MOTIVATION: Why It’s Important & How to Keep It
Read just about any interview with a successful person and chances are one of the questions they’ve been asked is about their motivation. As in, what motivates you to do what you do? How do you stay motivated even when things aren’t going well? What motivated you to get started in the first place?
It would appear that motivation is a key to success, but what is motivation, anyway? The dictionary defines motivation as “the activation of goal-oriented behavior” or “providing with a reason to act a certain way.”
Everybody is motivated by different things. For some people, money is a motivator (as in, money is the reason why they get up every day to go to work even when they’d rather sleep in). Motivators like money, accolades, and other tangible things are referred to as “extrinsic” motivators, meaning the person receives something externally as a result of their effort. Thought to be more powerful are intrinsic motivators, or motivators that are internal reasons and rewards for doing something – things like a sense of pride, accomplishment, happiness, contentment.
Why is motivation so important for young women like you looking to go after your big dreams? Simple: motivation is what will keep you going, even when things get hard or you feel burned out or naysayers try to discourage you from going after what you want.
And because we know you’ve got big plans for changing the world in your own, unique way, we’d like to offer you some ideas for staying motivated. Try them out and use what works when you need a little extra oomph to keep going:
- Read Inspirational Quotes: Jump onto Tumblr or Google and do a search for “inspirational quotes” or “inspirational sayings” and you’ll find literally thousands of words of encouragement at your fingertips. You might want to print out a couple of your faves and post them somewhere where you can easily see them and soak in their motivational effects.
- Describe Your “End Goal:” In a couple of sentences, describe why you’re doing what you’re doing and where you want to be in the future with your goal or goals. LIke the inspirational quotes, keep your End Goal handy so you can frequently remind yourself of your reasons for moving forward.
- Ask for a Pep Talk: There’s nothing like the encouraging words of a trusted friend, family member, or mentor when you need a little pick-me-up. If you’re in need of words of encouragement, make sure you approach people who are positive and supportive of what you’re doing, and don’t be afraid to specifically ask them to tell you what you need to hear!
- Play Your Theme Song: What, you don’t have a theme song? Well, then choose one! Whether it’s the theme to Rocky or a favorite dance tune, your motivational theme song should be an upbeat, positive song that makes you feel motivated the second the first note is played. Music is known to instantly affect mood and attitude, so why not use it to your advantage?
- Take Breaks to Recharge: Even the most hard-working, go-getters need to take a break to recharge every now and then. When you’re going, going, going after something, getting burned out is a real hazard. Make sure to recharge by doing things that make you feel good, like going to the movies, spending time with friends, and practicing good self-care, and you’ll keep your motivational reserves full for when you need to dip into them.
What are YOUR favorite ways to stay motivated?