Give yourself a pat on the back for clicking on this article! It took a considerable amount of motivation to get here. I now present to you a three (basically two)-step process toward more long-term, sustainable motivation:
- Do One Small Task (even if it’s just a part of a task!). Repeat after me: Motivation comes after action. We feel motivated when dopamine is released into our bodies (e.g., eating a delicious treat will release dopamine, signaling to you that you’d enjoy eating another one). It’s very hard to make ourselves feel motivated without taking any action that produces dopamine.
- If you have a hard time getting started:
- Start with the easiest task
- Set a timer to work for just a few minutes
- Alternate between the task and an enjoyable activity
- Reward Yourself… Intrinsically. It’s fun to reward yourself with a sweet treat or a binge marathon of your favorite show occasionally, though a more lasting motivation comes from intrinsic rewards. This can be achieved through acknowledging your progress, reminding yourself of the benefits of completing your tasks, and visualizing how you’ll feel when you reach your goals. When you allow yourself to bask in these pleasures, you maximize the release of dopamine into your system, building up a strong sense of motivation.
- Repeat!! The more you can incorporate steps 1 and 2 as a consistent habit/ routine, the more motivation you’ll likely have to keep it up.
Finally, do your best to be kind to yourself through the process. Negative self-talk can deplete your motivation, so challenge that self-criticism! You are human, and all you can do is your best 💜