Finding motivation is a tricky business.
Sometimes we can sail along without it, letting our systems or routines or habits just carry us into the next task.
Other times we get discouraged or frustrated or bored or just off-kilter and we struggle to get moving in the first place, let alone to put in any sustained effort.
Obviously, it would be ideal if we all had an unlimited amount of internal motivation (i.e. the kind that works best in the long run) but, when things aren’t ideal, we may need some external motivation to get us through.
Unfortunately, it’s not like flipping a switch. We have to figure out what will work for ourselves or for the person we are trying to help motivate – not just any type of motivation will work for every person.
Some of us need reward systems.
Some of us need to be coaxed.
Some of us need to be left alone to figure it out for ourselves.
Some of us need to be reminded of the end goal.
Some of us need to be reminded that our actions today matter.
Some of us are motivated by a challenge.
Some of us are motivated by an easy start.
Some of us need a day off.
Some of us need to keep at it every day.
Some of us are motivated by being told ‘Get up! You’ve got this!’
Some of us need to be told ‘It’s okay to take it slow.’
The key is for us to find the right kind of motivation for a particular situation and to have it on hand when that situation pops up.
Note: There have been times in my life when I kept an actual, paper list of ‘If you feel like X, try Y.’-type solutions. I had to create a habit of checking the list when things cropped up but it did come in handy since I didn’t have to keep all possible solutions in my head at all times.
And, it is really important to remember that it is ok for you to need the kind of motivation that you need when you need it.
You don’t have to be hard on yourself about what you need and you definitely don’t need to get into a whole thing about why you *shouldn’t* need it. (As soon as the word should comes into your internal discussion, tread carefully. You may be about to be mean to yourself.)
Instead, I’d like for you to be able to get the motivation you need when you need it – whatever that motivation happens to be.
If you need a sticker chart? Have at it!
If you need to wear a special hat? Put it on!
If you need motivational messages written on your mirror? Break out the dry-erase markers!
It’s ok to need motivation and it’s ok to get motivation.
Even if the type of motivation you need seems a bit silly.
Basically, if it works then do it!
And, please be kind to yourself about it while you do.
Here is your happy gold star for today!
Congratulations on your efforts towards your habit, towards your plan, towards your idea, or towards a solid system of motivation.