Motivate

#Contentology #1Motivate

Motivation is such an interesting word and one that when I hear I have mixed feelings about.  Mainly because in the world of helping people change and just in every day life, I often hear people talking about making change when the ‘feel motivated’. So often we look for inspiration to get ourselves to get us into action.

However we know that motivation as an emotion or experience comes and goes fleetingly and it alone is not enough to sustain change (for very long).  It is a rush and it makes us feel good and powerful and uplifted, but it is not what can sustain long term behaviour change. 

Motivation alone will wane, your motivation ‘muscle’ will get fatigued and life will get in the way and your great intentions will diminish and you will return to your usual habits.  Not because you are lazy or flawed or incapable of change, but because motivation or desire to change is not enough to sustain the change.  Having a surge of motivation is a great place to kick-start things, get you into a bit of momentum, but you need more than that to continue it.  

But today I hope you are feeling motivated, today I want to you to build habits that will create positive change and that positive change will in turn motivate you.  But you need to build in expectations for yourself and follow through on your plans, even when you do not feel motivated.  So you can use the rush of motivation to begin a positive domino effect, but don’t expect it to carry your through to long-term change, without having a more detailed plan.

A plan to keep the change going might include: having someone to help support you when your motivation wanes,  telling someone about your dreams and goals and asking them to check in on you and ask you how you are going, having visual reminders of your dreams and goals.  

But really it is knowing that change is a process, you will have days when you can’t be bothered, but that for change to be lasting, you need support and you need people around you who get it. 

So think about what gets you motivated, but more importantly what will keep you going, what will keep you choosing your new plan and who will you have around you to support your change. 

Kate

Published by Kate French

Clinical Psychologist; expertise in autism and child and family psychology.

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