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Home I have plans, but I can't seem to get started. What can I do to be able to start feeling motivated immediately?

I have plans, but I can't seem to get started. What can I do to be able to start feeling motivated immediately?


Rewards, a raise, achievement of sales quota, seeing a vision come to reality, gaining power or authority, the fear of losing a job, volunteering for a good cause, becoming an expert at a subject, gaining social connections and the list goes on. Humans are driven by different motives, and this energizing behavior is the factor that pushes us to meet basic needs and live lives of meaning and purpose! 

Our motivation is modulated by factors by the current state of our body, factors in the environment and our past history. This means our motives are subject to change, and learning.

Motivation and its kinds

  1. Intrinsic motivation. We are motivated by factors from within us. Typically we want to improve at an activity. Our motivation aligns with our personal vision, mission or goals and its fulfillment is a powerful feeling. 
  2. Extrinsic motivation. We are motivated by forces from the outside of us. They can be influenced by other people or the rewards we might receive when we achieve certain goals. 

Motivation, a process

  1. Focus on building momentum and intrinsic rewards. 

Our patterns and habits have to be disrupted when we want to make changes, but a 180 degree change may seem like a giant leap. Instead, find one or two things that you can start doing day by day, and attack them with a silent intensity that will build up your momentum. Remember that focusing on the small steps will give you confidence that grows. 

Are you intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? Find your motivation or goal and attach your goal to the value it gives you. This way, you frame your goal in a positive and desirable way. It will excite you to perform it! 

These are some examples of how we can make goals sustainable and motivation high.

Then: I want to avoid conflict at work. 

Now: I want to learn communication skills and improve my relationship with my coworkers. 

Then: I want to lose 20 pounds to fit into my old clothes to avoid being embarrassed when I go out. 

Now: I want to learn the basics of nutrition and weight management and learn to cook 1 healthy recipe per week. 

Although both sets of these goals can motivate us, framing our mind using our intrinsic motivations and focusing on our ability to be independent, learn new things, and enjoy the journey of change are more sustainable ways of motivation. 

  • Set up a system that includes rewards and support. 

It is hard to be motivated all the time, especially when we are tired and environmental factors are not supportive or even harmful. 

Late nights at the office and long hours at work leave us demotivated to pursue our goals. In these cases, setting up a system that we can easily follow without having to make many hard decisions saves us time and effort. 

For example, if going to the gym is not possible for that day, giving yourself set options like a 15-minute jog around the neighborhood, a 10-minute walk around the street, or following a 5-minute body weight exercise video at home still allows you to perform steps towards your goals even when motivation is low. 

Also, pre-deciding the rewards you are going to give yourself for every significant goal achievement, however small they may be, re-energizes you and helps build up momentum. 

You also get to track your progress and appreciate how long you have come. Use a system that allows you to monitor your progress visually, either by writing them down or through an app. 

As you learn to use both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, break down your goals into small steps, focus on building momentum and enjoying the rewards for your achievements, you also boost your motivation and push yourself towards your goals. 

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I have plans, but I can't seem to get started. What can I do to be able to start feeling motivated immediately?
Brandon Resasco