Just like most things in this world don’t last long, your motivation doesn’t too.
But how some people can stay motivated for so long time though their goal is hard and takes time? We all have some bad habits, and when you are fully motivated to work on a certain goal, you may drop some of these bad habits.
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If you decided to work on losing weight. You’ve decided to exercise 3 times a week, change your routine, and quit some of your bad habits. In the first week, you will be fully motivated, exercising on time, breaking some of your habits, and doing other things you decided to do. It’s after some days or weeks that you start losing your motivation, and your bad habits start creeping back to the surface.
When you give up and let your bad habits creep to the surface, you lose your motivation. But some people keep on working on their goal without losing their motivation so fast, this is because they turned exercising into a habit.
If your goal is to complete a book. Don’t read 10 pages a day as a part of achieving the goal, but read the 10 pages as a part of your daily habit. Losing motivation is a natural phenomenon. Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.
We lose our motivation so fast when we are extrinsically motivated. Maybe the problem isn’t that you can’t find the motivation, but why your motivation isn’t lasting long.
Why motivation doesn’t last
Studies have shown that our motivation declines when we age. We lose motivation to learn new things or habits, so don’t expect yourself to have that kind of motivation when you were a kid. But there are other reasons why your motivation doesn’t last, it includes:
1. You depend more on extrinsic motivation.
When you depend more on external factors to motivate you, your motivation doesn’t last long.
If at your workplace, you depend on your boss complimenting you for the work you’ve done, your colleagues cheering you up for the hard work, or your friends talking good about your work for motivation, then it won’t last because someday these compliments and praises will stop.
2. You reward yourself for everything you do.
Creating a reward system is a clever way to let your mind do the hard work, but when you reward yourself a lot. Your motivation doesn’t last long.
If you decided to work on a goal you’ve been turning off for so long time, then reward yourself for completing it. You may be motivated to complete that hard task, then watch the TV.
Your mind knows that it will get the reward, so it will choose the easy way. When you start doing the task, your mind will start distracting you until you get bored and decide to shut down what you’ve been working on. Make sure to create a good reward system.
Also, read: Which is Better Discipline or Motivation?
3. No independence and connection.
Lack of independence can kill your motivation in many ways. If you’ve no independence at your job, nor a connection with it. Your motivation won’t last.
You wake up every morning, go to your workplace, forced to do the work you hate without any independence. Day after day, all you will be thinking about is quitting and your motivation will drop to zero level.
Now, you know why your motivation doesn’t last. Let’s know how to deal with it.
Also, read: How do motivation and emotion affect perception
How to deal with it
Losing your motivation isn’t something you can fix, but you can choose a way to deal with it. Watching a motivational video or reading a motivational quote can help, but it doesn’t last. Here are some ways to help you make your motivation last.
The Locus Rule
It’s a rule used by many successful people to help them stay motivated. This theory comes from the locus of control, which is the degree to which you believe you have control over your life.
People who believe they don’t have much control over their life and blame others a lot for what’s happening for them lose their motivation faster. If you decided to work on something and it started raining. You stop doing the work and start blaming the weather for stopping you. Your failure isn’t because of you but because of external factors, then you have an external locus of focus.
You will lose your motivation because if you believe the world is always against you, what’s the point of trying. You don’t believe you have complete control over your life.
On the other side, if you believe you’ve control over your life. When you face a problem, you don’t blame it on others; you try to fix it. Things become more challenging, but you become more skillful. You believe in your ability to solve the problems you face, so when you face problems, you get through them without losing your motivation.
To solve our motivation problem, we should have more internal locus of control. You can increase your internal locus of focus by setting some goals, achieving them, then taking some time to appreciate what you’ve done. This will increase your belief in having control over your life and keep you motivated through your journey.
Also, read: What Keeps a Person Motivated? 9 Reasons
The classical way of motivation is reward and punishment. A study was made to understand what motivates people, and the result was that: The more monetary reward people get, the better the performance and the more people are motivated to work.
Extrinsic motivation: A motivation based on what you get. If you do X You get Y, just like people set up shops to make money and read books to pass exams.
Extrinsic motivation promotes cheating and decreases the amount of intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the key to solving your motivation problem because it comes from the inside. You don’t read to pass the exam but to learn more; you don’t make music to become famous but because you love singing.
People who use extrinsic motivation can become successful at what they do, but with time, they will start feeling empty, which creates the desire for wanting more. Those with intrinsic motivation maybe can’t become successful in a short time, but with time they will become more successful and more satisfied and happy.
Depend on intrinsic motivation to stay motivated for a long time. Find independence in what you are doing, and become motivated by how good your skill can get at a particular thing, not by what you get.
Learn more about the pillars of intrinsic motivation.