This episode of the Habitology podcast is all about creating motivation.

Notice that I said ‘creating’ motivation rather than ‘getting motivated.’ 

That’s because motivation is not something you ‘get’, and it’s not something that anyone else can give you.

It is something you must create within yourself.

And rather than trying to overcome your lack of it, shift your focus to what you can do – which is to create it, and habitualise it.

What is Motivation?

Motivation is your willingness to act. 

And it is created when we realise that the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it.

For example, the pain of not earning money far outweighs the discomfort of finding the courage to do promotional talks in public.

The discomfort of being overweight or having a wardrobe of too-tight clothes becomes greater than the inconvenience of preparing healthy food or going to the gym.

When we weigh up the pros and cons of change – a cost-benefit analysis – we can easily see the risk versus the reward and make some decisions on what we will do.

Then we cross that mental threshold and the motivation appears!

The secret to motivation is this – it usually comes AFTER you take action, not before.

Think of the last time you ate a healthy breakfast. It felt good, right? You felt proud of yourself. So you felt motivated to do it again.

You can also create motivation by talking yourself into things, and thinking positive thoughts.

It’s useful to create your thoughts like this anyway, but know that it’s the doing of the thing that is important. 

You need to train yourself to make motivation a habit.

Types of Motivation

You might have heard of the terms extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation is somewhat coerced. 

It is where your motivation relies on other things, situations or people.

If you are an Obliger tendency, then these external factors are a big part of what creates motivation for you.

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is more powerful. 

It comes from within, and it only relies on you. It can be freely chosen at any time!

When you can create your own motivation, you are truly in charge of your own life. You are more likely to feel self-actualised.

If you are a Questioner or Rebel tendency, then intrinsic motivation is a strong part of who you are and how you operate.

Sources of Motivation

Now that we’ve discussed the two main types of motivators, it’s also worth knowing the two main sources of motivation.

To keep it simple, one is negative, and one is positive.

Think of it this way.

Some people strive to avoid things because they’ve been conditioned to look for those negative incentives.

So you could say we are talking about ‘away from’ motivators.

This is you if your reasons for doing things tend to be based around cutting back, restricting, limiting or avoiding something, especially a consequence.

This is a ‘conserve and protect what you have’ mentality. 

And the main problem with it is that if you focus on what you don’t want, you have no exciting incentive to act, and no instruction on the action steps you need to take to move forward.

When you can create your own motivation, you are truly in charge of your own life. You are more likely to feel self-actualised.

On the other hand we have what’s known as ‘toward’ motivators.

These are the things we define as desirable, the things we want and would be excited to achieve.

Positive or toward motivators are fueled by desire, inspiration, and the promise of a specific, pleasurable achievement or result.

So as you can imagine, thinking of what you want is way more compelling and motivating. It feels good.

And additionally, when you define what you want rather than what you don’t, you have more clues and instructions on the affirmative steps you need to take to get there.

5 Steps to Create Motivation

With this background understanding, you are ready to take the five steps to creating motivation. If you do these things and practice them, you will be able to create motivation and also, turn being motivated into a habit. Sound good?

Let’s get started.

Step 1

Think of the thing that you are not doing right now, but want to do.

Step 2

Reframe this as a positive thing you want to do or achieve. Talk about what you DO want, not what you don’t. Use positive words, or at least, plain and factual (that is, non emotive) words.

Step 3

Make sure you have been very specific about what it is that you want to do and when, and how often.

Step 4

Schedule it into your diary in a time-slot that is 100% not negotiable. This is important!

Step 5

Surround it with positives. Create a warm-up routine that is easy and enjoyable. Visualise yourself doing this thing and feeling good about it. Celebrate the feelings of achievement and success, and the results, afterwards.

In other words, step 5 is about thinking positive emotions and feeling positive feelings as you prepare, act and reflect on the thing you have scheduled in.

An example

Step 1 – Let’s say you want to find the motivation to go to the gym.

Step 2 – More positive wording could be that you want to feel that sense of satisfaction and post-exercise pump three days per week.

Step 3 – Allocate three timeslots very specifically and check you can commit to them 100%. For example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5pm for one hour including travel time.

Step 4 – Put them in your diary.

Step 5 – Get your clothes prepared for the week ahead. Set your alarm. Reschedule meetings. Mentally rehearse how good you will feel as you do the exercise. Celebrate finishing your session and feeling that pump.

In summary

As you can hear, motivation requires you to JUST DO IT.

Ready to create motivation?

Create habits that put you in charge of your own life! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

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