How can I sustain my motivation over a longer period of time

HAVE YOU EVER EXPERIENCED THE FEELING OF DEMOTIVATION OR PROCRASTINATION WHEN YOU HAVE SET YOURSELF A GOAL TO ACHIEVE? The goal itself, whether it is a promotion, exercising more or spending more time with your family, makes no difference. Motivation relies on a variety of factors and is not something that you have or do not have. It depends on external and internal factors and the interplay between the two. This article will explain how you can find and sustain your motivation.

How do you personally define success?

In order to achieve our goals, we must first identify what success means to us personally. Does it mean being successful at work, at home or in leisure activities? The question is: what does my ideal life look like in five years’ time? We must be honest with ourselves when answering this question. Let us imagine that anything is possible.


Motivation from within

External incentives, like a salary increase, can provide motivation. Generally speaking, however, the higher our intrinsic motivation, the easier we will find it to complete something. Intrinsic motivation is the internal motivation that comes from within an individual. When our intrinsic motivation is high, we experience a “flow” when working (or during any other activity). A flow is a state where we are so deeply engrossed in an activity that we lose track of time. Intrinsic motivation does not depend on our salary or any other external factor.

The opposite of this is extrinsic motivation. In the professional world, this is created, for example, through salary or holidays, but also through negative factors such as the threat of dismissal. These can also motivate us to a certain extent. Of course, we are happy to be paid more, but if we do not like our work, being paid more every month will not make us like it any more. We generally become unhappy or dissatisfied if there is a lack of intrinsic motivation over a longer period of time.

According to the PERMA model, there are five factors that influence our well-being and therefore our intrinsic motivation:

  • Positive emotion (positive feelings)
  • Engagement (activities that we can get engrossed in)
  • Positive Relationships (with other people)
  • Meaning (purpose in life)
  • Accomplishment (achievements)

We should think about these factors in order to identify what is important to us. For example, you might ask yourself the following questions: What do you see as the purpose of your work? How does what you do help others or your company? What inspires positive feelings in you and what activities can you get so engrossed in that you forget everything around you? Do you want to spend more time with your family or be able to travel the world?

The more clarity we have about our own needs, the better we can formulate our goals and find the motivation we need to achieve them.

Achieving your goals

In order to achieve our goals, we can use the SMART formula, for example. The idea of SMART goals was originally developed by the American George T. Doran.

“SMART” stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based. The goals must meet all of these criteria, including having a defined timeframe. We also need to be realistic about this last point and give ourselves enough time. Achieving goals is a process.

It is also important to set ourselves subgoals. They help us stay motivated. Every subgoal achieved is a small victory. We are happy that we have taken another step. We also recognise that it is possible to achieve our goals.


5 top tips to go the extra mile

#1 Visualisation

Picture how you will react and feel when you reach your goal. Visualisations help us to get motivated, to believe in success and therefore ultimately to achieve our goals. Work with your feelings when doing so. How will you feel when you achieve your goal?

#2 Recognise and celebrate goals

It is very important that we properly celebrate every subgoal on the way to achieving the main goal. Celebrate and reward yourself. You will see that doing so increases your motivation. This is particularly important when the way to the goal is longer and requires perseverance.

#3 Look ahead when allocating resources

To persevere and to go the extra mile, you must look ahead when allocating your resources. Think carefully about how much energy you have. In other words, set realistic goals – realistic in terms of your time, abilities and financial resources.

#4 Remove demotivation

We cannot be constantly motivated, and phases of demotivation are normal. If these phases last a long time, ask yourself why you are demotivated. Identify the factors that are demotivating you and that must be changed or removed.

#5 Affirmations for your internal attitude

The inner dialogue that we have with ourselves influences our mindset. Our mindset, in turn, influences our behaviour. If you feel demotivated or are procrastinating, observe carefully how you are talking to yourself. Are you saying things like “I will never achieve my goal” or “I have to deal with this task as soon as possible”? Replace these phrases with positive mantras like I enjoy doing this task and I am good at it or “I have already achieved so much, I can be proud of myself”. The more often we tell ourselves things, the more we believe them.

And with that, I wish you every success in achieving your goals. Our coaches look forward to hearing from you if you need support on your way to achieving your goals.

written by Daniel Sigrist

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