I belong to a linkedin.com group focused on motivation. It’s called Motivation Nation. One of the tools in linkedin is the question, in which a member of a group poses a question and the fellow members answer it.
A recent question was, “Give me one motivational word to be engraved on stone.” Answers included Love, Generosity, Intimacy, Candor, Accountability, all good answers.
I racked my brain for my answer. I thought of phrases, for example, know yourself, but I was having difficulty with a one word answer. Persistence was a possibility, but I thought it had more to do with success, rather than motivation.
Then it struck me. The one word was plan.
For some of us, we jump out of bed rearing to go. We are focused. We love what we do and our passion keeps us moving toward our goals.
Unfortunately, those people are rare. Most of us, and I count myself in this very large majority, need to work on our motivation; it doesn’t just magically appear. We need to give ourselves frequent encouragement and an occasional kick in the pants in order for our dreams to come true. If you are like me, and are in this second group, your best guarantee for becoming motivated and staying motivated is planning.
Planning means taking charge of your motivation, being intentional about it, creating and writing down a motivational plan in which you state exactly how you will motivate yourself and how you will stay motivated.
What does making a self motivation plan entail? There are two steps. The first step is taking a hard look at yourself and finding out who you are. The second step is writing down strategies.
You may find the model for self motivation very helpful for both parts, as it will help you create your plan in an organized, step by step, process.
The model for self motivation states:
MOTIVATION = ƒ (VISION, SUCCESSABILITY, ENVIRONMENT).
The model tells us that your motivation is related to your vision (How worthwhile to you is the change you want to make?), your successability (How confident are you in your competence, your ability to make the change?) and your environment, both your physical environment (where you will do the work necessary to make the change) and your social environment (the people and organizations available to you).
Any positive steps you take to impact your vision, successability or environment will automatically positively impact your self motivation.
We take the model, factor by factor, to create our plan.
First, we look at our vision, the change we want to make. We make sure it is important to us, and we make sure we are clear on exactly what we want to do in this change.
For our successability, there are numerous strategies we can use to make sure our confidence in ourselves stays high. One strategy is so helpful we refer to as a super strategy. It is called called the Divide and Conquer Strategy. It involves breaking your vision into its component parts, the goals you need to achieve in order to make the change come true in your life. Then you break each of those goals into the myriad tasks you will need to complete in order to achieve each goal.
Enhancements to our environment are also an important part of our self motivation plan. Our physical environment, for example, can be improved in two ways. The first way is to make it more “attractive” to us so we will spend more time in it. The second is to make it so that we are more effective when we are in our physical environment, so that we will be more productive during the time we are in it.
The bottom line is, you need to plan your motivation. No one else is going to do it for you.