People often believe that motivation is something that comes and goes, that it only strikes us once in a while, and the rest of the time we are complaining about going to the gym, completing work projects, or struggling to write an essay.
However, this is not true at all. You can find motivation whenever you need it. In my experience, four essential components can help you get up and ready to face the day. In this article, I will explain how to get and maintain motivation.
The four primary components of motivation are self-care, consistency, recharging, and brain chemistry. By mastering these components, you can easily master motivation.
Self-care for motivation
Some people may feel annoyed at hearing the buzzword “self-care” again. However, self-care does not necessarily mean indulging in luxury activities like putting on a face mask or taking a bath, although it can certainly be a part of it. Rather, self-care means taking care of yourself, plain and simple.
Motivation thrives when you practice self-care. When your body and mind feel good, motivation and inspiration come easily. You can complete tasks and reach goals more quickly. Even starting new habits like going to the gym or responding to emails becomes easier if you apply self-care to what you’re doing.
Let me explain further. If you approach going to the gym with negative thoughts like, “Oh no, I have to go to the gym again. It’s going to be so hard, and I’m so tired,” do you think you’ll feel motivated to go? Most likely not. You may feel exhausted and lacking in physical self-care, such as proper sleep and nutrition. Alternatively, you may be mentally exhausted from pushing yourself to complete other tasks.
Motivation does not thrive under such conditions. Consider how you have been treating yourself lately, both physically and mentally. Make a list and see how you can treat yourself better.
Moreover, in the example given, you are thinking about the gym in such a negative way! The gym does not deserve that kind of treatment. It’s just a place for people to get fit and healthy. Justice for the gym!
Instead of negative thoughts, focus on positive affirmations like, “Wow, my body is going to be so toned, and my butt is going to look amazing. Watch out, Cassandra on Instagram! After this workout, I’m going to take the nicest, warmest shower. Whenever I feel tired and feel like I can’t go on, I’m going to push myself even harder because I’m a total badass, and my results will shock everyone.”
With thoughts like these, motivation will flow like a river, and you’ll wake up excited about going to the gym. Changing the way you think can significantly improve your motivation.
Consistency for motivation
Consistency is another key factor that drives motivation.
When you repeatedly perform a habit, it becomes part of your routine and even your identity. You become the person who studies well, arrives on time for work, or goes to the gym without questioning it.
The more you do something, especially when you approach it positively, the easier it becomes. If you want to be motivated, incorporate consistency into your routine. Soon, you will find yourself eager and ready to tackle any task effortlessly.
Moreover, when you are already doing something naturally, take a moment to appreciate it, congratulate yourself, and get excited. This will help increase your motivation further.
It’s time to strive for perfection. Allow this thought to motivate you to achieve your goals.
Recharging for motivation
To some, recharging may seem counterproductive to gaining motivation. They might picture themselves lazing around watching reality TV, eating junk food, and wonder how that could possibly motivate them. And I agree.
However, the kind of recharging I want to talk about is different from just being lazy. There are several ways to genuinely recharge your mind, body, and emotions and get that much-needed motivation.
Let’s start with emotions, which can be confusing for some. Activities like meditation, taking a walk, telling someone you love them, engaging in a fun hobby, praying, and dancing with friends can all help you emotionally. And if you’re dealing with difficult emotions, working out, venting, or even having a good scream or cry can help you process them.
It’s always helpful to find new ways to process emotions, and taking care of your emotional health is crucial to finding motivation (and happiness in general).
Next, your body needs nourishment. Taking care of your body by cleaning it well, eating as healthily as possible, stretching, and exercising are all ways to nourish it. If your body doesn’t feel good, it can be challenging to feel motivated.
Finally, let’s talk about resting your mind. Is your brain more overactive or underactive? If it’s underactive, you might feel stuck in a routine, restless, or understimulated. Activities like doing puzzles, reading a book, or playing a sport can help. If your mind is overactive, you might feel anxious, overwhelmed, or like you can’t stop thinking. In this case, it’s helpful to write everything down and organize it to calm your mind. You might also take a walk, do some breathwork, meditate, or even make a drawing or scribble on paper to help your brain relax.
These simple activities are efficient ways to get motivated and stay motivated long-term. Remember, taking care of your mind, body, and emotions is crucial to finding motivation and achieving your goals.
Brain chemistry to get motivated
The lack of motivation, whether in neurotypical or neurodivergent people, is typically attributed to brain chemistry. This can be due to negative associations that you may have formed with certain tasks, and feeling stressed is a sign of this.
So, what can you do about it? The answer lies in creating positive associations.
When you notice negative emotions arising in relation to a goal, don’t suppress or judge them. Instead, allow yourself to feel them and let them pass through you. Take a few minutes to breathe through these emotions, knowing that it’s better to experience them for a short time than to suffer from procrastination and stress for days or years.
As your emotions calm down, begin to cultivate positive associations. This can be done by reframing the experience, such as reminding yourself that you’ve already planned your work and are excited to get it done. You can also treat yourself while working, allowing dopamine to become associated with the task. Alternatively, you can replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations, turning “Oh no, the gym!” into “Oh yes, the gym!”.
By focusing on positive associations, you can start feeling good about the task at hand even when you lack motivation. Embrace the positivity and watch the motivation come flooding in.
Matteo Hart is a freelance writer and copywriter. You can connect with Matteo on Twitter @matteowritess.
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