Healthy motivation drives us to perform enthusiastically and at our best in whatever we choose to do. Having healthy levels of motivation can help you bring positive change to your life.
Low motivation, on the other hand, can reduce productivity and limit prospects for change in your work and personal life.
Motivation levels can be different from day to day and might be because of how you’re feeling or the environment you’re in. It’s also common to experience different levels of motivation in different areas of your life.
You might be very energised about a hobby but find it difficult to get a new exercise regime or learn a new skill.
Motivation levels will also change over time and be affected by your circumstances including things like medical issues, relationship factors and employment status.
For example, if you’ve been unemployed for a long period, you are more likely to experience reduced motivation levels in more areas of your life, particularly in job seeking.
It is important to identify and challenge the signs of low motivation because healthy motivation has the potential to change your life.
Here are some simple actions or tips for boosting motivation levels.
1. Physical activity
A common symptom of low motivation is physical inactivity. Low motivation causes inactivity and in turn, inactivity reduces motivation.
Maintaining an exercise regime is a great way to boost low motivation. This can initially be a struggle but exercise releases endorphins that enhance a sense of well-being and improve your ability to deal with problems that arise.
2. Rest and relaxation
You might think that you have to keep busy to combat low motivation. Productive activity is important but so is taking time out to do things that make you feel good about yourself which re-energises you.
3. Social activity
When your motivation is low, it’s easy to become stuck with negative thoughts and surround yourself with people who have similar negative attitudes.
On the other hand, surrounding yourself with positive and optimistic people will likely lift spirits and help you manage in difficult times.
Motivation is increased by the support of social networks who share interests and aspirations.
4. Realistic thinking
Negative thinking reduces our motivation, making it even harder to make changes. It also makes problems bigger rather than smaller.
To create change, it requires willingness and skills to challenge negative thought patterns and replace them with thinking that accurately reflects what is going on around you; that is, thinking that is based on evidence.
Enjoyable activities have a positive effect on mood so engage in an enjoyable activity for at least 20 minutes every day.
Employment provides a structure for life. When you are unemployed, especially for long periods, that structure falls away and it becomes difficult to maintain motivation. Create a daily structure and stick to it.
7. Finish what you start
Stopping something part way through leads to feelings of being useless, worthless and a sense of failure which undermines motivation.
8. Learn how to do things for yourself
Dependency on others to do things for you makes you less active, reduces confidence and makes you more likely to procrastinate.
9. Match talents with activities
Taking time out to do something you are naturally good at can encourage you to stay motivated. In other words, by practising skills and activities that come naturally to you you’ll get the satisfaction of seeing progress which will help build confidence.
10. Focus on what inspires you
When you are inspired by something, it is natural to want to apply yourself to it. If you’re interested it, you’re likely to try harder.
11. Take risks and never give up
Avoiding things that seem hard means that you never make mistakes but you never succeed either. Failure is about never trying rather than trying and making mistakes. We learn more from our mistakes than from our successes.
That’s it! Try some of those simple tips to boost your motivation levels and head towards achieving your goals.
Your placement consultant could also be a great person to help you with building motivation. So don’t hesitate to have a chat with them about how they can help you stay motivated and achieve your goals this year.