Motivation: What Is It And Where Do I Get Some?

Motivation is hard to come by these days. Here's a few tips to get yourself up and working out.

Motivation is essential to everyday life and wellbeing. Without it, we fall behind on daily tasks and fail to achieve our goals. Many people find it hard to motivate themselves to get things done. Motivation is viewed as a resource that we have to spend each day. Everything we do can add or subtract from our motivation.

Once our motivation is gone, our daily tasks become much harder or even impossible. Here are a couple of helpful tips that can help you maintain motivation and reach your goal.

These motivation tips will use going to the gym as an example, but they can apply to any habit or project you might have. 

1. Start Off Slow

When beginning a new routine, it's important to avoid taking on too much at once. If you're like me and are beginning to return to the gym, or are just starting in the first place, the temptation to jump in head first seems appealing. Making visible progress requires hard work, and it can lead us to pour everything into making that progress happen. Doing this can lead to burning out very quickly. I find that beginning a habit or routine a little at a time can help make sure that it sticks in the long run.

Forcing yourself to do something every day can take up a lot of motivation. Breaking up the pieces and managing how much motivation it takes to get started can go a long way to making a routine or habit stick. When I first started returning to the gym, I tried to jump right back into where I left off, and it made the process miserable. Instead, I decided to work in smaller sessions, with a focus on a single body part, until I got used to the routine. Once you get used to it, the motivation cost goes down, and you can add more until you get where you want to be. 

2. Make it Rewarding

Another way we can make sure that we have enough motivation is to reward ourselves for progress. Giving yourself a reward can help restore your motivation, helping you continue to progress. If it takes a lot of motivation to get something done, setting up a reward system after the task can keep us from running out of motivation afterward. For me, leg day is always a struggle. I find leg workouts to be boring and in some cases very difficult due to some previous injury.

Whenever I finish a leg workout, I get myself a doughnut. It's a small reward, but I don't eat doughnuts at any other time. Whenever I find myself without the motivation to go out and get that leg day over with, I just have to remember that sweet reward waiting for me at the end. 

3. Get a Support Network

One of the best ways to manage motivation is to put together a support group that can keep you on track. It doesn't need to be something specifically made to support you in whatever it is you're trying to do, but having someone close to you or a group of people gives you external motivation that you can use to get things done. I have a few close friends that I talk to about my goals and projects. This gives me outside accountability and encouragement to get things done. Returning to the gym can be difficult, but with a good gym buddy, you can actually turn the experience into a source of motivation to do other things.

I go to the gym with my close friend and roommate. Going together, we have the motivation between us to spend on the activity. Getting this kind of support network together doesn't even have to be someone close to you. If you find communities online that have the same goals, you can post your progress or struggles there to get that same support. There's tons of ways to build a support network to keep you motivated, you just have to find what works for you. 

With each of these tips, the amount it can help changes from person to person. What works for some, can actually make things harder for others. I recommend trying things out and seeing how they feel. There's nothing wrong if it doesn't help, that just means you have to keep trying things till you find what works. That being said, I hope these tips will help you on your way to getting and maintaining the motivation to get you up and getting this done. 

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