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8 easy steps for self-motivation

Last updated on: June 16, 2011 16:31 IST

8 easy steps for self-motivation

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Manasi Chaudhari

Whether in a dramatic "rags to riches" story or in our day-to-day struggles with our work, weight or habits, motivation is the factor that makes one work until the desired results are obtained.

Motivation keeps you in high spirits and prevents you from getting discouraged when you face minor setbacks on your path to success.

During childhood, your parents constantly kept motivating you to aim and achieve your goals. However, once you reach adulthood, parents take a backseat and you are left to fend for yourself, so to speak, the required motivation too.

Therefore, you need to find ways and means to self-motivate yourself.

Types of motivation

There are basically two types of self-motivation factors. They are:

Extrinsic: Extrinsic motivation lies outside. The grades, the appreciation of others, the pay cheque, the trophies, the incentives, the applause; all of these become your extrinsic motivating factors. When they keep coming, you stay motivated; however, if due to some reason, you fail to get these, it could de-motivate you as well.

Intrinsic: Intrinsic motivation is that which comes from within. It is the interest you have or the enjoyment you experience with the work you do on a day-to-day basis in the quest for achieving your goal. In other words, enjoying each task as it comes. That enjoyment keeps you motivated to go on and on. Research has found that intrinsic motivation is the one that is usually associated with high educational achievements by students.

Studies showing the power of intrinsic motivation

"Mark Lepper's research (1988) said that intrinsically motivated learners tend to employ strategies that demand more effort and that enable them to process information more deeply. They also prefer tasks that are more challenging and are willing to put in greater amounts of effort to achieve learning goals."

"Condry and Chambers (1978) found students with intrinsic orientation used more logical information, gathering and decision-making strategies, than students who were extrinsically oriented."

There are many methods you can employ so as you stay motivated and reach you goals within the planned time period.

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1. Look at your goals everyday

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The old saying "out of sight, out of mind" fits in aptly here too. The intensity of your desire to reach your goals tends to fizzle out after some time.

To prevent that, you need to reinforce your desire every day. Once you have decided what you want to achieve and in what time and charted out the milestones to reach your goal, paste a picture that will remind you of the object of your desire (be it a slim body, coveted award, that beautiful bungalow, or the company you want to build) in a place you can view it every day.

Starting the day by looking at it will keep you focused at the tasks that lead you to achieve your goals.



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2. Surround yourself with positive people

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Choose the people you associate with carefully when you are on a goal. When you surround yourself with positive people, you are always talking positive things.

You get positive feedback (this does not mean false praise), which will help you work harder. Detect and stay away from negative and jealous people.



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3. Read and listen to inspirational matter

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Similar to the first point, reading or listening to some motivational piece every day before you start your work goes a long way in helping you stay motivated.

There are many people who have done it and shown, and their achievements are not hidden from the world.

There are many books where you can read about them. Reading such books will keep your enthusiasm alive while you are in your quest for success.



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4. One at a time

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Don't let challenges overwhelm you. Break up your goal into different segments, and tackle each segment at a time.

This will prevent you from getting bored and totally giving up on your goals. Completing each segment is easier than completing the whole project.

The sense of achievement you get in completing each segment will give you the motivation to start and finish your next segment. This way, before you know it, you have achieved your goal.



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5. Finish what you have begun

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Don't try to do too many tasks at once, turning halfway from one task and starting to do another.

This way, you may not finish both the tasks and will feel discouraged to go on.

Completion of tasks give you the sense of achievement that keeps you motivated.



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6. Boost your confidence level

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During your endeavor, you may find your confidence level waxing and waning.

This is because you are not looking at what you have already achieved or your other achievements, you are constantly working towards what you don't have.

Don't think about what you assume your contemporaries have achieved. Be proud of what you have achieved so far and just stay focused on your task and move ahead.



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7. Keep track of your achievements

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As you progress on your path of success, track your little successes down, so that when you feel a little de-motivated along the way, you can go back to what you have tracked, and pat yourself for the achievement made so far and move on.



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8. Develop a sense of direction

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Be aware of where you are going. Don't get lost along the way, straying away doing something else than the required task. This will lead you to procrastinate and move away from your goals.

Let us assume you want to create a popular blog. However, in order to get some motivation, you start reading posts and end up doing only that the whole day instead of actually writing something. For this, make a list of activities you want to do.

For example, if you want to be a famous writer, then you should think of all that you need to become one.

Start writing contents on various topics, research on the internet, develop a strong base of proofs and studies, keep writing every day. Start with blogs first, publish it amongst friends, then slowly move on to others. Start writing small articles for local magazines, then newspapers, etc.

Sometimes, lack of energy, small failures here and there are factors that cannot be avoided. However, don't let these deter you from your chosen goal.

Well begun is half done, they say. Plan out each step of your goal well in advance and get started.

Dreams will remain dreams until you take action. Self motivation will help you commit to your goals and make it a reality.



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