By: Ken Austin
Motivation is the rationale or reason, i.e., the underlying principle behind all that we humans do. Motivation is reward driven and, as such, must have a goal as its target worthy of attaining lest the reward not be great enough to light that initial internal fire that helps us to attain it to begin with!
One often finds it difficult to find the motivation to get motivated. Paradoxical? Yes. However, a truth one cannot ignore.
So, we all know that we need to get motivated but how does one, odd as this question may seem, find the motivation to get (and stay) motivated? In the following, we will discuss some strategies for developing a platform for motivation as it relates to goal attainment. Bear in mind, it is understood that it often takes motivation (and granted, lots of it) to accomplish the following, however, if one can implement these things in one’s life and partake of them on a regular basis, motivation will come more easily for other, more difficult endeavors.
Exercise. Start a regular program of exercise. Whether it be resistance training, cardio, Pilates, yoga…whatever. Exercising three times per week provides one with many benefits. Regular exercise (consisting of at least 30 minutes 3 times per week) has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, strengthen the body, provide for more energy, improve sleep, reduce the likelihood of disease, etc. Despite the many benefits, it also just makes one feel really good. And if one is healthy, has ample energy and feels good most of the time, well, it is a heck of a lot easier to get motivated and stay motivated to do other things!
Eat right. Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet will help one by providing the energy required for exercise (and life more generally). If one eats well he or she feels well and is well. The benefits of a healthy diet, jut to list a few are: reduced risk of heart disease, reduced risk of certain types of cancers, more energy, aids in weight management, etc. A healthy diet helps both to fuel and sustain the body and mind.
Meditate. By “meditate,” it is not necessarily meant that one need enter a monastery and “hum” for hours on end while sitting in the lotus position (though this will work too!) “Meditate” here simply refers to relaxation and one can relax in any host of ways.
A common approach to meditation/relaxation is to sit with eyes closed and in a comfortable position, relax, and breathe in deeply for a count of 4. Hold the breath for a count of 7, and finally, exhale for a count of 8. Repeat this 4 times. Or, if one prefers, he or she can sit in the above position, eyes closed and simply breathe in and out, monitoring the breath for a period of 5, 10 or 15 minutes.
Meditation provides the following benefits: a deeper level of relaxation, decreases muscle tension, slows heart rate, reduces anxiety, elevates mood, increases energy levels, boosts self awareness and much, much more. The key is that meditation helps one to de-stress. And if one is free from the bonds of stress, then he or she can accomplish much more.
Add any one or more (preferably all) to your daily routine and watch yourself become more equipped to handle life’s many challenges but, more importantly, you will find yourself becoming more energized, focused, and…motivated! Good luck!