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Motivation

Ah yes, motivation. That one word that's supposed to help you to do things, to motivate you. But really, it's harder to come by that you might think, for me at least. 

 

I've made this post because motivation is really, really hard. Sure there's tips and tricks that are supposed to be helpful but for me at least, they don't seem to work. Rewards don't motivate me, little breaks don't motivate me, deadlines and consequences don't motivate me... what does? 

But, I think I've figured out why these things don't work. Something I realised while trying to figure out uni things. As much as I can plan for rewards, deadlines and such and so, I find it very difficult to mentally picture and "feel" the benefits of these motivators. The benefits of having it done before the deadline, the benefit of a reward or break, I only really "get" them when they happen, not before. Which is why using them doesn't work for me. For an example, there's trying to do assignments and knowing that it'd be great when they're done but because they aren't done, I don't really feel that benefit and the benefit of say watching Star Wars feels better. OR trying to get up when I wake up. I know it will make me feel better later in the day and so on but right then and there, while lying in bed, I won't feel better if I get up and so I don't. 

 

Basically, motivation is hard. How do you motivate yourself? And does it work?

 

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Re: Motivation

Such a great idea for a thread @N1ghtW1ng .
This is something everyone can relate to - motivation is such a difficult thing to maintain, and to even get a good understanding of! 

 

I can totally relate to you on the "rewards" idea not really working. 
Something that has helped me is to think about motivation being the product of action - rather than the other way around. 

So the idea that taking action leads to motivation, rather than motivation leading to action. This has really changed the way I see tasks - instead of waiting for the motivation to kick in and get me started, I disengage my brain and just get started, and then find that the motivation picks up later. Sometimes starting with something really small and achievable can kick start motivation for something bigger. 

Breaking things down into small easy bits - eg if starting an assessment, starting with the headings where I put my name and subject name etc - this can help with moving on to the real essay writing! 

 

Nike has something right.. just do it... it's the only way sometimes!

 

Also this: 

penguin.gif

Keen to hear everyone else's thoughts! 

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I'm leaving ReachOut on the 5th of June Smiley Sad Say goodbye here
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Re: Motivation

YES @gina-RO! I find motivation easier once I'm already doing the task! That's such an excellent way of thinking of it. (Of course, now I have the extra issue of trying to start tasks Smiley Tongue)
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Re: Motivation

I recently came across something that talked about picturing your future self as your best friend. Meaning that in the moment when there's something you know would be good to do for your future self, but that your current self is more inclined to be lazy about, you instead imagine that you'd be doing the thing for someone else.

I'm thinking this might be good for me because I'm far better at being motivated enough to follow through on something if it's for someone other than me. 


For example, with waking and getting up early: Think of it more like you told your best friend that you'd wake up to do something with/for them. This carries through, because like anything that you then do upon waking up is something you've done with/for your future self.

You start your uni work, because you told your best friend that you'd be free to do something else later, or because you wanted to be able to go over it together again, helping each other, later.

I haven't really put this into practice yet, but I'm liking the reframing of present and future self.

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Re: Motivation

@Birdeye  I love that idea! 
Treating yourself with the same respect, care and consideration that you would your best friend. 
Becoming your own best friend is a journey all on it's own - and a wonderful, rewarding one! 

 

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I'm leaving ReachOut on the 5th of June Smiley Sad Say goodbye here
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Re: Motivation

I love both of those ideas so much @Birdeye and @gina-RO. Do you reckon you could try Birdeye's suggestion @N1ghtW1ng? Also, thank you for starting this topic because it really resonates with me!

I think I came across the idea of action leading to motivation in a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***. A great read, if you can bear the frequent swearing! Smiley Happy

// Spiral outward, keep going. //
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Re: Motivation

@Birdeye @letitgo I like the idea of talking to your future self as your friend. It probably wouldn't work for me, I don't know what the right words are but I don't think I'm very good at contextualising(is that right?) or visualising(probably better) my future self because it's the future and that's a place that's not happened yet.
I've seen that book around although I haven't read it yet, maybe I might Smiley Tongue

My new plan is to use my whiteboard and make up a list of the things I have to do with five or six boxes next to it and I will have five/six faces for how many of those I can do in a row. Angry face for zero, sad face for 1, still sad-but-not-as-sad for 2, neutral for 3, kinda-smile for 4 and cheery for 5. It sounds fun, I like images and I'm hoping it'll work. *fingers crossed* Now to actually do it.
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Re: Motivation

I am agreed with you and can understand it's very difficult to stay motivated all the time sometimes when we are depressed it's almost impossible. but to keep motivated maximum time we need to invest in reading good articles, success stories. that kind of motivational thing always helps to get out of the depression.

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Re: Motivation

Hey @N1ghtW1ng . I like your post. I feel like it really resonates with me because I've been finding it so hard to have motivation to do even the simplest of things lately. I am out of work and have been at home bored out of my mind most days, sleeping in until midday or longer and this has been going on since end of march. 

 

It isn't my fault that I have no job right now. I mean, before this covid situation I was working 3 casual jobs working 5 days a week most of the time. Financially I am okay because of Job Keeper but i feel so guilty with myself for spending most of my time sleeping or playing video games or generally just being in bed playing games on my phone. 

 

I find I get motivation to get up out of bed when i have somewhere I need to be or things that have to get done. Yet right now there is nothing. I can't even seem to get up to do things that I want to do. And I feel so guilty for being lazy and I feel like I should be being more proactive like preparing my resume to apply for FT or PT work or exercising more and cooking.

 

I don't really know how to help you because I need help too. So I guess I just wanted to share my own experience and let you know that you're not alone with this motivation problem. 

 

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Re: Motivation

Hi @mspaceK,

Sleeping in and being at home for ages - you're definitely not alone in this! I've been doing the same thing myself, when I should be writing up an essay or studying. It's just been getting colder and honestly, the bed is the warmest place right now Smiley Happy

 

One thing that did make me feel better (or rather, made me laugh) was knowing that Rafael Nadal, a world-class tennis player, should be spending at least some of his time keeping up his skills and yet he's been staying up late consistently gaming.

 

Guilt aside, how do you think you've been doing?