Motivation. You know when you got it and you know when you lack it. It’s well-known that motivation is a key factor to getting maximum results from yourself and achieving your goals, no matter how big (finishing your studies) or how small (getting out of your tracksuit pants and brushing your bird nest hair). Calling in motivation not only benefits your productively, but helps greatly with your overall well-being. How great do you feel when you tick off something on that ‘to do’ list (cue ‘Never Ending Story theme song’).
Breaking down and understanding the psychology of motivation can help you to better utilise your time, money and energy in the most efficient way so you can save your sanity, i mean can achieve your goals. Now there are many approaches to understanding the concept and psychology of motivation but let’s be honest, as mums, we don’t have that kinda time so no stuffing around let’s just get to the practical helpful strategies. Ya welcome.
Strategies for motivation
After reviewing some of the theories of motivation, it is evident there is no one approach that can provide all the answers and understandings. It is more about finding the best approach that suits you and your situation, through trial and error. It’s also important to understand that strategies that work now might not work later in life. We change, life changes, things change, it’s inevitable, that’s a guarantee. So be flexible, mix your strategies up and don’t beat yourself up if something no longer works, just revisit the situation.
First things first, you need to have an understanding of your internal drivers. So here’s a few questions to ask yourself that will help clarify things:
- What are my goals? What are my life goals, career goals, well-being goals, family goals etc. (Don’t forget to break these down into sub goals).
- How much do I value each one of these goals? Can they be prioritized?
- What’s my life purpose?
- Do my goals align with my purpose in life?
- Are there any barriers to achieving my goals? What are they?
- What do I plan on doing to overcome these barriers?
- Are any of these barriers internal barriers? Such as self-limiting beliefs, lack of self-esteem or confidence?
- What are my strengths? How can these strengths help overcome my barriers?
- How can I maximise my strengths to help achieve my goals?
- What are my areas of development?
Hopefully these questions have shed some light as to what is important to you. Once you identify what’s important then you can start creating some of that motivation.
The reason it’s important to gain clarity about what’s important to you is because you have fundamental psychological needs that need to be met on an ongoing basis, i.e. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – google it. A couple of questions to gauge your satisfaction in life and weather you needs are big met are:
- Most days I feel a sense of accomplishment.
- I often do not feel very capable at the things I do in life.
- There is much opportunity for me to decide for myself how to go about my life.
- People I know are pretty friendly toward me.
For more in depth questions that can rate your overall score of life satisfaction there are many Likert scale tests available. These tests go through a series of questions that explore your overall satisfaction with life such as the 5 item Satisfaction With Life Scale or the 9 or 11 item Life Satisfaction Questionnaire.
Okay, so we’ve explored what’s important to you and we’ve touched on identifying your level of life satisfaction, now for the juicy stuff. As promised below are some suggested strategies to help you get motivated and stay motivated. Sometimes it can be challenging to find the motivation to start working toward your goals so have a go at trying some of these out:
- Clearly identify your goals, both the large ones and small ones. Break them down.
- Explore why you are trying to achieve these goals.
- Have your goals or even motivational quotes (both words and images) placed around the house insight. Did someone say vision-board?
- Regularly visualise yourself achieving your goals.
- Talk about your goals often to whoever will listen, but not the kids, let’s face it they aint interested in anything except minecraft.
- Make your goals specific and achievable. The clearer they are the more chance you’ll work towards them.
- Celebrate your progress, no matter how small.
- Stick to a routine that ensures you set time towards working towards them.
- Listen to motivating podcasts, or read motivational books.
- Surround yourself with others who motivate you. We are the product of who we surround ourselves with. Yes, if you hang out with Karen who does nothing but drink wine every afternoon, then you will do nothing but drink wine every afternoon.
- Think about the best way you can achieve your goal. Can you utilise others, your strengths, tools, places, etc.
- Think of a time when you felt especially good about yourself. Why did you feel that way? What did you do?
- Think of a time when you achieved a goal. What did you do that you could replicate?
- Get support from family and friends, perhaps tell them about your goals so they can encourage you or share their own tips.
- Get the family involved and set goals to.
- Regularly review goals and progress. Perhaps keep a diary.
- Keep your goals up to date, adjust as required. You change so your goals may change.
- If you lose motivation then review your goals, remember the ‘why’ for your goal.
- Take a break when feeling fatigued to recharge yourself and your motivation.
- Be gentle on yourself. Don’t be your worst critic, instead be your biggest fan and greatest support.
So, there you have it, 20 easy to apply strategies to build your motivation and work towards what you want to achieve, no matter how big or small. Hey, my goal for today was to get 10 mins in of reading in for uni whilst my 4 week old was latched to my boob. Nailed it. Remember you are an individual with unique circumstances, background and experiences. What motivates you today might not work tomorrow, but it’s important to make an effort either way. Now get cracking on achieving those goals woman.