In a recent post we outlined the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and here we suggest 4 quick tips on how to increase your intrinsic, or self generated motivation.
Being self motivated is such a powerful characteristic because with it you can achieve the results you seek and almost anything a good life requires. With a hefty dose of dedication, you can increase motivation with these 4 quick tips to build it:
1. IDENTIFY YOUR PURPOSE
Identifying your purpose in life is the important first and foundation step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you enough in order to live the life you want. Your purpose is your why? Why do you do what you do? What is it all for? Identifying your purpose gives you the courage and the resolve to stay focused on what matters most and to take the risks you need to take to achieve your goals, whilst staying motivated and on track through the inevitable setbacks and failures.
On the flip side not having a purpose can quickly lead to disillusionment and despair because you don’t have a guiding light or ‘reason for being’. You drift and react to situations and events. Things happen to you. Without a purpose there is no reason to make things happen.
2. SET AND ACHIEVE GOALS
The next step is to set your goals in order to focus on a destination that will reaffirm your purpose. Knowing where you are going and what you have to do to get there gives you further clarity and confidence. You should use both short and long term goals with the short-term goals being steps to reach your longer term objective. Each time you satisfy a short-term goal you will feel rewarded and re-energised to move onto the next goal and the next stage.
3. ATTACH DEADLINES TO YOUR GOALS
Attaching deadlines to your goals is important because deadlines sharpen your focus and invariably increases the intensity of your performance and the certainty that the goals will be achieved. Without a deadline you are far less likely to complete the project or achieve the goal. Knowing where you want to be by a certain time gives you a sense of confidence that you are “on the right track.” Finally, since most people have multiple goals the deadline also really helps with prioritising the goals in a sensible order.
4. MAKE IT FUN
Although internal motivation is driven by your purpose, it also helps to make the process of achieving your goals both fun and stimulating. This rewards your efforts and gives you a boost to stay happy productive and motivated. I ‘gamify’ my goals by setting myself stretch targets ie a tighter deadline or greater than planned output, just to test myself. If I achieve the deadline then I reward myself with a short walk or a review of the sports pages. No productivity boost, no reward. I may be mixing extrinsic and intrinsic motivation here!
Purpose, internal motivation and goal setting are an integral part of being mentally tough, particularly the 2 C’s of Control and Commitment which form the “resilience” half of the Clough and Strycharczyk definition of mental toughness.