Ep. 262: 6 Tips for Getting and Staying Motivated

How to Get Motivated When You’re Just Not Feeling It

We’ve got 6 tips to get you movin’ and groovin’

Who should listen: If you’re looking for proven ways that will inspire you to keep going, be your best self, and crush your goals, then this episode is for you.

Key idea: With the appropriate mindset, you can achieve what you desire.

Action item: Use at least one of the six tips discussed in this episode to reignite your enthusiasm and motivation to do those things that need to be done.

Do you ever wonder if the people who work at Nike (the Just Do It company) ever have trouble feeling motivated? Do you think John Donahoe, Nike’s CEO, drinks Red Bull instead of orange juice in the morning? Well, regardless, Donahoe and his cohorts do have a point when it comes to achieving your goals—you need to act if you expect anything to happen.

But let’s face it—there are times when mustering the energy and stamina to act can be a challenge on its own. And for a true motivation crisis, Red Bull doesn’t cut it.

That’s where we can help.

In this episode, we’re sharing six tips that will not only help you get motivated but also keep you performing at the highest level; however, here in the show notes, we’re going to elaborate on just one of those tips.

But first, we should all make sure we understand what motivation is. While we all use the term freely in different situations, it’s important to be more precise when talking about how to get and keep it.

What is motivation?

According to Verywell Mind, a resource of curated information about mental health:

Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes you to act . . . Motivation involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behavior . . . “[M]otivation” is frequently used to describe why a person does something.

Motivation doesn’t just refer to the factors that activate behaviors; it also involves the factors that direct and maintain these goal-directed actions . . .

In layperson’s terms, motivation is what gets and keeps you moving toward something you want. For example, you may want to be a real estate agent. Motivation is what will inspire you to enroll in a course and study to pass an exam to get your license. Motivation is also what keeps you going when it would be easier to quit, like when you stay up late to study even though you’re tired after a full day of work.

There are two types of motivation. Psychology Today defines intrinsic motivation as “a drive that comes purely from within; it’s not due to any anticipated reward, deadline, or outside pressure.” For example, if you are intrinsically motivated to participate in sports, it’s because you enjoy sports, and it’s an important part of who you are.

Alternatively, extrinsic motivation “is any reason someone does work other than the joy of doing the work itself. Anything promised for completing the task or received as a result of completing the task are extrinsic motivators.” A familiar example is being motivated to get a job because you want a paycheck and not because you love to wake up at 5:00 a.m., drive through traffic, and sit in meetings all day.

During the episode, when Luke speaks about “knowing your why,” he’s speaking about knowing what ultimately drives you to do what you do. In other words, what motivates you to keep going when the going gets tough? We make no judgments about your “why,” but it’s interesting to note that, in the long run, intrinsic motivators are more powerful than extrinsic motivators. The same Psychology Today article reports that:

Extrinsic motivation can increase motivation in the short term, but over time it can wear down or even backfire. By contrast, intrinsic motivation is powerful because it is integrated into identity and serves as a continuous [emphasis added] source of motivation.

When you feel your motivation slipping away, you may want to reflect on whether you’re being driven by intrinsic or extrinsic motivators and whether what you want (your goal) is still appealing. If your goal is something you still want, then let’s use it to reignite your enthusiasm and drive you forward.

Keep your eye on the prize

Sometimes the daily grind of living our lives can keep us occupied and distracted to such an extent that we forget why we’re doing what we’re doing—we lose sight of our goals and can’t see the forest for the trees. That’s when it’s time to stop and reflect on one’s goals.

We often set goals at the beginning of a new year, and that’s the end of it. We don’t revisit them to ensure we are making progress or to confirm they are still appropriate. Sometimes we forget about them entirely.

We suggest that you write out what you want your life to look like in the next one year, five years, or ten years—you pick the timeframe—and reflect daily on your progress toward that vision. There’s no better way to prioritize your goals and be motivated to complete them than by intentionally asking yourself which ones get you where you want to be, and which ones don’t.

A word of advice about your goals—be specific. You want as much clarity as possible. Vague notions like “I want a team of my own” aren’t nearly as powerful or motivating as “I want to hire two agents every year for the next five years” The power of having a clear vision of what you want is why the first step in developing S.M.A.R.T. goals is the selection of a specific objective.

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs create a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) that, by definition, seems beyond reasonable expectations. But these entrepreneurs understand that what they want to achieve is more important, perhaps even more inspiring, than how they are going to achieve it. Their approach is to commit to the goal and then figure out a way to make it happen.

Constantly reflecting on your goals is only the first of the six tips for how to get motivated that we discuss. We’ve got five more that address one or more of the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that contribute to motivation. We encourage you to try them all.


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