How To Be Motivated For Your Success Journey

In this post, you will learn some important information that can teach you how to be motivated for your success journey. Motivation is the reason for people’s actions, willingness, and goals. It is the ignition system, or the spark plug that provides the energy you need to get started.

Motivation is that desire that causes you to act and move toward a goal. It is the crucial element needed to set and attain one’s objectives.

There are two kinds of motivation:

  1. Extrinsic: The person is inspired by forces outside themselves. These might involve rewards, social recognition, money, or praise.
  2. Intrinsic: The inspiration comes from within. These could include performing a complicated action just for the personal satisfaction of solving a problem.

How Do You Set A Goal?

Ask yourself why you are setting the goal and what to you want to change. Identify why the goal is important, as this knowledge will strengthen the motivation you need.

Divide your goal into small, specific tasks that you can measure. Identify specific acts you need to do to move toward the greater goal.

Motivational quote

Because these smaller goals are easier to accomplish, reaching them will encourage you, plus you can now have the satisfaction of crossing that small part of the process off your list.

Your optimal goal should be slightly out of reach — not too hard and not too easy. This represents an attainable challenge.

Do you have a plan to reach each of these smaller goals? You need to plan your work and work your plan.

What Makes Up Motivation?

Motivation has three major components: Activation, persistence, and intensity.

  1. Activation: You make a decision to start a process, such as enrolling in a class you want to take
  2. Persistence: Your continued effort toward a goal, even though obstacles exist. It could involve a significant investment of time, energy, and resources.
  3. Intensity: You need concentration and vigor to pursue a goal. If you take advantage of the opportunities presented to move forward, even if they require more time and energy, you can reach your goal more easily.

Motivational quote

What Things Motivate You To Act?

Here are three different theories meant to explain motivation:

  1. Instincts: Some major psychologists propose that there are a number of basic human drives that motivate our behavior. These include biological instincts important for survival, and could include fear, cleanliness and love.
  2. Needs and Drives: The drive theory says that people have basic biological drives, and behaviors are motivated by the need to fill these drives. These include such needs as food, water, and sleep.
  3. Arousal Levels: According to this theory, people are motivated to become involved with behaviors that help them maintain an optimal arousal level. For example, if you have low arousal needs, you might be satisfied with relaxing activities such as reading a book. If you are a person with high arousal needs, you might seek out exciting behaviors, such as auto racing.

Sometimes in your life’s journey, you will come to a point where you feel it easier to change than it is to stay the same. Every choice has a price, but with motivation it is easier to deal with the inconvenience of change, and it actually becomes more painful not to do the work.

Motivational Misconceptions

Surprisingly, motivation often comes after starting a new behavior, instead of before. It is often the result of action, not the cause of it. When you start something new, even in a small way, you create a form of active inspiration that will naturally produce momentum.

Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Once you begin a task, you will find it easier to move forward.

The hardest part of the task is often just at the beginning. Once you start, the process becomes easier. You will find that it is often easier to finish a task than it was to start it initially.


How To Get Motivated

If you want to make it easy to find needed motivation, it helps to automate the early stages of the process.

Motivational quoteSet up a schedule. If you have a specific task to accomplish, such as writing, schedule the time when you will work on this project. Here is the difference between professionals and amateurs. Professionals set their schedule and then follow it. Amateurs wait to feel inspired.

Don’t just set a schedule, but build a ritual. If you set up a consistent schedule and perform the same routine each time you move to meet that schedule, you will be more apt to follow your plan through to completion. Make it a habit; it then becomes your ritual.

The key to a good ritual is that it removes the need to make these decisions: What do I do first? When and how should I do it? If you can fix a way to make it easy and automatic to start something new, you will find that when it becomes difficult and challenging, you will have the strength to finish.

Use These Steps To Make Motivation A Habit

  1. Make your first action so easy that you can’t say no. For example, when you write, start by getting a glass of water. That’s an easy start and sets the stage for a continuation.
  2. The routine you establish should get you moving toward your goal. Sometimes when you lack mental motivation, it is linked to a lack of physical movement. If you are physically moving and engaged, it is more likely you will feel mentally engaged and energized. Note that physical movement doesn’t have to mean exercise. If your goal is to write, bring your routine closer to the physical activity of writing.
  3. Follow the same pattern every time. The prime purpose of this starting routine, or ritual, is to create a series of events you always perform before engaging in a specific task. Your mind then tells you, “This is what I do before _______.” If you follow this routine often enough, it will pull you into a mental state in which you are primed to perform. You don’t need to find motivation, just start your routine.

There Are Three Rs Of Habit Formation

As it is often too much work to figure out what to do next, your starting ritual solves the problem because you know exactly what your next move will be. Here are the three Rs of habit formation:

  1.  Reminder: Your cue or trigger that starts the habit (remember that glass of water?)
  2. Routine: This is the action you take; the habit itself. Now you sit down and start writing.
  3. Reward: This is your benefit for doing the habit. If your reward is positive, you will be more desirous of repeating the action.

Long-Term Motivation

We all love challenges, but only if they are within our capabilities. They must not be significantly below our current abilities, or they become boring. If beyond our current abilities, they can be discouraging.

If the task is right on the border of success or failure, we can become incredibly motivated. We love to master a skill just beyond our current abilities. This phenomenon is called The Goldilocks Rule.

This rule tells us that we experience peak motivation when we work at tasks right on the edge of where we now stand: Not too easy but not too hard, but something we can master.

Using The Goldilocks Rule, you can develop long-term motivation. Perhaps you are not motivated because you are bored, or you are experiencing great difficulty. Learn to pull tasks back to the border of your abilities. Here you can feel challenged, but capable.

Motivational quote

Reaching Peak Motivation

When you are happy and performing at your peak, it is sometimes called “flow,” or being “in the zone.” Flow is the mental state of being so focused on the task at hand that the rest of the world disappears.

Flow can be called a state of peak motivation. In this state you will be driven to continue the task at hand.

Flow states can be linked to The Goldilocks Rule. If you are working on a challenge that is optimally difficult, you will be motivated and also happy.

Measuring your immediate process is one key to reaching a flow state. If you are facing an optimal challenge and receive immediate feedback about your progress toward mastering that challenge. you have achieved two of the most critical components of peak motivation.

Give Your Mind Suggestions

Consider all your thoughts as suggestions, not orders. For example, as I write this post, my mind is suggesting that I feel tired; perhaps I should give up, or find an easier path.

However, my mind is also suggesting that I will feel very good when I finish this task. It suggests I stick to the schedule; it suggests I have the ability to finish, even if I don’t feel like it.

Maintain your prospective. Life is good and this discomfort is temporary. Once your good work is done, you will never regret it.

Your life will lead you into constant battle over giving in to the ease of distraction or overcoming the pain of discipline. This delicate balance defines our lives. Will you fight the thousands of daily battles and tiny decisions by sticking to your plan, or by giving up?

Spend the moments in your life in a way that will make you proud.

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Here are the references I used to write this post. If you would like to read these articles in their original form, click on any of the links below.

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6 thoughts on “How To Be Motivated For Your Success Journey”

  1. Hi!  Thanks for the article.  I’ve been battling a problem with motivation lately, although to be fair to myself, it seems to be a medical issue not just being lazy!  I used to have a set routine and schedule I liked to follow a LOT but I just can’t stay focused either!  First, we thought it might be related to one of my medications and depression.  Depression affects motivation because people with depression cannot anticipate things that are pleasant, even though they will feel the same level of pleasure that normal people feel after accomplishing something, right?  (I read articles).

    So my question to you is how could someone with maybe some level of depression try to force that motivation a little bit when they don’t feel the anticipation of good things?  Hmmm, right?  I’m trying to come up with a way to help myself if it IS depression.  Maybe you’ll have a better idea other than rewards, which work for most non-depressed people.  I do force myself to some extent.  But I really need to get organized and a schedule.  I’ve noticed years ago I do better that way.

    Thanks for the other tips about motivation coming AFTER action.  It IS true, usually.  Once I sit down after work, I’m DONE physically with cleaning or anything else.  But if I’m still active and working and cleaning after work, I stay motivated to do those physical things.  

    Thanks again!

    • You have given me a challenge…I want to give you a really good answer, because I’d love to help you.  Try this:  Sit down at a table with a paper and pencil and write down all the reasons you can think of for reaching your goal.  Then look at each item on your list and come up with one or more things you could do to help you get there.  Try to put them in a chronological order, and then see if there is one thing you could do right away that would start you moving forward.  

      Remember why you were excited at the beginning, and try to imagine what it would be like if you’d already  reached your goal.  How does it feel? Does it give you any feelings of excitement?  What changes would it make in your life if you reached your goal?   

      Remember that you are not in a race. You can get to your destination on your own time.  Just take your time and tell yourself why you want to reach that goal.  One thing I do that might be helpful to you is to think about where you are headed and each night try to write down six things you need to do the next day. If you have a written schedule you might be more apt to follow it. Then move forward, one step at a time.

      Good luck to you.  If you get stuck along the way, you can keep my website nearby and write to me with your questions.  I will help if I can.

  2. I remember when I started my online entrepreneurship journey, I was very motivated and kept telling myself how I will do this and that every single day. But I soon realized that there are days I am just not up for it and my motivation is nowhere to be found. I like how you have broken down the goals. I now see why small chunks of tasks can get me going. I have learnt quite a lot on motivation.I think I usually get stuck at the Intensity level.Will be implementing the steps highlighted to make Motivation a habit. This article is very timely for me. Much appreciated.

    • Glad you found it helpful.  When you find yourself getting stuck, stop and look at your pathway.  Consider your destination and remember why you are involved in the activity.  Then think of the very first thing you need to do next, and that step then moves you forward.  Remember, it doesn’t matter how fast you go, just so you keep moving ahead.  

  3. I thought your site is very attractive, interesting, and very well written (researched). As a writer I do struggle at times with seeing the plan or seeing ahead. I am wondering though if the routine aspects of life are motivating or not.  If not it is hard to keep up with the routine.  Is there any other way to accomplish this aspect?. Your article helped me to become more focused so thank you.  All the Very Best, Krista

    • I think if you get your routine activities set up on a regular schedule, then you can take care of those tasks in such a way that your “delay time” is minimal.  Then you can plan a time to do more challenging activities. Also, writing down your schedule for every day helps you stay on course.


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