There have never been more distractions than today. Rather than getting on and doing things, you now have highly addictive social media, emails and online games, to add to all the other myriad distractions in our lives.
Then add to that all the times in our lives we focus on the interesting, or the urgent at the expense of the truly important.
We all use the word ‘motivation’ and there are endless self-help articles or books on the topic – but what really is motivation? What makes a person motivated? How can you get motivated?
So, let’s dig a little deeper on how does someone actually get motivated for life
Parked, Cruising or Accelerating
Think of levels of motivation like driving a car. You might be in one of three states
Parked: You have difficulty starting anything new or even doing what you have done before. On a Monday morning, you might loathe the idea of going to your work, college etc. – or not have any work or college to go to. Your motivation levels are rock bottom.
Cruising: You are OK doing the things you always do but don’t really have the energy to do something new. On a Monday morning you feel sort of OK going to work or college etc. but are in a bit of a rut and in reality, you are coasting along. Your motivation levels are above rock bottom but you might sometimes wonder if your life is really going anywhere.
Accelerating: You have the will and the energy to do something new. On a Monday morning you look forward to getting the new things done you have in mind. Your motivation levels are helping you try to get what you want for yourself or for other people. Some people, of course, want to accelerate faster than they currently are.
Accelerating people are found in all age groups and all walks of life. There are the primary school children raising money in their own time for charities, the reformed prisoners who now teach in universities, the 80-year-olds who take up skydiving for the first time.
If any of that sounds familiar, the next step is to decide what to do to move from parked or cruising to accelerating.
How to accelerate – starter motors versus engines
Motivation, to be effective, needs to be more or less continuous, not a short spurt. A starter motor in a car will get things going but you need the main engine to really go anywhere. At Safe Place Therapy, we will work with you to find both your starter motor and then make sure your engine is running well. Often the start of motivation is an event, a deadline or some other change in your life.
When something changes in your life – or you know something is about to change – this can be a catalyst to get your motivation mojo working. Uncovering these triggers can be part of the counselling process. Then you need the motor to really kick in for sustaining acceleration. That means being ready to deal with setbacks, failures and problems and to just keep ongoing.
Although external triggers can be important, motivation is an internal process that starts and ends with you. You may get external encouragement along the way – and that helps, so we will help you find where that might come from – but it is not necessarily essential, or in some cases not available. Rather what you need is internal acknowledgment – praising yourself for progress and not beating yourself up when you hit obstacles.
It really is also about what this new course of action means to you or to the people or things that you care about. That’s far more effective than simply ‘trying’
So, the team here at Safe Place Therapy can do a ‘life audit’ on what is good in your life today, what you want to improve and what you want to drop. Then we’ll help you put a realistic goal, driven plan in place to get your motivation mojo working.
With so many pressures in our lives and so many calls on our time, it’s sometimes hard to get the motivation we need to get the important stuff in our life done and procrastination is all too easy.
That important stuff can be about our jobs, our relationships or about ourselves.
The good news is that you are already reading this and if you feel the need to get motivated – in any area of your life – then Safe Place Therapy are experienced, knowledgeable and here to help.