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Motivation - Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

Do you feel that motivation comes in waves, gone almost as quickly as it came? The cycle of feeling good then losing that rhythm seems to happen throughout our entire lives. Sometimes it makes no sense at all to feel so inspired one moment and drained the next, but maintaining that feeling of motivation requires deliberate attention and focus. Here are some helpful tips and tricks that can keep you happy, motivated and aligned.

Emotions always win. It’s how you feel that is important as it determines your perception of your day, and your thoughts directly influence the way you feel! The first thing to do is interrupt any negative thoughts as you notice them happening. You might feel a contraction in your body almost as soon as a negative thought pops in; it might make you feel unhappy, frustrated, or angry. Now stop right there! Your goal is to interrupt the negative thought as soon as you become aware of it, instead of just going along for the ride.

Focus on something in your life that makes you feel good – the power of gratitude! Try to stay with this feeling for as long as possible. Think of other things in your life that are working well, no matter how general they may be. You will feel a corresponding shift in your body as it opens up and starts to feel good.

Rather than picturing large, long-term goals and what you still have left to achieve, try to focus instead on the smaller steps that you have already accomplished, leading you to your end goal. Celebrate what you have achieved with a reward. It could be a ticket to the cinema or simply some time off work. It doesn’t need to be big, just a meaningful reward to reflect on what you have already achieved rather than thinking of what you still haven’t done. Dividing large goals into smaller steps is a significant mind shift that can help keep you motivated.

We are more likely to stick to a commitment when we make it public or share it with other people. Think of a goal you haven’t yet achieved and really wish to. Nominate a friend or peer to tell about your goal, and ask them to set deadlines for when you have to report back on your progress. It’s an odd thing – we are more likely to do something and achieve a better outcome when someone else sets the deadline and not ourselves!

The way you converse with yourself throughout the day has an impact on your motivation. The monkey on our back tends to tells us what we are doing wrong and why, and it’s time for that monkey to be quiet. Instead of beating yourself up over things you haven’t yet done, try to think “Won’t it be great when I… (insert goal)”.

Repeat this mantra to yourself to picture the goal in your mind and help motivate yourself. You may notice a positive feeling linked to this mantra as you feel better about yourself and regain motivation. Do this continuously and go about your day. You will be able to achieve more with this positive mindset, and focus less on bringing yourself down.

Often the task we put off is the one that requires the most attention and time. We procrastinate, avoiding it, coming up with lots of distractions then making a cup of tea, washing the car, ironing… doing virtually anything else instead. Despite knowing this is the most important task to complete, we can’t seem to motivate ourselves to begin.

Always start your day asking yourself “If there was only one thing that I got done today it would be…” This will ensure that your intention is set from the moment you wake up. Tell yourself that you will complete this task effortlessly, with a wonderful outcome. Imagine it finished and how it looks.

If you are able, make sure the task is the first thing you tackle in the day so as to avoid being ‘too tired’ later. It may help to break the task up into smaller chunks, setting a small reward for each chunk you complete. This will make the tasks seem less daunting, and further motivate you to work towards the end goal. If you are strong willed, set yourself a penalty for not completing the goal by the day’s end. Humans fear loss, so by setting a penalty you are setting up a situation you do not want to lose. It doesn’t have to be an enormous penalty, something as simple as doing someone else’s chores is enough. Make sure it’s not too easy of a penalty, however, or you may simply choose to put up with it over completing your goal!

Learn how hypnotherapy can improve motivation!

Michelle van Namen
Author: Michelle van Namen