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How to get motivated

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

We only ever do or want anything in life because of how it makes us feel.

How do I get motivated, is a curious question I hear a lot of people ask. Whether it involves work or exercise or tasks around the house.

What is motivation and “how do I get motivated”? At face value it would seem that motivation is something to obtain, find, and therefore something you don’t currently have.

What if motivation is not something to get, obtain or find. What if you already have motivation when you know where to look.

And there lies the key. What if Motivation is a feeling? What if Motivation is a feeling that you create from your own thinking about the outside world. On the surface it appears that external factors are required in order for us to be motivated. It could appear that when Bob is in social situations he feels connected. And because connection is important to Bob, he is motivated by activities that allow him to feel connected. However, not all social situations provide this feeling for Bob. Maybe because the motivating feeling of connection is not coming from the situation, rather from his own thinking about the situation.

Try this: When you think about a time in the past when you felt motivated, what was it about that time that was motivating? How did you know? What was the feeling you were going to experience in “doing” the motivating behaviour/task/situation. Do you feel that now? Who is creating that feeling and how are you doing it? Could it be that simply thinking about a time you felt motivated re-creates that feeling in real time that you feel now, even if you are not physically “doing” the activity.

What if motivation is actually a feeling that you like to experience when doing things in life. What if the feeling that you like to experience is something that you create internally from your personal thinking about the task, situation, people.

Let me give you an example around exercise motivations. Notice we are motivated by different feelings.

Mary loves to walk in the botanical gardens every day, it gives her a sense of connection, with nature and other people she meets on the way.

Gay likes to cycle everyday because she loves the feeling of freedom she experiences from the speed and wind in her hair.

Sally goes to the gym 3 times a week because she loves the feeling of support she feels when her personal trainer guides her exercise regime.

It may appear on the surface that nature, other people, the bike, the personal trainer are the motivating factors. What if it’s the feeling that Mary, Gay and Sally are creating from their own thinking about the activities that creates the good feeling. This knowledge is freeing. With conscious awareness of the feelings that are motivating each of these ladies, their awareness of what is important to them is enhanced.

On the surface Mary may not want to walk in town because she thinks that nature is causing her to feel good. What if with awareness that the feeling of connection is the important part of her walk, she could walk in town or anywhere and look for felt thinking of connection with a range external factors such as peoples gardens and other pedestrians. This knowledge opens up possibilities for Mary to feel motivated more often – not just when walking in nature. She can feel connection in a wider range of situations.

Sally’s new awareness lets her know that she could undertake ANY activity that feels supportive such as running with a friend or a structured exercise app and feel motivated.

Identifying the feelings (motivators otherwise known as core values), that as an individual you are drawn to experiencing on a regular basis, allows you to look for those feelings in all areas of your life. Life becomes more fulfilling when we experience the feelings that are important to us.

What about, an unenviable task for many- housework. How do I get motivated?

Ask yourself what is important to me about getting housework done? The motivators will be different for us all, and here are some possibilities.

Maybe you will feel a sense of Achievement, in which case you could make a list of the tasks and tick them off as you go.

Maybe it’s a feeling of contribution to the household that motivates you.

Maybe you have people coming over for dinner and will experience a sense of pride when you have a clean and tidy house.

Maybe you would rather pay someone else to do the housework so you can experience the freedom of not having to do it yourself.

Maybe the feeling of being supported is important to you and you ask someone to help you and do it together.

Finding the feelings that are important to you on a regular basis will create awareness of your motivators and make it easier to experience these good feelings more often.

We only ever do or want anything in life because of how it makes us feel.

Why not do things with awareness of what is most important to you to feel good, more often.

Jenny Malcolm

Mind & Body

Wellbeing Coach 9.5.22

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