Staying motivated!

Thursday, 3rd February, 2011

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
  • recognising 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.

debbie019 fThank you for taking time to read this blog.

I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in them.

If you’re interested in my services, please get in touch, and you can read more here.

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