It’s 6 am, on a Tuesday, you hit the snooze button once, then twice, you realize it’s too late to get up and go to the gym or for a walk before work today. Does this sound like you?
Frequently, we have the best intentions to start the day off right and get as much done as possible before going to work or other obligations. When the day starts off the way we intended, most feel accomplished and have that proud feeling. However, when we don’t have the energy or drive to get the day started in the way we wanted, we may feel disappointed or even as we failed in some way. So, what is the force behind these decisions? Usually, it takes something for most of us to get up and not hit snooze……. motivation.
Motivation, in basic terms, is the reason WHY you are doing something and the driving force behind it.
Research continues to understand the science behind motivation better. Dopamine in our brains (the chemical messenger associated with pleasure) has been identified to be highly influential in motivation. Two brain imaging studies revealed that people who were more likely to work hard to accomplish a task experienced a significant release of dopamine in the area of the brain that is involved in regulating the reward system. Those individuals had more significant dopamine receptors available in the brain.
How do I get motivated?
Here are some tips to get motivated:
- Make pursuing goals fun.
Find activities you are engaged in and that you find enjoyable. Or create ways to make them more enjoyable.
- Find social support.
Friends, family, a nutritionist, a counselor, those who support your cause and can provide feedback that helps you.
- Identify setbacks.
Life happens, and there will be setbacks from time to time. Set realistic plans and try to determine any barriers that may come up. Be as prepared as you can.
- Track your progress and celebrate milestones.
Be mindful of your efforts and take notice. Doing so can motivate you further and help you make other good changes you are trying to achieve. Use tools such as motivation apps like Thinkup, Battlesteps, and TenpercentHappier. These can be a great resource to provide daily reminders and positive affirmations to help you stay focused and reach your goals.
- Gratitude journal.
Writing down what you are grateful for is a tool that can start or end your day with a positive mindset. A positive attitude has been shown to help set and reach goals, have a healthy immune system, and learn how to handle better what you can and cannot control in life. This can lead to better overall happiness and satisfaction in our lives.
Whatever your goals are or the life stage you are at, being motivated and staying positive will always lead to a happier and healthier life!
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