For many of us, the New Year began full of promise, with explicit resolutions we hoped to achieve in 2017; eight weeks into the year and the resolutions may have faded. While the intent- to exercise more, eat better, spend less time at work and more time with family- was real, how do you turn intent into sustained action? How do you get and maintain motivation?
Motivation is the ability to connect a vision of large-scale success to the every day practices necessary to get there. Identify your unique motivational salience- what it is that stands out and motivates you. Perhaps it was when you were looking for a job, striving for an "A" in a class or heading out in time to watch the game. Focus on your particular motivational cues. Map out a plan for meeting your goals, and begin with small actions. Build habits. Then build upon your successes.
Use Your Brain to Increase Motivation:
Dopamine production in the brain increases motivation and reward. Dopamine surges, increasing motivation, when:
anticipating something important about to happen;
successfully accomplishing any task, large or small.
A 2014 study showed that recalling and describing a positive memory of a task increases motivation; study participants achieved more over the next week when they recalled a positive memory.
The more the positive motivational neural pathways are used, the stronger they become.
Make Motivation a Habit of Mind. Take Action and Get Positive Results
Schedule your "motivation:" set up a time to do the task and stick to it.
Set incremental goals.
Be mindful of your goals.
A continuous positive action towards a goal builds upon itself.
Reward yourself for your accomplishments.
Hold yourself accountable; find an accountability buddy.
You cannot change other people; you can only change yourself.
At Core Counseling, you can pursue Mind-Body Wellness through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness and other therapeutic techniques. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, call me at Core Counseling, LLC: 201.875.5699. Experience a comfortable, private and confidential environment with an atmosphere of encouragement, optimism and compassion.
Together we can find solutions to your core issues.
"Ultimately there is no such thing as failure. There are lessons learned in different ways." Twyla Tharp