Whether you aim to purchase your dream home, win a promotion, or get in shape, chasing ambitious goals takes time and effort. Many days, you would feel like slowing down or giving up. No matter how appealing the end goal is, finding the motivation to get there could be a constant struggle.
The American Psychology Association defines motivation as “the impetus that gives purpose or direction to behavior and operates in humans at a conscious or unconscious level.” It is the essential process that will get you to your life goals. Without it, pursuing your dreams could feel tiring, stressful, frustrating, and without purpose.
Studies show that when motivated, employees are 87% less likely to leave their jobs than their less motivated colleagues. The resounding impact of motivation is evident in many other areas as well—when there is enough of it, students study harder, athletes perform better, and sales teams exceed their targets. Yet, it could feel elusive when you need it the most to reach your life goals. This is why understanding how to find motivation is critical, no matter what goals you set for yourself.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators
Motivators are primarily of two types—intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic motivators are deeply personal factors that propel you toward action. For example, when you feel passionate about a social cause, those positive emotions could provide much-needed encouragement for you to raise funds for a charity.
Extrinsic motivating factors typically involve external rewards. For example, the prospect of earning a higher salary could drive you to work harder and chase your career goals.
How to Find Motivation to Achieve Your Life Goals
Motivation and goals are interdependent. Without motivation, you will not reach your goals. When you consistently fail to achieve your goals, motivation could take a severe hit. Finding ways to motivate yourself into action is essential to break this cycle. Here are five proven methods to help you.
1. Develop a Plan
A detailed plan is necessary to guide you to a destination. It becomes even more critical when the destination involves your life goals. By creating a plan, you get to break down your goals into micro parts. Why is this important? A massive goal may seem unattainable, which in effect, could turn it into a demotivator. It could prevent you from taking action. By breaking it into smaller pieces, a seemingly mammoth task could become much more achievable.
There is another benefit to preparing a plan: you get to map out each task that will lead you toward a goal. For example, let’s say you intend to lose 20 pounds. Achieving it will involve a series of smaller steps—from jogging every evening and taking aerobics classes to cutting down on candy, eating more fruits, reducing portion sizes, and intermittent fasting. On its own, each task may seem more realistic and less demanding, making it easier for you to find the motivation to pursue your end goal.
Moreover, a plan allows you to track progress—another motivator that could encourage you to stay the course.
2. Create a Vision Board
A vision board will help you imagine what life will be like once you attain whatever you aim to achieve. In other words, it takes away focus from the arduous process of getting to your goals and instead emphasizes the benefits you stand to enjoy once you get there.
How do you create a vision board? If you want to save and purchase your own home, gather pictures of the type of house you intend to buy. Find images that represent what the interior might look like and how you envision yourself living there. You can create a digital collage and use it as a screensaver on your computer and phone. Most experts suggest taking printouts, pinning them to a board, and placing it in an area you can readily see in your home.
This visualization process can work as a motivator to drive you into action. It could also set in motion the law of attraction to help you manifest your goals through positive thoughts and energy.
3. Celebrate Small Wins
As for long-term goals, keeping motivation levels high is undoubtedly difficult. It is why celebrating small wins along the way is essential. No matter how small, these occasional achievements could release feel-good, happy hormones to boost your mood.
Dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins can help reduce anxiety, promote happiness, and inspire positivity and hope. Ultimately, keeping your spirits high is critical for chasing lofty dreams.
4. Get Support
The benefits of a robust support system cannot be stressed enough. Having friends and family to cheer you on can motivate you to continue, especially when things get tough.
Someone who could accompany you on your journey could be even better. If you want to pursue a daily workout regime, for instance, having a companion could make a dreaded experience much more enjoyable. They could hold you accountable to a daily routine and push you to keep going when you feel like giving up.
5. Find a Life Coach
A life coach can guide you toward your goals with a more systematic approach. They understand the barriers to action and will recommend the best tools and techniques to keep you on your path. They can help you discard negative self-talk and find purpose in what you aim to achieve.
But where can you find an experienced life coach? Leadar is an excellent tool for searching local contacts. LinkedIn is another platform to find experts. In addition, you can ask your coworkers and professional network for recommendations.
Motivation is the single most crucial element for chasing your life goals. Without it, negativity, boredom, procrastination, and frustration could easily set in.
But with proper techniques and measures, you can introduce intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors that could set you in motion. Develop a detailed plan and vision board. They will help you visualize the results, benefits, and, more importantly, the path that could get you there. Don’t forget to celebrate smaller wins, particularly when pursuing long-term goals.
In addition, build a support network to feed you with positivity and encouragement. Find a life coach who could guide you through this process with systematic changes.
Keep in mind that each person will respond differently to these strategies. Some may find strength in their own determination, while some may lean on others for inspiration. So, it is vital to understand how you respond to different motivating factors and adopt the appropriate methods to achieve your life goals.