Staying motivated!

Day 3 of my 28 Day Blog Challenge

Yesterday I shared with you some of my thoughts around the planning of my 28 day blog challenge. Today I’m focusing on the potentially tricky area of staying motivated.

Sustaining motivation was one of the top areas (from my recent goal setting research) identified as a potential obstacle for attaining goals. So I thought I’d address this, in part, sooner rather than later, in case anyone has started hitting that ‘wall’ yet with their goals!

Before I explore styles of motivation, it’s important to say that I wanted to ensure that I was interested in my goal in the first place. So my blogging topics had to be things I was interested in writing about and, hopefully, readers would find interesting to read! So make sure your goal interests/inspires/excites you, otherwise you could be in trouble.

So how are you motivated? I think it’s a hard question to answer in isolation, and needs to be asked in a context, i.e. the particular goal/target you’re working towards.

One of the first things I do when coaching clients towards their goals is explore their motivational traits for that goal. There are a range: internal/external, proactive/reactive, options/procedures, but for this blog I’m going to look at the Towards / Away from trait. I know from past experience that I am generally motivated “towards” my goals, rather than “away from” staying the same (where no change would happen). There is no right or wrong here, and both are about forward motion. You’re likely to be one style or the other, but about 20% of the population are a bit of both.

Knowing my motivational preference for my goal helps me plan to avoid the tough times. So, here are some pointers for each style:

If you’re motivated towards your goal you’ll benefit from:

  • identifying your rewards at the outset for achievement of your goal;
  • reminding yourself what your goal is and why you want it;
  • breaking your goal into manageable chunks; and
  • recognizing the progress you are making / you’ve made

If you’re motivated away from your current situation you’ll be motivated by:

  • giving yourself deadlines;
  • seeing tasks as challenges;
  • putting yourself under some pressure (but don’t get stressed out!); and
  • reminding yourself of what will happen if you don’t complete your tasks / achieve your goal

Remember, these are just some of the traits/styles of motivation. Look out for future blogs on the other styles, and let me know if this is an area you’d like to hear more about. If you’re interested in this topic, I recommend Words that change minds by Shelle Rose Charvet, which I’ve found very useful for my coaching and training.

(Photo courtesy of Renjith Krishnan)

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6 Responses to “Staying motivated!”

  1. Isabelle Says:

    Hi Debbie,
    What a great idea to do a 28 day blog challenge. What motivates me when blogging is that a post could inspire someone else to take action. Well done for posting interesting content on a daily basis. Keep the momentum going.

    • squaretwocoaching Says:

      Hi Isabelle,
      Thanks for your comments.
      I really like the idea of a blog inspiring others to take action. I will pay more attention to which other blogs I read that prompt me in such a way!
      Thanks also for subscribing to my blogs
      Regards, Debbie

  2. steve riege Says:

    Deb, thanks for sharing the motivational traits. I especially like the idea of always moving forward. Too many times people forget to reward themselves, and focus on the pressure of “what if I don’t get it done” thoughts. Great clarity on the difference.

  3. Debbie Inglis Says:

    Thanks Steve for your comments.
    I love this topic – finding the right motivation for your goal can be crucial, especially if you’re losing pace.

  4. georgehuthart Says:

    I never really thought about breaking goals down into steps. I realise I bneed to do this much more. It makes it clearer to me.

    • squaretwocoaching Says:

      Thanks for your comment George (and ‘Like’).
      I always find it useful to break my big goals into smaller chunks with linked time-scales. Whenever I achieve one of the chunks it allows for a small celebration and helps me know I’m on track.
      Useful point you make about clarity. Linking success criteria to the shorter-term targets is an effective part of the goal planning process and also helps with clarity and focus.

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