What helps you get going on the things you need to and want to do (even when you might not feel like you want to do them in that moment)?
In other words, what motivates you?
It’s a question that maybe you get asked in a job interview situation—maybe. You’re more likely to be asked what you’re passionate about, and while I suppose passion can be motivating, you can’t count on it to stick around for the long-term.
Just like passion in a relationship wanes, so does passion in life. (Sad but true.) It’s motivation that will keep you going when that happens.
If you don’t know what motivates you, trying to get things done can feel like picking up a heavy rock every morning. But when you figure out what gets your fire started, you can use that information to kick out the jams—or at least make steady progress—without having to will your way through. And that’s a great thing, because willpower is kind of like a sparkler—it only burns bright for a short time.
Some of the things that might motivate you are:
- Being able to see your progress
Crossing things off a list, filling out a bubble chart, seeing your number of steps rack up, or creating some sort of tangible physical change.
- Getting paid
Call me craven, but I love this one! It helps me prioritize work projects when I would really rather putter around the house.
- Having fun
Nothing wrong with making the things you “have” to do enjoyable! Whether that’s by listening to music, or going to work at a café, or thinking up enticing rewards for yourself.
It was such a big thing for me to figure out that this motivated me; it helped me not feel crazy for wanting to write AND coach AND start a podcast. It may seem counter-intuitive if you’re already feeling busy, but if you’re motivated by variety it may actually help you get more done to start something new. (It will naturally cause something to fall off your plate if it’s already pretty full.)
- Your family
I notice that a lot of times when I’m talking to women about something they want to do but are scared of, they get into gear when they think about how their efforts will benefit their families.
Knowing there’s an end date helps you a) get started and b) keep going. It’s the open-ended stuff, I find, that hard to dedicate the time to.
Once you know what your motivations are, you can start using that knowledge to do more of the stuff that’s calling you; and that’s a beautiful thing.
Also, what am I missing? I’d love to hear what motivates you that you don’t see on this list. Leave a comment and let me know.
Find Out Some of My Motivations for Writing How to Be a Better Person and Starting the Podcast.
I am so happy to have been interviewed for the Rhode Island Monthly blog about being a better person (and writing and podcasting about it, too). Check it out here!
How Great a Partner Are You?
In honor of Valentine’s (which, heads up, is Friday), it’s Be a Better Partner week on the How to Be a Better Person Podcast.
Get my 5 best tips on being the change you wish to see in your relationship, including today’s tip, which is the secret ingredient you need to come back together stronger than ever after a fight or disagreement. Click the image below to listen!