A peanut butter sandwich is best with two pieces of bread and the filling in the middle just like your life. See the relevance, NO? I don’t either but hopefully I have your attention. Life sometimes is tough and other times fabulous, that’s life. We do not have control as to what goes on out there however we do with what goes on within us and how we think. You choose decisiveness, anger, procrastination, blame, strength, honour, empowerment, and you get to choose how it will be in a situation for you.
How does this connect with habits and motivation? These skills are the foundation of life and what will centre you when your world goes wobbly because it will, that’s life.
Habits are vital to increasing our self-motivation and our sense of wellbeing. There is no easy way to develop habits; they take hard work and you must get off the couch and start moving your arms and legs in the direction that is of value to you.
For example, if it’s your habit to go for an early morning run you might prepare the evening before by putting out your clothes and setting the alarm. You turn off the alarm at 5.30am, stumble out of bed and put on your running clothes. Thoughts may come into your head. “I’m tired. I don’t feel like it. It’s too cold. I feel stiff today.” You don’t spend any time on these thoughts because this is a habit. You notice them and let them pass on by. You know the benefits of going for a run and it’s not negotiable, it’s a habit, it’s automatic and something you do.
To increase your motivation, you must set habits because they give you focus, direction and confidence. As you achieve one habit you begin to add to what you already have. Momentum gathers fuelling your motivation and helping you to stay on track.
Your habits need to be in-line with your priorities, which are the things that are important to you and make you happy. Everyone has different priorities.
3 Ways in which Motivation is Destroyed
1. Misplaced focus: If you don’t know what you want how can you stay focused?
When you focus on the things that you don’t have or don’t want your focus is misplaced. Under what you don’t want is fear, such as fear of having no money, fear of not being in a relationship, fear of failure, and so on. When you are in a state of fear, your motivation is reduced. Creating habits can help to focus your energy on something that excites you so that you are driven by enjoyment and a sense of purpose.
2. Lack of direction: If you don’t know where you are going, how can you stay on track?
It is vital to know where you’re heading in your pursuit to live life to your full potential with self-belief and self-trust. With lack of direction it is easy to procrastinate. Instead you need to define where you are heading and develop a step-by-step plan for how you are going to get there.
3. Lack of confidence: If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you stay motivated to succeed?
Looking outside of yourself and comparing yourself to others or neglecting your strengths dampens your confidence and motivation. To keep motivated and self-confident you need to focus on what you have achieved and feel gratitude for your strengths.
8 Tools to Develop Self-Motivation and habits
1. A habit for self-development
You have to find your own motivation. You can be motivated for a short time by other people such as motivational speakers, personal fitness trainers and coaches, but in the long-term it comes from you. It’s a stirring that comes from within your soul.
One way to do this is by immersing yourself in personal development. Read books and listen to inspiring audios. Play the talking CDs in the car if you do a lot of travelling. Write in a journal, meditate and candle gaze.
2. Be in the present moment
A key to motivation and habits is for your thinking to be in the here and now. It’s very difficult to be motivated about life if you are constantly thinking about the past or the future. If this is a challenge for you, wear a rubber band around your wrist and every time you notice your thinking leaving the present, ping yourself with the rubber band. It works as an external tool to bring you back into the present moment.
3. Don’t let setbacks stall your motivation and habit building
Setbacks or mistakes can weaken your motivation, but do not let them. Mistakes are ways to learn and they are going to happen. What is important is how you respond to them. It’s about getting back on track and learning from what’s happened and persevering despite setbacks.
4. Positive thinking is vital for motivation and habits
Be aware of your thoughts and ask whether they are strengthening or weakening you. Self-limiting beliefs will lessen your motivation all the time. Thinking empowering supportive thoughts will keep the momentum going.
Happier people find it easier to be motivated. Being happy is a choice.
Tell yourself each day that you’re going to have the best day. Whatever the outcome of what we do, how we choose to see things and react to them is within our control. It is our choice.
5. Never give up
Make a personal vow with yourself to never give up even when frustration sets in and it all seems too hard.
Every great story on the planet happened when someone decided not to give up, but kept going no matter what. SPRYTE LORIANO
6. Focus your motivation and habits
If you are losing motivation, ask yourself if you have too much on the go. When you are trying to juggle many balls up in the air, it’s difficult to be motivated about all of them. Spreading yourself too thin can decrease your motivation. Try to finish one task before starting another or find ways to lessen your load.
7. Dream, visualise and get excited
Dare to dream big dreams. Visualise your ultimate life. It’s exciting and a great way to awaken motivation which will then create solid habits.
8. Move some people back a few rows
You may notice that some people bring you down or drain you. In your mind’s eye picture the people in your life sitting in rows. There are some people you want close by, in the front row, then you have a second and third row and so on. As your motivation grows you may mentally move some people back a few rows if you become conscious of how negative they can be. People in your first row are those that you want to focus your time and energy into. As a result the people who you are most often surrounded by are those who lift you up, are positive and motivated and believe in themselves.
Motivation and habits is about constantly moving forward and connecting with the reservoirs of untapped potential within you. As individuals, we underestimate the qualities that we possess and what we are blessed with. It is your birth right to live to your full potential and when you tap into this reservoir of potential you will want more of it. Little by little as you trust this new way of living, an awakening occurs within you on a soul level. On a mental level it’s like a muscle that gets stronger as you begin to use it. Develop the habits over time and as motivation grows you will feel fulfilled and experience joy and peace. When you’re living your potential it feels so right and when you are on the right track your motivation will blossom.
When you are motivated you increase the likelihood of achieving your dreams, hopes and visions for the future and this increases your self-esteem. Self-motivation is an internal drive to achieve, produce, develop and keep moving forward. Motivation is incentive, drive, inspiration, enthusiasm, the fire in your belly that comes from within. When you have self-motivation it doesn’t matter what you are doing, you will learn and grow regardless. When you are self-motivated you don’t rely on someone or something for support and encouragement.
Self-motivation does not come naturally to everyone. If it is something challenging for you, it doesn’t mean you cannot become motivated – you may have to work a little harder.