It's 5:30am on a Monday morning. You start work at 9am. Why is your alarm going off so early? Oh that's right, you remember that you said you'd meet your friend for a run. You hear the rain outside your window, notice how it's still pitch black, and have an internal debate about whether to get up and go, or txt your friend saying that you're just not feeling it this morning. You toss and turn, and in a split second decision throw off the covers and stand up. The hard part is done, and you change into your running clothes, lace your shoes, and meet your friend down the street.
We've all been here in some way before. Something comes up that we just don't feel like doing and we're left with an internal debate about whether we suck it up and do it, or skip it. And what does the ultimate decision come down to? Motivation.
When we talk about motivation, we could talk about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. We could talk about how knowing that you're friend is relying you is the real kicker that gets you out of bed. Or we could talk about how you need to make yourself get up and run every morning for 21 days, so that it turns into a habit.
But we've all heard those things before. We know that if someone is expecting us to do something, and we will get either a reward if we do it or reprimanded if we don't, then we're more likely to get it done. We know that having our friends and loved ones relying on us can be a pretty good motivator. We know all those sayings about how to form a habit. But at the end of the day, your motivation to perform a task comes down to one thing:
How bad do you want it, and how bad do you want the end result that doing it will provide?
Take playing a game of football on a Saturday. For some, getting up early is easy because they love being out there, playing the game with their friends, and that is motivation enough. For others, the desire to win gets them out of bed. For a few, footy may not be a strong skill of yours, so the driver that gets you there is knowing that you're friends would be disappointed if you didn't go. All of these outweigh what would happen if you didn't go - the personal sadness you may feel, the feeling of loss, or the disappointment from your peers and coach.
So you get up, and you go, because that end result is your motivation.
But what happens when there seemingly is no end goal? Like when you're going to the gym for general fitness and health, and not to lose a certain amount of weight, or look a certain way? What makes you get out of bed at 6am on a Monday morning to get to that gym class?
Simple - make a goal.
Make a few. Make a hundred! Make short term goals for the end of the week, mid-term goals for a few months time, long term goals for the next year. Setting yourself goals is going to give you direction for your motivation - it's going to give you something to work towards, and there is something so satisfying about hitting a goal and ticking it off your list.
For some things in life, goals are given to us. We go to work everyday and do our job to the best of our ability because the goal is that we get paid, or a promotion, or simply because we love seeing the reaction clients get when they see what you do. We run that extra 1km today because we know that it will help us when we get to that half marathon in 3 months time. For the other things in life that don't come with pre-defined end goals, we need to step up and make them - write them down, tell your friends, and use that as motivation to reach the end goal.
So think about your goals - what are you working towards this week, this month, and for the rest of 2016? Write them down, set those intentions, hit some goals and motivate yourself!
And don't forget to have fun too :)