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5 Steps for Building Up Your Motivation

Ambition. Drive. Determination. Hunger.

These are all words that describe why we do the things we do. There are always reasons or factors that cause us to behave in particular ways or to pursue certain activities rather than others. These underlying causes are collectively referred to as motivation: the thing that pushes us on toward a goal.
Sometimes a lack of motivation can be to blame for less-than-idea results. If you are unable to complete work on schedule or up to the quality you expect of yourself, it may be because you are suffering from weak motivation. External factors (threats, monetary incentives, people telling you to do something) rarely work to make you feel really inspired. Rather, you need to find some internal means of lighting that fire again and increasing your motivation. Here’s how:

Step 1: Identify Reasons for Doing Something

Motivation is all about the reason “why” you’re trying to carry out an activity or reach a goal. Therefore, unless you know why you’re doing something, you won’t feel compelled to do it. Stop and consider the reasons for your actions. What is the end result you are hoping to achieve? What is your desired outcome? Articulate it clearly to yourself.

Step 2: Put Together a Plan

Once you have a goal in mind, you need a plan for reaching it. It’s like using a road map: without driving directions you might arrive at the intended destination, but it’s probably going to take you a lot longer. Using a map to plot out your course will make you more efficient and more productive.

Step 3: Write a Timetable for Implementing Your Plan

It’s not enough to simply develop a plan in theory. Plot it out by writing it down in black and white. For example, if your plan is to write one chapter of a dissertation each week, don’t just leave it at that. Get out your diary or day planner and write down the target deadlines.
Or type up a timetable with all the relevant deadlines, print it out, and hang it above your computer. Writing things down or having a visual schedule will incite action.

Step 4: Create an Incentive Plan

Incentives like monetary rewards don’t necessarily build up motivation, but promising yourself a reward for doing good work is another matter altogether. The key is picking a reward that means something to you. For example, if you really want to see that new movie, tell yourself you won’t be able to go unless you finish writing that proposal or paying the bills first!

Step 5: Use Negatives as Motivation

Many of us slack off at times when we are feeling down or upset. Perhaps something bad’s happened or our friends or family have made us feel bad about ourselves. For example, let’s say you got fired from a job, and your parents-rather than comforting you-say, “What’s the matter-you weren’t good enough?” This might make us want to go hide under the covers, but you can actually turn this negative into a positive. Just say to yourself, “I’ll show them!” Then go out there and do what it takes to improve yourself situation.
Following these five steps will help you get back on track and feel energetic about the tasks at hand.

Good luck!

 

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