to have respect for themselves. In order to gain recognition for themselves and to be respected by other people, included ourselves, we pursue activities, hobbies, and professional careers which give us a sense of self-value and also becomes an avenue to compare ourselves with others. Confidence, competence, and achievement fall under esteem needs. Lower-level esteem needs are fame, respect, and glory, but these are dependent upon other people to achieve and therefore are considered inferior to self-esteem, which is dependent only on the individual.

Layer # 5 – Self-Actualization

Self-actualization is realizing the potential of being the best that you can be in life. Self-actualizing people have a more efficient perception of reality. They have a superior ability to reason efficiently and logically. The self-actualizing person accepts themselves and the world that they live in as they are. They are able to enjoy themselves without regret, shame or apology, and do not have any unnecessary inhibitions. They are also spontaneous and motivated towards continual growth. They are promoted to a higher sense of duty. They are also able to be alone without being lonely. They are responsible for themselves and their their own behavior. The self-actualizing person has a fresh perspective and appreciation of all people as being basically good in life. Culture or stereotype associations with people do not taint them. They are also able to experience powerful feelings of unlimited horizons. They are able to see that they are both helpless and small in the world and also more powerful than anything physical on this world. The self-actualizing person develops an affection with the good, the bad and the ugly. The truth is clear to the self-actualizing person where others cannot see it.

© Copyright 2006 by Tristan Loo.

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Motivation – Starting Is the Hardest Part

Most people on this earth struggle with motivation, maybe even on a daily basis. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy. Sometimes tasks seem overwhelming. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we can postpone doing the things we need to do- that they aren’t necessary at the moment. Whatever our excuse, it feels SO MUCH BETTER to actually make progress with our goals. Even if it’s just the tiniest bit of hedge-way, doing something ALWAYS feels better than doing nothing.

In my years of experience grappling with the motivation/procrastination balance, I’ve found a few tricks to help me do the things I need to do. Hopefully you’ll find these tips as helpful in your life as they have been in mine!

1. Get organized

Making lists of what you need to do can help you see if there’s something you can take care of right away, or if you need to accomplish a few little things before you can tackle a harder task. It also makes your goals more manageable. Crossing something off of my To Do List after I’ve finished it feels extremely satisfying!

2. Just start something

Honestly some days after I get home from work, I just don’t feel like doing anything productive. The trick for me is to recognize the difference between being tired and being physically exhausted. If I’m exhausted, it’s better for me to rest and recuperate. If I’m just tired, then doing something useful actually gives me more energy and boosts my morale. So I try to just start doing things that need done. The other day, for example, I really didn’t feel like cleaning up, but my house begged to differ. So I started with something I like doing, and before I knew it I was cleaning things without even thinking about it. I emptied the dishwasher. I wiped off the counters. I organized the pantry. I took out the trash and the recycling. I was actually cleaning on autopilot, lost in my own thoughts and not even noticing how much work I was really accomplishing, when just minutes before I was considering lying down for a quick nap!

3. Acknowledge your accomplishments

I think this is a really important step that a lot of us are guilty of skipping. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we haven’t yet done that we forget to feel good about the things we have done. It’s so very important to acknowledge the positive things in our lives, no matter how small they may seem. When we gain confidence from recognizing what we’ve already done, it can give us the energy and motivation to tackle the harder tasks in our lives.

4. It doesn’t hurt to delegate

We are so centered on ourselves sometimes that we forget that it’s OK to ask for help. It’s definitely OK to ask your friends and family for assistance, and as long as you aren’t asking way too much, I promise you they’ll be very likely to want to help out. Don’t put the whole burden on yourself if you don’t have to!

5. The Twenty-Minute Trick

There are often times when the last thing in the world I want to do is the one thing I really need to get done. For me, it’s usually housework, paperwork, or making important phone calls. Then a friend of mine shared a tip that they found to work wonders for their own motivation- the Twenty Minute Trick. The thing is, it’s not all that hard to dedicate twenty minutes to a task. So when you find yourself unable to start on a particular task, set a timer for twenty minutes. When that time is up, feel free to stop. You’ve worked hard and accomplished a goal! Often times, however, I find myself ‘getting into the groove,’ and I don’t feel like stopping when the timer goes off. This trick has gotten me through a lot of motivation-lacking days!

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