Motivating Your Life

Motivation for Dummies.

Inspire yourself and others to make positive changes and create a more motivated life.

Motivation is a powerful tool and is central to achieving your goals; whether you want to change your career, promote teamwork in the office, quit a bad habit, or find a new interest, you need to find the motivation to get going and keep going! This no-nonsense guide explains the psychology of motivation and offers practical strategies to help you master your mind and body to unlock your motivation and get more of what you want in all aspects of your life.

Gillian Burn is also the Editor of Personal Development All-in-One for Dummies.

Motivation for Dummies will give you lots of tips and ideas to motivate your life and help you achieve your goals.

To get you started I have detailed a few key principles below which are covered in our courses and workshops on motivation:-

1 Understanding Motivation

What it is - a force or feeling, driving you forward and encouraging you to take action.

Why it is important. It can:

  • Help to improve your health, energy, enthusiasm
  • Have a positive effect on your family and relationships
  • Help you achieve your goals and complete projects
  • Achieve your key tasks, reach targets and meet deadlines

Psychological theories - there are numerous theories to improve motivation; some of the key ones detailed in my book include:

  • Maslow's hierarchy of needs - (physiological, safety, belonging, esteem, self-actualisation)
  • Hertzberg's - hygiene factors to help maintain your basic needs and 'true' motivators linked to job satisfaction (achievement, recognition, responsibility)
  • McGregor's Theory X and Y - linked to motivation principles at work
  • Bandura - including self efficacy and confidence and having control over your thoughts, feelings and actions
  • Vroom's expectancy theory - three variables affecting how you feel and perform including value, expectancy and instrumentality
  • Modern theorists - detailing the different drivers of motivation (acquiring, bonding, learning and defending)
  • Understanding how to overcome barriers and maintain basic human needs

2 Preparing Yourself to be Motivated

There are several key elements in helping prepare yourself for motivation:

  • Identifying what could be stopping you! i.e. dealing with setbacks, recognising your demons and fears that get in the way, creating contingency plans to get you going
  • Identifying your priorities at home and at work
  • Defining your important goals at different stages of your life
  • Knowing how to create a motivational environment around you
  • Taking the first steps

3 How to maintain motivation using a selection of tools

There are many tools to bring motivation into your life, including principles from neuro-linguistic programming.
Some of the tools include:

  • Using your senses
  • Understanding how to steer a clear course
  • Knowing what will keep you going
  • Understanding the effect of NOT taking action
  • Using incentives in your personal and business life
  • Calculating your personal motivation score
  • Understanding what goes on in your brain to affect motivation
  • Exercises to keep your motivation high

4 Using motivation in different areas of your life

  • Enhancing your work
  • Boosting your finances
  • Improving your health
  • Controlling your emotions and behaviour
  • Managing your relationships

5 Taking action now

Thinking of motivational role models and tips to get you going!

6 Keeping you on track

Consider the following ideas to help keep you on track:

  • Have supportive friends around you - you can call on them for help when you need encouragement or a boost. Mutual support from other people is very motivating
  • Build in contingency plans - so you have some alternative options or time scales when required
  • Have realistic deadlines and timescales - so that you feel as if you are making progress and can achieve the targets you have set
  • Keep the enjoyment about the achievement of the goal or task uppermost in your mind - this is particularly important when you start to feel low and will encourage you to keep going
  • Use a detailed plan and stick to it - this helps to stop the distractions taking over and gives you a pathway to follow so that you finish the project
  • Build in some rewards at different points - this is especially useful when your energy feels low
  • Remind yourself of your successes - to encourage you to keep progressing forward even when it feels tough
  • Be prepared to take a risk - failure and bouncing back are key elements for some people in motivation! Failure is a learning tool in itself.

Have confidence in yourself that you can do what you want to do - having confidence and self-belief is key to keeping your motivation going. Enjoy motivating your life!

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