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August 24, 2004

The Motivation List

Here is the ongoing compilation of things that motivate people. I plan on editing this entry and expanding the list with suggestions I find online and from everyoneís comments.

1. Success can be a motivator. Being successful at something is motivation and encouragement to continue doing it. Even little successes can be motivating. One thing that many people suggest is to break larger obstacles into smaller tasks that we are more likely to have success at. Handling all of the smaller challenges successfully helps us to believe we can actually handle the larger obstacle, one step at a time.
One key with success as a motivator is to find things we can succeed at. Another key is for us to acknowledge our own successes. Too often we discount the steps along the way to a larger goal and feel like we are not making any progress and become demoralized. We lose hope and give up. We have to acknowledge, accept and be happy about the small successes we have along the way.

2. Prominent reminders of our goals can be motivating. I put the word ďDailyĒ in the title of my blog to remind me that I should write daily. thatís part of my goal. Itís a prominent reminder of what Iím trying to do. Itís motivating to know that Iím working on my goal daily.
When I was learning Russian, I put words all over my house on objects so I could learn them. These words were a prominent reminder of my goal to learn Russian. I could not avoid them. It motivated me to keep working on it because I was reminded of my overall goal every day, everywhere I turned. Some of these words still call to me to practice more. Itís good to frequently remember why we are doing something so we donít forget and lapse for a long period of time and become discouraged and quit. Prominent reminders help motivate us to keep going.

3. Give yourself Time. In our society we often short change ourselves on time. Itís easy to lose our motivation when we have no time. Cut back on some things and focus on one thing at a time. The workshop on motivation at http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/motivation/ lists this as an important first step in finding your lost motivation. This other site suggests that ďTaking a breakĒ can rejuvenate our motivation when we return to the task at hand: http://www.4hb.com/blogging/20040209121212.html

4. Making it relevant. When things are relevant to our dreams and goals we are more likely to be motivated about them. I can spend hours and hours doing something I know fits into my plans sometimes itís difficult to find relevance in things we hate doing or think is a waste of time. But finding a purpose and relevance in whatever it is we are doing is motivating for us to do it.

5. Work the whole you. Another suggestion from the workshop on motivation at http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/motivation/ This is one reason why I started exercising. I felt it was better for my mental health if I was in better shape.

6. Focus on Goals. http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/motivation/ Start small. Smaller steps can often motivate us to take larger steps. This is the idea that once we begin it, we are more likely to continue it. http://www.4hb.com/blogging/20040209121212.html

7. Make it a priority. http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/motivation/ This is one thing that has helped me with writing. Since writing daily is part of the process toward achieving my goals, and I realized how much time it was taking, I had to make it a priority in my life. This also helped me to be motivated about cycling. I made time for it and I made it a priority.

8. Feel good about yourself. http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/motivation/

9. Take care of your health. http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/motivation/ This is related to ďworking the whole you.Ē

10. Visualization http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/motivation/
Keep our mental picture in focus and visible. Rebuild your vision. Revisit the place your heart was at in the beginning when you had it. http://www.findthepower.com/dailydevotions/DevFindingHeartEphesians1_18.htm

11. Change your routine. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. http://www.4hb.com/blogging/20040209121212.html
Incorporate variety. Change things up so we are not bored. http://www.reliable-health.info/fitness/get-moving.shtml

12. Reward yourself. http://www.4hb.com/blogging/20040209121212.html

13. Reconnect the action with pleasure rather than pain. http://www.4hb.com/blogging/20040209121212.html Have fun. This is one of the ingredients to learning a foreign language too. If itís drudgery itís not very motivating and we are more likely to fail at it.

14. Focus on yourself. Donít worry what others are doing. Think, ďWhat can I do right now?Ē Too often we worry about others so much we lock up. http://www.irelandsdance.com/practice/motivation.htm

15. Use Inspirational Music. This is not just for dance! I use classical and other music that lifts my soul up while biking. Itís amazing how fast the time flies and how it enhances my motivation. http://www.irelandsdance.com/practice/motivation.htm

16. Practice in a group. Again this is not just for dance. Groups can help our motivation because others often share in the same troubles we have. We can learn from each other, stimulate and help each other. http://www.irelandsdance.com/practice/motivation.htm

17. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. http://www.yourdailyaffirmation.com/self_empowerment_motivation/motivation.htm

18. Make a friend. Being friends can give us and our friends a great gift in life. Connecting with others who share our interests and feel affection for us and who we feel affection for is a way to share in lifes ups and downs. It is a way of facing life together, and not being alone. Being alone in life can drag us down. I think human beings need close connections with other human beings.

19. Be serious, use determination to elevate our motivation. Half hearted attempts and excuses only drag us down more. http://www.yourdailyaffirmation.com/self_empowerment_motivation/motivation.htm

20. Pray about it. Ask for help. I like the Alcoholics Anonymous approach that we cannot do it alone. It is bigger than us. http://www.findthepower.com/dailydevotions/DevFindingHeartEphesians1_18.htm

21. Find the optimal challenges that are not too boring but not too difficult. http://members.aol.com/ChineseLLC/motiv1_2.htm

22. Incorporate it into our day and our habits. Like commuting to and from work on bicycle. I am not only exercising but Iím combining it with commuting. Walk to the store instead of driving. Maybe if we are not motivated by one, we will be by the other. http://www.reliable-health.info/fitness/get-moving.shtml

23. Similar to "Making it Relevant" this one is about making LIFE Relevant. I discovered that to truly live a fulfilled life and be happy we have to have a source of joy and strength in us. This is the source of our life. It carries us through tough times and helps us more fully experience the good times. Developing and Cultivating a spiritual process of living is motivating by default. It gives us purpose and meaning and joy in life.

Ok, more to come as I find more to add to the list. If you have a favorite way to help yourself get motivated, please post it. Iíll add it.

Posted by carl1236 at August 24, 2004 11:20 PM | motivation