“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” — Stephen Covey
Motivation. It’s an intriguing thing.
- Some people seem to have more of it.
- Motivation varies widely from person-to-person.
- Even within ourselves, some days we seem to have more of it than others.
Here are some keys to managing motivation:
- Define the motivation.
- Define what success means to you.
- Motivation is easier to come by when we do something we love.
- Track your progress in effort, not results.
Defining the motivation: Motivation comes in different forms. Most studies conclude that internal motivation is much more powerful than external motivation. So, to be successful at a task, define your “why.”
Motivation comes up frequently with my coaching clients. One client engaged in coaching because “I want to be better at my job, and part of that is learning to work outside my comfort zone.” That coaching relationship is incredibly successful. Yet another client engaged in coaching “because my mom thought it would help motivate me to keep my room clean and get better grades.” Suffice to say, that coaching relationship didn’t survive. He was doing it for the wrong reason: someone else.
Defining the motivation is the first key to success. Do it for you, not someone else.
Clearly define success: With any goal, there needs to be a definition of success and what it means to you personally. Depending on what success means to you, the motivation may be different.
I have a client that is a successful business person. He has a clear definition of what success in 2017 will look like. It’s not “I’ll make more money.” It is a very clear, hard number. Hitting that sales number means several things: It reinforces for him that he’s good at what he does (internal motivation) and he will be able to provide an amazing trip for his family next Spring (external motivation). For him, internal and external motivation go hand in hand, but only because he has a very, very clear picture of what “success” means to him.
Do what you love: I have friends who LOVE to exercise. They get up at 5:00 AM to go to their favorite class. They feel better (both physically and mentally) when they are engaged in their passion. On the other hand, there would need to be some serious external motivation to get me to follow their plan. But, ask me to get up at 5:00 AM to meet a client so we can get their garage cleaned by noon and I’m all in!
Motivation is just easier if we are doing something we love.
Track progress in effort: Sometimes even the most motivated people get sidetracked when they don’t see the results as quickly as they anticipated. Rather than focusing entirely on the end game, focus on the effort.
If you are looking to write the next great novel, motivation can be lost if it doesn’t come together quickly. Rather, acknowledge that you will feel accomplishment by writing 30 minutes every three days. The internal motivation of progress, versus the frustration of not being finished, will help accomplish the long-term goal.
What are you motivated to accomplish today?
Coach Approach for Organizers