O'Donnell Kerr Financial Planners
  • 11 September, 2019

My two cents to stay Motivated!

Motivation – according to the Oxford dictionary it is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way or more importantly a desire or willingness to do something; enthusiasm.

Motivation is very important, it is the driver that gets me out of bed in the morning, go for a run or ride, watch the sunrise, enjoy my morning coffee and travel to work.  Without this motivation I would find the lure of a warm bed too attractive to leave, leaving me feeling a little flat for the remainder of the day.

Without motivation, I believe we would wander aimlessly from day to day without achieving a lot.

So, what is the first step – having a goal and objective.

This goal or objective whatever it may be, enables you to then take the second step - a comprehensive step by step map on how to achieve your goal. 

This guide does not have to be written down; however, if your self-discipline is a little weak, I would suggest that a guide in a written format does make you more accountable.

Third step - A time frame. Without an end date motivation can be lost.

So, how do I stay on track? 

  1. Make sure that the goal is achievable and that the steps you need to take on the way to reach your goal are measurable.

  2. Tell someone - a friend or relative you can trust who if required will give you the small kick in the backside to get you back on track.

  3. Plot and record your progress - seeing where you have come from and where you are makes getting to where you want to be a lot easier.

  4. If your goal allows you to start off easy it is preferable, than if it is too hard to begin with as motivation can be lost very quickly. Be warned, this is a balancing act, start out too easy and you will lose interest.

  5. Don’t forget to reward yourself along the way when you have reached certain milestones which you have set for yourself.

  6. These are your goals and objectives so do not compare your plan or what you are hoping to achieve with someone else. Envy can be disheartening and narcissism is ugly.

  7. If possible don’t do it alone. Company can always be a great motivator when you are not quite feeling up to the task.

  8. Ensure the work of reaching your goals and objectives becomes routine. As humans we are creatures of habit and if the process becomes routine, it become harder to break.

  9. Finally, how do I stay motivated? Review your goals, go back to the start and see how far you have come.  Remember how good you felt after reaching a step in your plan and your brain rewarded you by releasing a rush of dopamine* into your blood stream. Take a “short” break and come back refreshed. Take motivation from others, a book, a movie or a friend.  Look at your life and remember how good it is.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is the list that I use to keep me motivated and working towards my goals.

Your goals and objectives may not be about getting up early out of bed on a cold morning.  Common goals such as loss of weight, becoming fitter, running my first 10 km, or if more ambitious my first marathon and retiring comfortably can all use this type of motivational plan it may just need a couple of small adjustments.

So now is the time in the second week of Spring to find your motivation and define exactly what your goals and objectives are.  If you are having trouble finding them talk to someone, it is important to your well-being to be motivated in your life.

* dopamine contributes to feelings of pleasures and satisfaction as part of the reward system

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