Why do some people manage to make reaching a goal so easy? The majority of us have a tough time. It’s not about the lack of motivation. People start with fire and flame, and with time it just seems to sputter inconsistently before being extinguished. Many seek clarification about why this repeatedly occurs; most jump from one unfinished project to another, while others even reprimand themselves as lazy. This pattern is where learning about ourselves is the most telling and will be discussed later, so keep it in mind. It’s essential to find out where the inspiration is coming from, the difference between internal and external motivators and how much sway it holds over actions and thoughts. This article gives you a powerful mind hack, clarifying what creates lasting motivation.
Take a quick look at the goal you what to achieve. Who does it serve, and why? Unfortunately, most plans, even those that only benefit us, are usually done for the wrong reasons, or they don’t help us at all but the influence by something else altogether. Most notably, external factors are generally at the forefront of a decision to set a goal. Less of a significant impact on long-lasting motivation because our environments can change multiple times within the same day; there needs to be more consistency when basing our reason for doing something. People pay attention to what is presently affecting them, or a better explanation is that these external factors only temporarily affect the ego in any given situation. For example, when there is a respite from a difficult situation or a shift from feeling under attack to feeling safer, those painstakingly planned milestones can suddenly lose their value and even seem unimportant. What changes when something loses its value? Simply put, it either becomes a chore, or we lose interest. This type of motivation makes reaching a goal improbable and challenging.
The most significant way to build and, more importantly, keep motivation is by figuring out our internal motivational factors. Between the two factors influencing our decision to set a goal, the internal motivator is way more consistent. It stays, it might shrink or expand to include other things, but the core remains the same. Unless a drastic life change occurs, this does not build on what others think of you at work, for instance, or diminishes in value over time. Internal motivators have their foundations composed of core values and align with what makes people base many decisions on them. Knowing what core values drive a goal will make the motivation more sustainable. Find out these core values, and things will go much smoother.
The easiest way to figure out a person’s core values is using the funnel question system. It can start with a generalised question and then start honing the questions and ensure the answers become more precise. For example, decrease the number of words used to answer until one defines everything previously discussed, or one word continuously props up. On average, we establish our core values throughout our lives, from very young to mid-thirties. The six main categories are family, beliefs, career, health, social and personal development. These categories constantly overlap and interact with each other. There are hundreds of values, and each individual has a mixed bag, so knowing them, we will have a much better understanding of who we are and where we want to go. Once aligned with the internal motivator, the ease of reaching a goal has a very high success rate. For example, if you want a promotion, you’ll be much more likely to upskill and have the confidence to ask when the reason is based on financial security for your family rather than what others think of you.
Let’s look at patterns for a moment, and as mentioned, they can say a lot about a person and help figure out if they are on the right track. What triggers the desire to set a goal? Analyse this in as much detail as possible. What changes when there is a dip in motivation, and has this happened before? If yes, are there similarities? Please write it down and be as honest with it as possible. How often has a goal been reached based on external factors, or how difficult was that goal to attain? If someone can’t close their eyes and imagine what will change for them personally in as much detail as possible, there is little chance of success. On the other hand, if someone can sit down and imagine a point in their future where they achieved their personal goal, and this affects them personally in a positive manner, not just people treating them differently, but feeling different about themselves, asking for a promotion or salary increase becomes a whole lot easier then.
In conclusion, analyse patterns of behaviours to figure out what motivates this goal, what to avoid that might diminish motivation, define one’s core values and use them to enhance an internal motivator, and celebrate the milestones as much as the ultimate goal. Lastly, make sure to make the reward worth the effort.